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  #1  
Old 07-06-2006, 04:43 AM
arvid.lind arvid.lind is offline
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Default Share some tips and tricks for mixing TV!

Hi everyone!

I wonder if any of you would like to share som thoughts, tips and tricks about mixing for TV?

I´ve just done my first six months as a Protools operator on daily basis, with realityshows and documentaries as main field, mostly for TV channels broadcasting for cable. Have made a switch to post from mostly working with location sound.
When you have only one day to complete a 45 minutes program it seems like you need to have a good session template setup.

My setup looks like this:

All dialogue tracks (without any plugins) by bus to an aux Master Dialogue fader with inserts as follows:

Limiter, theshold -10 to prevent peaks

Compressor with gentle reduction around -3 to 6 db

de-esser

Eq with hipass at 50hz, some reduction around 200 hz and some increasing at 3,50 kHz and 8 kHz

Maxim with threshold and ceiling at -10

Music and Fx tracks without any plugins

Master fader:

Compressor with very gentle reduction

Eq with lowpass at 16 kHz

Maxim with threshold and ceiling at -10


To increase the gain of the separate dialogue tracks I ride the fader of the Dialogue master, or if a separate scene in a dilalogue track is very low in volume or sounds muffled, I treat it with an AS plug eq or limiter to increase gain.

I´m curious about how you other engineers are working with levels, faders, compressors, eq´s, etc!

Do you work with automations of the eq?

How hard do you limit or compress with the Maxims or L2:s?

Sidechaining compressors with music/VO?




greetings from arvid in stockholm
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2006, 06:36 AM
mr.armadillo mr.armadillo is offline
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Default Re: Share some tips and tricks for mixing TV!

Quote:

Sidechaining compressors with music/VO?

No sidechain compressor, but a split compressor with VO as key input. (EQ with gain automation of 1 or 2 bands on music track, decrease gain whenever VO kicks in.)
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  #3  
Old 07-06-2006, 07:26 AM
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minister minister is offline
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Default Re: Share some tips and tricks for mixing TV!

Quote:
Quote:

Sidechaining compressors with music/VO?
No sidechain compressor, but a split compressor with VO as key input. (EQ with gain automation of 1 or 2 bands on music track, decrease gain whenever VO kicks in.)
split compressor?

sidechaining : a compressor monitors an incoming audio signal and when the signal exceeds a given amplitude threshold it reduces the gain accordingly; sidechain processing differentiates between the signal being processed (via the audio inputs)and what the processing circuitry is listening to (via the sidechain inputs). so, you can use a completely different audio signal to reduce the dynamic range of another.

that has its uses in TV mixing, but it can be tricky to get the attack and release right so that the music isn't pumping or ducked naturally. i have found that using this technique mildly -- maybe only a few dB's is what works best. for me, the best way to do this is to use volume automation.

sometimes eq-ing the music around the voice - cutting the voice frequencies - can help. careful that the music doesn't suffer from this.

your hi-pass can go a little higher than 50...try 90 or 100 or 110 or... i often put that first, so my compressor is not resonding to frequnecies i don't want anyway.

then put in the compressor. again, ride your volumes first for most natural sound, then use the compressor to reign in and tighten the vo or dialogue.

don't smash the crap out of stuff!! it sound terrible, it is hard on the ears and does not translate well to TV -- they are going to smash it more. leave it dynamic, but have a high average level....this will ultimate sound louder anyway.

i would be careful in your use of Maxim. to me, it has a nasty upper mid boost that will get even nastier after the broadcast chain.

record some TV shows and listen to how they are mixed -- but remember, they have passed through a broadcast chain, so don't make your mixes identical.
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2006, 07:44 AM
arvid.lind arvid.lind is offline
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Default Re: Share some tips and tricks for mixing TV!

Quote:
No sidechain compressor, but a split compressor with VO as key input. (EQ with gain automation of 1 or 2 bands on music track, decrease gain whenever VO kicks in.)
Do you mean either compressor with key input or eq automation? Or do you use a plug with both eq and compressor?

I´ve done eq automations occasionally on projects where I´ve had more time, since I thought that it would be more time consuming than just riding the faders. Maybe I´ll reconsider that.

So, you do the eq automations and then play the part over again to do extra fader volume adjustments?
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2006, 08:17 AM
wheresmyfroggy wheresmyfroggy is offline
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Default Re: Share some tips and tricks for mixing TV!

