1-Studio

How to Record Foley like a PRO (4 Steps)

How to Record Foley like a PRO (4 Steps)

First of all if you don’t remember what foley was and you need to take a peek, do it here. In here I cover what foley is and where in the process of audio post-production lies exactly.

Well, let’s suppose you are about to begin the foley process of your film and it’s the first time you go around it and you don’t know where o start. Ok, don’t stress out, in here you will find a pretty decent guide on how to start as soon as you finish reading this post.

Step 1

Get your gear together.

What you will need essentially is:

  • A PC that is capable of running smoothly Pro Tools or any other sound editing software. This is essential when doing foley as you will be playing the movie and recording simultaneously.
  • A mixing table or a pre amp that is connected to your PC. You will control through this device the amount of gain your output signal is carrying.
  • An XLR cable. This will connect your mixing table/preamp to your mic.
  • A microphone. For this specific case of recording foley, that means recording extra audio for the already recorded audio on set, what you really want is that the audio that you are recording on the post-production phase resembles as closely as possible the audio that the boom operator picked up on set. This way you prevent the audio from post differ too much to the sound of the dialogue tracks recorded on set.
  • A mic stand. This is pretty cheap and you can find easily on the internet.

I leave you here the link to the mic stand, the mic, the mixing table and every piece of gear we used for the film DOPPEL. But the more you can expend in better gear, the better.

Step 2

Find a safe acoustic environment in where you will create all the sounds for foley.

You have essentially two basic options when it comes to this point:

  • Find someone that is willing to offer you that already treated space. (This is least likely option)
  • Create a safe acoustic environment that will become your new foley studio. For that it’s key that you have an understanding of how sound waves propagate and try to kill any sound reflections coming from the walls of the room you want to do the foley process.

This is a video in which I cover how you can create your own home studio.

Step 3

Get your Pro Tools session ready.

For that I here leave you guys a video that covers all the steps necessary from having an inexistent organisation to being organised like PRO inside your new Pro Tools session.

Step 4

Record your sounds for each and every object/prop, movement and footsteps of your characters for your movie.

In Pro Tools it’s dead easy to record sounds for foley for your film.

You just need to import your video to the new session you’ve created inside Pro Tools and hit the recording button on the track you want to record and hit the recording button sitting on top of your timeline in Pro Tools.

Here there is a visual explanation of what I am talking about…

Things to take into consideration before hitting the record button: how to set your gain for recording and knowing when to apply effects to your audio clips.

How to set your gain for recording it’s dead easy but difficult to guess if you are not really into audio.

Here I leave you guys a post in which I talk about how to set your gain for recording.

In short, what you want is for your output signal to be around -12dB (peaking), that way you have enough room for the audio not to peak at 0dB. You don’t want to set your gain to high because you will get distorsion. And neither you want to set your gain too low because you will get pink noise coming in from your mixer and your mic (from almost any device that it’s standing between the sound you want record and your PC.

There are many videos on the web on how to apply effects to your clips but the golden rule for audio is: “the less you touch, the better”.

But if you are compelled to applying effects to your audio clips I strongly recommend that you get a high fidelity audio system (may that be a really good pair of headphones or two awesome speakers). Either way, before applying any effects you need to know that your audio system is giving you a completely flat response and it’s not colouring your bases or your highs.

If you want more information on how to cope with the audio post-production process here I leave you a link to my personal post-production playlist of youtube where you will find everything discussed above and tons of useful information. Also, in here you will find professional foley artists and audio engineers recording sounds for feature length films and series! 

Hope this was useful and see you guys next time!

PLAYLIST POST by ALE FITO

Pro-Tools-12-750×400
ProMixingRevised_1200x675
1-Studio
PrettyLIghts
premiere-audio-screen
ProTools_Overview_Main
PrettyLIghts

Post-Production Audio: What ORDER to follow? (Step by Step Guide)​

Post-Production Audio: What ORDER to follow? (Step by Step Guide)

One of the most important things when planifying the post process of a feature film is what ORDER is the most efficient to follow of them all.

In here we will talk about which is the most common order for audio post-production:

  • Dialogue editing
  • ADR (Automated Dialogue Recording)
  • Sound Design
  • Foley
  • Music composition and editing
  • Mixing

Dialogue Editing

At this stage, what you want to do is edit your whole project in Premiere Pro or whatever video editing software you have at your disposal, sync the good audiio to the good takes and move on with the process of audio editing in a more specialised software than Premiere like Pro Tools or Audition.

If you have trouble with how to cope with this stage of the process and making the transition from Premiere to Pro Tools, check out this post where I cover in depth how to do just that!

ADR

ADR stands for Automated Dialogue Recording.

It makes reference to all of the pieces of dialogue that have to be recorded in a safe acoustic environment like a sound studio where actors come and perform their lines that the boom operator didn’t really take on set. This includes all of the lines of dialogue that are messed up ambient noise like a car passing by or a truck.

As well, all of the audio clips of audio recorders, radios, speakers or whatever device that was supposed to be playing on set and wasn’t so as not spoil the dialogue recording of the characters, all of these dialogue audio clips will be recorded in the same safe acoustic environment described before. Later you will make them sound as if they were coming from a speaker in the mixing stage.

