Guest Lecture – Howard Young

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 09.54.47

Hull might seem like an unlikely place to set up a successful audio post-production company, but that’s exactly what Howard Young of Engine7 has done.

After studying an intensive sound design course at Full Sail in Orlando, and gaining some valuable industry experience at post-production houses in the States, Howard returned to his hometown of Hull and began a career in local radio. He soon used his contacts here and developed what is now a very successful company providing many different aspects of audio for various media.

Engine7’s clients are based mainly in the local area and come with a wide range of needs – from online explainer videos, to sound design for rides and attractions, to corporate work, to radio ad voice-overs. Some of this work might not seem the most glamorous but it still requires great creativity, technical skill and the ability to work closely with clients to build up a trusting relationship.

Howard emphasised this in his very interesting and enjoyable lecture, and gave the students a fantastic insight into a diverse portfolio of work and the daily activities of running a media business.

Cutting X-Factor – on AVID with multiple soundtracks

X FACTOR 2014

VT Editors, often have to wrestle with a huge amount of sound information. Especially on shows that have discreet microphones all over the place – such as the X Factor.
Editor Janci Kovic recently did this screengrab of his final timeline for a Bootcamp Episode of X Factor. This was bootcamp the episode after auditions.

Having the ability to cut off words, change the order of what judges are saying and soloing the backstage reactions at the same time was very helpful to get the story done.

Audio was recorded and captured on STEINBERG’S Nuendo Live
AVID TIMETINE for X Factor

THE AUDIO TRACKS SHOWN INCLUDE:
Jury 4ch’s, crowd 2ch’s, singers port, mic and his instrument 3ch’s, band 12ch’s, backstage with moderator 3ch’s, stage mix 2ch’s, music 6ch’s, sfx 4ch’s, vo and other ports.

THE VIDEO was recorded on QUADRUS

 

‘Dubbing Doctors’ – with BBC’s Richard Hastings-Hall

Richard Hastings-Hall visited Audio Production level 2 students today to talk about ‘dubbing mixing’, in particular mixing for medium budget daytime drama and the technical and creative constraints that working on shows like this can have. They are often handled very differently to other dramas, documentaries and television series etc.

For example the directors of these daytime dramas are not paid to be present at the final mixing session – it’s only the Exec Producer who signs off the mix.
Richard Hastings-HallRichard brought his Pyramix set-up (made by Emerging Technologies) with him which sadly did have some technical issues – but this was a good example of how ‘anything that can go wrong – will go wrong’. A thankyou must go to Luke Johnston who showed his skill in drive re-mapping!.

Some students found it reassuring that it wasn’t ‘just them’

Richard mentioned metering and loudness, and the need for good adherence to technical standards.
To find out more about the BBC delivery requirements look here

Richard revealed that often with quick turn around drama shows like Doctors – the sync sound recordings are not always perfect. the crew often doesn’t have time to go again. So very often

The dubbing team are left to ‘fix it in post’. Alternative lines of dialogue are hunted down from the rushes, smoothing techniques are used and generally the pressures are such that all this must be done in one 12 hour session. No foley ar ADR sessions are possible.

“In Doctors we don’t have time for foley sessions, so we have to be very resourceful when it comes to our use of time. Much of what we do is fixing problems”

Louise Wilcox, another dubbing mixer was featured in an article in the Institute of Professional Sound Website which may be of interest

 

doctors-thumb-430x243-81016

On another occasion during a Jane Austin themed episode he went overboard on a fight scene and had to remix it due to a topical news event which happened close to transmission.

Richard also talked about Brinkburn Street for BBC, which presented some unusual sound dillemas, as it was set in both the present day and the 1930’s so sometimes there were horses and carts outside the houses and sometimes jet engines and traffic. See iPLayer

Richard has been a dubbing mixer for over 20 years and has mixed 717 episodes of Doctors. He is currently freelance, based in Nottingham.

His IMdB page is here 

pyramixFind out more about Pyramix here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Lecture – Susan Pennington

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 14.51.33

 

This month’s Level 3 guest lecture was by Susan Pennington, Supervising Sound Editor at Spool.

As many of out students hope to work in audio post-production after they graduate this year, Susan’s lecture was both hugely enjoyable and very useful indeed. Drawing from her own wealth of experience, she shed light on working in the industry with particular focus on the most common means; that of freelance work.

She clarified the various team roles and workflows within audio post and stressed the importance of communication between them. She discussed many of the creative aspects of her job as well as some of the more technical requirements such as TV delivery specifications.

For me, it was most fascinating to hear about the relationship between her role (overseeing the full team) and the film director. As someone who has worked closely with Shane Meadows and Paddy Considine, this certainly revealed how demanding her job can be!