Monday, October 15, 2012

Optimization Of Audio Content

EBU R128, ITU-R BS.1770-2, ITU-R BS.1770-1, ATSC A85

These are important standards set to keep our sound levels consistent with other studios producing sound for film and broadcast. Far too often we take our frustration out on our remotes when a blaring commercial comes on or program material is too quiet. Its not so much the music but the dialog.

Consider the problems a broadcast station has when it gets recordings from a plethora of sources. Without a standard, the operator picks what he or she hears and sets your volume. Most technicians and engineers may not know to set the dialogue level for their analog services to 17 dB Leq (A) below 100 percent modulation for the typical set top boxes. While it is the subjective interpretation by the operator, there are devices we use to measure this phenomenon that give us a way to be consistent in what is truly perceived levels.

The same goes for the theater. There are standards set that every studio needs to conform to when mixing sound for picture. If you want a good sounding audio track, seek out a studio that has the ability to conform to these standards. 

Sometimes a simple adjustment to the mix will correct a poorly mixed film. It is too often that no consideration is given to the sound until it is not there. Don't loose your target audience with a bad mix.

Later I will go into theater standards. ITU and NAB will refer to LKFS values. These are loudness managements needing special metering. This applies more to broadcast (ITU1770-2) or theatrical trailers (TASA).

Friday, August 31, 2012

Michigan Legislature makes "Production Facility Qualification Form"

Does your state have a Production Facility Qualification Form requiring you have 8 workstations, 1 soundstage, 3000 SqFt Contiguous column-free space, and a grid for “shooting” with out a generator?

In 2011 a bunch of Michigan production facilities were sent a letter announcing an amendment to MCL 125.2029h that requires minimums to be certified as a “Qualified Facility” or a “Post-production Facility”. The requirements are so ridiculous that I just had to ask if you have this in your State Legislature?

One very odd requirement is that the “facility” has a minimum of 8 work stations. It doesn’t clarify what a “work station” is. Further it doesn’t specify what the “work station” should be capable of and what software is to be installed? This ambiguity and the state not having anybody qualified to inspect and know what it takes to be a “production facility” leads me to believe my iPhone would qualify as a “work station”. Then that makes 8 for me!

Another requirement is the “Facility” have 3000 square feet of contiguous no pole space. That means K&R post production sound facility with 3000 square feet of sound rooms will not qualify. I have a post in one small storage room. Sad huh?!

Where I really fail to understand the State Legislature’s is the requirement in providing a grid with sufficient built-in electric service to “shoot” without a generator. That is all that is specified. Shoot paint ball? What’s on the grid? wooo! I am a post production Foley, Sound Design, New Music, ADR facility. I never knew a “Post-Production Facility” that does sound, needs a grid.

Of course the Legislature rule mixes as equals "Facilities" and "Post Facilities". I thought they were different and served different purposes.

Please look at links below. I’d like to hear your opinion.
Michigan Ruel
My Letter Recieved

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You Tube Video

I have been all over You Tube Commercials for the last 3 years. Google is putting millions into developing advertising channels. MyISH, WIGS, and AwsomnerssTV are a few that come to mind. It wants to upgrade its content from simple user-generated videos and to lure more viewers and advertising. Already people are watching four billion hours of video on the site per month.

What started to happen is that user generated videos will be considered a necessary burden to bring the big business advertisers in. This will set the video content bar much higher for the typical small business. If you want to do a You Tube pitch, you better hire a professional. You Tube may eventually limit what you can say based on what they consider entertainment and advertisements. That’s free versus paid. You need to visualize your business so others know who you are. That’s what we do at K&R! Better get it in now. You may pay later.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where's the Film Sound Designer Budget

Where are the budgets for proper sound work and design for a motion picture? I think we all would agree that it is as important as the pictures itself. Or maybe not.
When I talk to new budding movie producers I hear the same story. “Ya Ya the sound track is important to my picture”. But when it is time to consider this part of the film, it’s the first place cuts are made. Because it comes as almost last in the line of things to finish in the making of a motion picture, and the bulk of the budget typically got spent on late night pizza and beers, it leaves little to nothing for proper audio treatment. Sound is to support the picture by giving heighten drama, pace and emotions. Not to mention an understandable dialog track. Just like your lead actor, beginning to end, episode to episode, it is the fabric that helps tie the picture together.
Not too long ago I had a film maker explain that he felt his film lost in competition because of the sound track. True as it may be and was, he promised that the next time he would employ a sound designer to take it from stage mike to finished track. I hope it is true. Producers when you look at your movie, could you listen to the sound track without the picture. Now tell me, does what you hear project the image you want to portray in your picture? Please check We are the frugal means by which you can do sound wonders to create a film that has potential for success and shows who you are. Lets talk!