Sound Design

This is the sound process of creating audio effects for the picture.

The Person in charge of this stage is the sound designer, who will record all of the wild tracks, background noises of the picture and any special sound effects.

At this stage what the sound designer will record on field, will do heavy processing of that audio and add electronic synthesis (all of this if needed).

Foley

At this stage the audio engineer (at the mixing table) and the foley artist (in a safe acoustic environment, probably a foley studio) they both will create all of the sounds of the picture that the directional mic (the boompole) didn’t get because it was focused on picking up the dialogue on set.

These types of sounds include:

  • Objects / Props: (From a sword to a phone) essentially every object inside the scene that our character picks up or interacts with in someway.
  • Movement: typically the movement of the character’s clothes (these include trousers, jackets, pulls, etc.)
  • Steps: every character has a different pair of shoes, different height, and different weight, therefore their steps should be different from one another.

All of the sounds above described are afterwards synched with the picture so that they are BANGING SYNCHED! This is often achieved by replicating the movement and actions of the characters as well as possible and afterwards the audio engineer will cut and edit these audio clips in a program like Pro Tools so that it is actually banging synched.

Here I leave you guys a video in which you see the foley process of a professional foley studio, step by step for the “Night Manager”

VIDEO: FOLEY PROCESS FROM FEET FIRST FOLEY STUDIO

Music Composition and Editing

For each movie or project this process will be different.

For instance, Hans Zimmer will need an orchestra and a very expensive hall for the orchestra to play in and record the drums of the “Dark Knight”. Others like Vangelis will only need a more or less safe acoustic room where he can compose and edit the synthetic music (that goes straight to his computer) to create the original soundtrack of “Blade Runner”.

So it depends on what kind of instruments you want to include in your soundtrack and the implications of each choice (if they are acoustic or synthetic instruments)…

I strongly recommend to investigate first which are the instruments that fit best your project and what budget you have in mind.

(DISCLAIMER: Most free pluggins for orchestral sounds for Pro Tools or any other audio software are trash. You will need to PAY if you want to include a VST pluggin for strings)

Mixing

All audio is then mixed!

This means balanced.

At this stage you set the appropriate volume of each track and audio clip and EQ if needed. Then you have master volume controls that allow you to set the overall volume of the dialogue tracks, the foley tracks, the music and background noise…

Mixing is an extensive topic that we cover in a seperate post that you will find in the POST category of the BLOG page.

IN FACT, IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ANY OF THESE STAGES OF AUDIO POST PRODUCTION, WE COVER EVERY BIT OF THE PROCESS IN THE “POST” CATEGORY.

GO AHEAD AND CHECK IT OUT!

Hope all of this information was useful to you and see you next time!

Pro-Tools-12-750×400
ProMixingRevised_1200x675
1-Studio
PrettyLIghts
premiere-audio-screen
ProTools_Overview_Main
_103051128_aiface2

How will the Future of Story look like? (A.I. Theory)

How will the Future of Story look like? (A.I. Theory)

In a world dominated by machines and artificial intelligence and where the only affordable and real escape is virtual reality, story would have then changed forever.

The old structures of storytelling used for centuries will no longer be useful as the gamer will spend most of his time in some sort of virtual reality.

It is very different to create a story that lasts two hours from a story that lasts two months. Now imagine if you had to create a story that will have to last years…

This is where AI (Artificial Intelligence) comes in.

If you had to create stories for players that would want to play for years in a total immersive environment, the most probable thing is that you will develop a mechanism to make that sustainable.

Therefore, the most probable thing that were to happen if we had the technology (that we eventually will have) is to let A.I. continue the story. As it is a machine that understands as well as you how the story that has been created works. And maybe it is capable of making better than his creators.

It is just a matter of time that A.I. takes up most of the work. Transportation accounts for around 12% of the economy and now, with the invention of autonomous cars, it is just a matter of time that all of those workers in the transportation sector face unemployment.

Imagine a world where A.I. could be implemented in any area of our lives, for any kind of work. And not only that, but machines would do the job 100 times better than us…

What then?

My guess is that, although this can cause dangerous and tense situations for our society, we will manage to overcome them. Because we have always done it and because we will keep doing it. It is in our nature to survive no matter how tense or dangerous the situation.

So in the end, my guess is that, although well-being will be as good as never before, most people will have a lot of time to kill. This will translate into more time spent in some sort of entertainment. My guess is virtual reality.

And the experience of virtual reality will be way better than watching a movie. In fact, watching a movie would be “vintage” or an old thing that we or our kids used to do but our grandchildren do not really find it cool anymore.

Virtual reality will be the new cool. It will be the thing.

That’s where I think stories are headed.

Storytellers will abandon cinema and Netflix series for the sake the new, better and more profitable market that will dominate the world: virtual reality.

All of these topics and matters I study them in depth in my new book that I am currently working on. So if you are interested on what my take is on what will happen and how storytellers will have to adapt and focus on to still be ahead of the curve, stay tuned for when it’s going to come out!

See you next time!

es
_103051128_aiface2
440px-Competence_Hierarchy_adapted_from_Noel_Burch_by_Igor_Kokcharov.svg
Superficial
cafeteria
Onda