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Hey all So all of my work to this point has been local projects. I was wondering how you all set up remote work. Where you are in one place and director/producers in another.

One question is how do they hear what your doing, do you just print a mix and send that to them and they sync it up? And then talk via phone/skype? Or is there some system lock that can be achieved on both sides so that you can have simultaneous playback while conference calling so its like your there?

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I usually post a mix and they review it if they're not local. Then we sometimes talk about it over the phone but I always request notes with timecode values so I can review their thoughts. I only do audio prints with pops unless there's a specific request for picture to be embedded with it.

I'm not aware of any good way to do conference integration for a mix. I always deliver temp prints though in a channel denomination less than the final to protect the work (usually because final payment isn't completed until they've approved they like it, in which the the printmasters are released following clearance of payment). If they have paid in full though, I'm happy to deliver these temp prints in their native channel format.

I'm open to knowing more about whether there is something more "live" which is possible. Until then though, this is how I've facilitated it.

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I've done a LOT of remote work. I've used the same method that Stavro mentioned of simply sending the audio for them to sync in their edit suite and review, then send me notes. I find it a nice laid back workflow method studio billing time for reviews is taken out of the equation.

I used to work in a place that did remote reviews live via ISDN where we sent the stereo mix to LA and we could also talk normally at the same time via a simple patching system. It's also possible to do the same via IP APT are one company who make such devices - http://www.aptcodecs.com/radio.html

Source Connect (http://www.source-elements.com/source-connect/) make ProTools plugins that do the same job, also via the internet. I've had patchy results but mainly due to bottlenecks appearing somewhere between myself and the other studio and that's the fault of internet infrastructure and nothing else.

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I do a lot of remote work. I find the most difficult is the initial discussion where they have to explain to you in words, on the phone, or in writing, what the brief is. There's a lot of guesswork involved and given that more than 50% of human interaction is non-verbal you can infer what that means. Somewhat naturally chances of getting remote work without actually meeting in person seem to be slim. Not to mention networking to actually bring in work..

Depending on the quality, and how abstract the brief is, your work may be self-explanatory with some correlation to how well it's received. Or it may involve revisions (sometimes many...) that it wouldn't if it was local. I've had occasions where I've had to start entirely from scratch, just because I wasn't physically around to advise otherwise on a poor decision that was to ruin things down the line. For branding/corporate video stuff you may well run into problems where client and CD want different things and not being able to sit down with both turns into huge pain very quickly.

Clear delivery requirements are essential and you should assume that video editors cannot sync to anything other than Frame 1. Also they will do incredible things to your audio if you don't double-check that it's OK. Say an export at 24kHz stereo goes to client and such..

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I haven't done remote work other than cut a few FX for people at times but a few thoughts:

  1. Never underestimate the importance of face to face meetings. If it was a big project I'd almost pay for my own airfare to go meet for the initial meetings/spot session & reviews at least, just to establish common ground etc...

  2. There are tools created primarily for VFX use but that would work well for sound reviews, which allow two people in different locations to play the same Quicktime movie, and both control it, add notes etc... One of them is called cineSYNC http://www.cinesync.com

One of the biggest concerns would be verifying the monitor system at the directors end - getting notes for sound based on someone listening on a laptop, or with headphones would be not so helpful...

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I generally always work in the way you suggest; bouncing draft mixes, attaching them to movie and sending for the clients feedback/approval. This is the case for both our local and non-local clients. I like to think that this gives the client the opportunity to review the work at their own pace and get back to you with well considered points(!). Whilst clients may call over skype/phone to discuss feedback I will often ask them to summarise their points over a quick email so that there is documented direction that you can refer back to.

Don't get me wrong - I totally recommend meeting new clients for the first time face to face where possible, but once you are well acquainted I would think a meeting/conference call for every interim delivery would become an inconvenience and you would never get any work done (especially with multiple projects on the go). I would only say that you should have a good system in place in terms of how you receive and deliver media/information so that you never miss a trick.

In any case I often find there is more than just one client in the chain of command (sometimes in different locations) that need to listen to the work, and to organise conference calls/online listening sessions with these people every time a new mix is prepared would be unfeasible. Then of course you have time differences to consider.

I work alongside two other guys, and in fact we often work together from different locations (within the UK) and therefore also communicate over Skype. We haven't run into any problems yet and are always firing stuff back and forth to each other and then the client over email and Skype. The internet is obviously awesome for expanding your business, but I wonder what it does for my real-life social skills!

In terms of solutions for simultaneous playback, I have nothing! Except maybe using soundflower to link your DAW output to your skype input? But that only gives control at your end and will probs have fluctuating quality - but does mean you can put plug ins on your voice when you ring your mates up :)

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