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One thing I know will be inevitable are fixes from the director, or producer, or even actors/producers in some cases.

How do you guys prepare/go about doing fixes on the dub stage?

Do you bring a separate rig and have a copy of the session to do them?

Do you destructive-punch on your predubs which are on a server that the mix rig is referencing to so that you don't have to relink?

I'll be doing a very time sensitive project very soon and would like to soak in any tips you guys have on the matter.

Thanks a lot in advance!

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2 Answers 2

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One of the most important skills as a supervising sound editor is to be able to decide whether a fix can be done then & there (ie very rapidly without holding up progress) or it should be done off the stage & revisited later (in ten minutes, an hour, a day etc)

For adding fixes during the mix the two crucial aspects for me are:

  1. naming convention
  2. colour coding whether a fix has been mixed in

On VFX heavy films sound editors are constantly working at the same time as the final mix, so you need to have a good naming convention that everyone uses so that you are clear about what version a fix is & who it is from... I also request the timecode to be included in the file name. I never want to have to import whole tracks (Import session data) as that means taking a Protools offline from the mix. And I also do not want to spot to timestamp because if the tracks are full I do not want to spot it on top of existing material. So with a properly named file I can bring it into any of the live PT sessions, place it roughly in sync, verify there is space for it & then nudge it into place, all without stopping playback.

Adding new material to a live session must be done very carefully - you can't go adding new material to a reel without knowing it has been mixed in, or that new material could be accidentally screened to the director etc unmixed. So I use colour coding - everything exisiting is one colour, anything new is bright red until its mixed. I also try to drop markers on every fix until its mixed in, so if its a case of having ten minutes free to zip back & mix in fixes, I can jump to markers & tell the mixer where to locate...

I always have a laptop PT system on the stage with drives with all material from the mix on them, so I can dive in & cut a fix myself offline.... I also have netwrok access to ym whole library.... The laptop is also handy when getting mix notes, for quickly referring to TC points...

I'll cut stems if a fix or replacement is required on the PT playback dubber but never destructively... I also keep all predub source material on hidden tracks on the live PT sessions incase that material needs to be revisited and/or borrowed for other fixes..

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Ryan,

Here's a couple of possible approaches:

  • Have a separate stage rig that provides direct 1-to-1 outputs to the console (best approach if you've made actual predubs);
  • Cut within your session (if you're going virtual)

Be sure you don't destroy any of the original audio or automation when doing your fixes, just in case the director wants to go back to the way it was.

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Okay, cool. Let's say in the pre-dub there is something to fix that I can't cut out of the stem and it has to be re-balanced in the stem session. What's the most efficient way of updating the stem that you've found? –  Utopia May 7 '10 at 22:05
    
If you're conforming the stem and you can't fix it, cut a hole in the stem, provide some fades and/or handles so the mixer has enough pre/post roll to punch in, and then provide the original (also conformed) predubs on another machine. If you need to unwind the predubs back to cut elements, then do the same as above except for the predub you need to unwind; that one goes back to cut elements. [Honestly, if you need to go back that far, you may need to do a separate predub update pass after hours so you can continue mixing the final.] –  Jay Jennings May 7 '10 at 22:35

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