I tend to have a focusrite EQ on each of my dialogue tracks and when i come across a piece of dialogue that needs a boost I use the gain on the EQ to get it up to a reasonable level. I don't use it to ride the gain over the clip though (a lot more fiddly than faders and with no particular advantage especially as plug in automation isn't as accurate as fader automation), I will just write a set level of gain over a clip and then go back and use the faders for the more subtle level changes needed.

As for compression I dont put a limiter over my Dial aux but i do use some light compression, I tend to leave limiting to my master fader.

key inputs for limting/compressing Music and fx underneath narration? I sometimes do that for adverts and promos but for longform work I dip using seperate fx and music auxes, it gives a much more natural feel to the mix and as minister says it can be a pain getting your attack and release settings right.


HTH
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  #6  
Old 07-06-2006, 08:21 AM
mr.armadillo mr.armadillo is offline
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Default Re: Share some tips and tricks for mixing TV!



[/QUOTE]split compressor?

sidechaining : a compressor monitors an incoming audio signal and when the signal exceeds a given amplitude threshold it reduces the gain accordingly; sidechain processing differentiates between the signal being processed (via the audio inputs)and what the processing circuitry is listening to (via the sidechain inputs). so, you can use a completely different audio signal to reduce the dynamic range of another.


[/QUOTE]

A split compressor with key input does exactly that, but it does not reduce the gain of the whole signal, but only of a specific band, say 500 to 1000 Hz. Guess you guys call that a multiband sidechain compressor. I was just trying to explain that it works more or less like decreasing the gain of an eq band whenever the VO kicks in. Didn't mean to confuse anyone. Anyway, I prefer to draw the eq automations by hand.

Quote:

So, you do the eq automations and then play the part over again to do extra fader volume adjustments?
Yes.
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  #7  
Old 07-06-2006, 09:06 AM
arvid.lind arvid.lind is offline
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Default Re: Share some tips and tricks for mixing TV!

Quote:
don't smash the crap out of stuff!! it sound terrible, it is hard on the ears and does not translate well to TV -- they are going to smash it more. leave it dynamic, but have a high average level....this will ultimate sound louder anyway.

i would be careful in your use of Maxim. to me, it has a nasty upper mid boost that will get even nastier after the broadcast chain.

Hi minister! Great to recieve an answer from you, I always read your posts.
So, what is your average gain reduction when mixing a documentary-style of program? Do you use several compressors, ore just one on the master?

How do you work with keeping the levels correct to the specs, like dialogue from -18 to -10?

I know that I sometimes tend to smash things up a bit while tryin to make every dialogue audible.
Did a documentary series about hockeplayers this spring. That was hard, dealing with all the sudden transients of the hockey arena and most of all, the sounds from the skates.
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  #8  
Old 07-06-2006, 09:36 AM
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minister minister is offline
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Default Re: Share some tips and tricks for mixing TV!

gosh! thanks for the kind words!

average gain reduction? can't say. you know, the old : use your ears thing...not trying to be snide...but it all depends.

look, i do this with music as well as dialogue : automate volume so that it sounds natural, dynamic, yet every syllable is heard. then, i put a compressor on the channel -- usually not a ton of comp., maybe 3-4dB...maybe 6...depends... that feeds the DX (or DIA or DIALOGUE) aux where i have a few secret things and a limiter at the end. not too much Gain Red. here. this in turn feeds the master which has some more secret things and another limiter, again, not too much. ...but, i don't always do this...

i KNOW haw hard it is to deal with DOC audio...and production audio of ALL kinds... and, yeah , if there are SHOTS! and SKATES! it is really tough to navigate around it -- sometimes the volume auto can be tricky (but, i believe this is the fastest way to GR) but that is why we get paid to do this.

as was mentioned, my other hint is : ride your EQ's.

and mr.armadillo -- ah, gotcha. never heard of 'split compressor' -- which does not mean anything, there are a lot of GAPS in my knowledge. i understand what you are driving at. i dunno what the nomenclature is, frequency dependent compression, multiband sidechain ... i have only tried that as a de-esser, never as you've used it. seems like a quick way to automate any EQ i would carve out of the music.
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  #9  
Old 07-07-2006, 12:06 PM
Matt Chan Matt Chan is offline
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Default Re: Share some tips and tricks for mixing TV!

just curious what plugin you are using for the split compressor? the only multiband compressor we have here is the Waves C4 and it doesn't have a sidechain.
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  #10  
Old 07-07-2006, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: Share some tips and tricks for mixing TV!

the DIGI 3 comp has a freq sidechain... not the same as C4... but it is like trad. sidechain for de-essing.
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