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Topic: Profile of Fear Trailer, please comment on the mix

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  1. #1

    Profile of Fear Trailer, please comment on the mix

    Hi,

    I have the pleasure to write and produce the music for a 90-minutes-movie called 'Profile of Fear'. I received a first version of the film just before christmas and am in the process of scoring since then (and will take some more weeks for sure).

    A first version of the trailer is ready now and I would appreciate your comments on the mix. Is is loud enough? Any more comments?

    http://www.profileoffear.com/pof_gallery.html

    Libraries:
    GPO for all soft passages
    NOTION plus SAM Horns for loud passages
    End: live violins plus G-Town flute
    Several softsynths

    Comments are welcome
    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  2. #2

    Re: Profile of Fear Trailer, please comment on the mix

    Wonderful stuff!!

    I listened to the music through my studio monitors (Event Trias).

    I liked the pacing, the variety of sounds, and so forth. The music pulled back and got softer at the right times... the few spots of total musical silence added just the right amount of focus (and, hence, drama) to the actors' conversation...

    There was only one teeny tiny thing that I did not love:

    ... the three brass stabs (pun intended): "ba-dum-BUM" during the scene where we are following someone's POV as he walks through the library stacks, followed immediately by a tight shot of his face/glasses.

    Those three (otherwise very dramatic) notes sounded extremely ... synthy... and rather 'lightweight' when considering the anxiety that the visuals are clearly trying to provoke. I would think that a broader orchestral brass section, perhaps underscored by one or more tympani hits, or something, would get that particular point across more powerfully.

    Other than that... I'd say that your music was both appropriate and effective!!
    — alanb

    ...........................

    http://alanb.org

    http://www.myspace.com/arsperspicuus

  3. #3

    Re: Profile of Fear Trailer, please comment on the mix

    Alan,

    thank you very much for your comments. Since I do not have yet monitors that would fit my needs they are very much appreciated!


    Hannes
    All your strings belong to me!
    www.strings-on-demand.com

  4. #4

    Re: Profile of Fear Trailer, please comment on the mix

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannes_F
    Alan,thank you very much for your comments. Since I do not have yet monitors that would fit my needs they are very much appreciated!
    Glad to help, even if only a little... I've very quickly realized how important it is to get the feel of how a piece sounds on lots of different peoples' systems...

    ...as it is I have three here (studio monitors, semi-decent computer speakers and home stereo) and each time I listen to one of my own bits of music on them I hear three completely different pieces, LOL...

    I often cringe when I think that people are being exposed to my music for the first time on little computer speakers -- although, I suppose, that is still preferable to their not hearing it in the first place...

    Another possible wrinkle, of course, is introduced when a website is streaming an .mp3 or other lossy format file of unknown bitrate (which, by definition, will be missing a noticeable bit of high-freq information), which will color the mix at least to some degree...

    Still, if it sounds good there, you know that you are headed in the right direction!!!
    .
    .
    .
    — alanb

    ...........................

    http://alanb.org

    http://www.myspace.com/arsperspicuus

  5. #5

    Re: Profile of Fear Trailer, please comment on the mix

    My only suggestion is more reverb on all of the brass. Also the brass doesn't really sound like brass, more like an analog synth. The crescendos do not have enough bite. Do you have any samples of actual cresendos that you could use? I think more verb would help sell the brass illusion. Not neccesarily verb with a long decay, but something to get it into a space of some kind.

    Otherwise good job.

  6. #6

    Re: Profile of Fear Trailer, please comment on the mix

    I agree with everything Alan and Von have said so far,
    especially the recommendation to address the brass.
    There is also a problem with the reverb on at least the strings,
    at the very end of many of the phrases, the volume is dropped very abruptly which is OK, but the reverb of those instruments should be left to breath. My guess is that the Strings have their own reverb, and it is assigned to the same group master as the strings.... the master that is being abruptly chopped. Just something I am hearing.

    If the strings are all grouped to a stereo group master, it would be better to use a stereo aux track to insert the reverb in, as opposed to the actual strings group master. Then assign a stereo aux send from the group master to the stereo aux where the reverb lives, this way you can freely use the strings' group master and the aux send of that group would be post fader, leaving the reverb tail to not be clipped. I apologize if some of that was redundant or confusing.

    Dan


    Congratulations on this job Hannes!

    Dan

  7. #7

    Re: Profile of Fear Trailer, please comment on the mix

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregoir
    Good competent job Hannes! With respect to the above commentators, as far as the brass sounds go, I suspect that from a director/intended audience point of view, the orchestral authenticity of the sounds may not be all that relevant, particularly in the final mix under the dialogue,etc.
    If you ask me, the music is pretty exposed in this trailer.

  8. #8

    Re: Profile of Fear Trailer, please comment on the mix

    Hannes,

    You asked about the mix. I think the weakest part of the mix is the dialog. I don't know if you mixed it, or if somebody else did, but it sounds simply scooped - too much fundamental at the bottom and too much lip noise at the top. There needs to be more content around 1200 Hz and possibly 2400 Hz. The first frequency is important for consonants, and the second is important for the character of the voice. I found some of the characters to be difficult to understand - and that wasn't because of their accents or because the music or sfx were too loud.

    Regarding the music, I think the weakest part is when it feels cut off without reverb trails and then is silent for a few cuts. I think trailers are usually more wall-to-wall.

    Overall, I think your sound could use more bottom end and a bit more reverb.

    When I mix dialog and music I like to do it as follows:

    80 Hz - Boost the music a bit. Shelf down the dialog.

    300 Hz - Cut the music a bit. Possible boost in dialog (but not so much fundamentals as in the current mix)

    600 Hz - Cut the dialog here to make room for the music.

    1200 Hz - Cut the music, boost the dialog for consonants and understanding

    2400 Hz - If you don't have people with similar sounding voices, you can cut the dialog here to make room for the music. If multiple actors have similar voices, you might need to boost the dialog so we can tell them apart. In the second case, cut the music a bit.

    4800 Hz+ - You can boost both the music and dialog as needed to give them air - or cut them to avoid noise. Don't worry about anything past 15000 Hz. That's just noise.

    I find that with this technique I can run the music/sfx a bit louder while keeping the dialog clear and powerful.

    BTW, I like your musical approach with this and agree with many of the specific comments above.

    Congratulations on this gig. I hope the film turns out artistically and financially, well, awesome!

  9. #9

    Re: Profile of Fear Trailer, please comment on the mix

    Jon, I think Hannes was mainly interested in the music portino of the mix.
    If he is interested in the dialog also, you are right, I agree about the fidelity of the voices in the mix too.
    As far as the exact frequencies you have indicated for specific things, the exact frequencies would be dictated by the sound of the recorded dialog. But I understand you have posted a general idea of how you work.

    Just trying to add more help or encouragment towards a polished piece of work.
    Good points Jon!
    Dan

  10. #10

    Re: Profile of Fear Trailer, please comment on the mix

    I should have commented that I got those frequencies for mixing dialog from an article by Jay Rose. I've found them to work well in practice as well.

    And, Dan, you're right that it varies by speaker to some degree - as well as on the recording and the space.

    Of course different speakers in different moods will have different fundamentals. And the frequency of the "character" tone will also vary. My understanding, however, is that the consonant frequencies are fairly consistent from speaker to speaker.

    Anyway, I use that frequency map as my starting point, and when the deadlines are really short, I just throw those EQ profiles at the wall, and they seem to stick!

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