Hello all.

In few weeks we will start a student short film production. This short film will be a diploma-work for both director and DOP. As for me, it's my first work, which will be mixed in 5.1. My job basically is everything except re-recording mixing, I will be doing production sound, sfx recording, editing and so on. Everything I would be able to get my hands on. So I'm here to ask you, more experienced people, what should i pay more attention to during production, sfx recording and editing? How much should my work be different on a film, that will be mixed in 5.1, than the one mixed in stereo?

I would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks to everyone in advance.

3 Answers 3


You might consider making a couple of LFE tracks, but only after talking with your mixer about it. When I mix 5.1 I prefer to completely seperate the LFE from the other SFX, this way I can simply add more body by just touching one fader. Furthermore it might be interesting to see in what parts of the story a complete surround sound would be interesting and how you will achieve that. I love having surround recordings when I'm mixing 5.1. Recordings in Double MS, Surround B-format, the Williams surround set up, or simply doubling stereo recordings. It'll give you a more rich sound field in the mix.

Good luck and have fun!

  • Hey! Thank you for your response. I'm aware of using surround panning to enhance emotional consistency of some scenes. How crucial is capturing bg's and ambiences in surround? I was planning to record the in simple stereo, because i lack the gear. And one more thing, could you tell me please, what kind of processing do you use for your LFE channel? Which plugins do you often use as inserts for these channels?
    – Anton B.
    Feb 14, 2012 at 11:24
  • It's not crucial to get the ambiences in surround while recording. You can try doubling the stereo track, one stereo track for the front stereo and one stereo track for the surround stereo. This will give a bit richer surround image than simply pan one stereo track around the room. For the LFE I basically use two lowpass filters. I use the Sonnox Oxford EQ 'cause they have a really good lowpass with 36 dB per octave. It's important to make sure your LFE rerecord at the end doesn't have any audio above the 120 hZ, because some theaters don't have their subwoofer filtered so well, and then Feb 14, 2012 at 15:42
  • suddenly you'll hear all kinds of stuff that wasn't there in your pretty, well calibrate, mixingspace. Feb 14, 2012 at 15:43

Hey Anton! First of all, I like to hear that you're doing both the editing and production recording. Most of the smaller projects I work on I prefer to be controlling all aspects of the audio. Since you're the man with the mic on set, be sure to roll 30 sec of "room tone" after each set-up. This will be your go-to effect when recreating the scene in your mix. When you get to post production, break up you edit schedule like a film shoot. Schedule a few days for sound effects recording, a few days for any necessary ADR and set a date for completing the edit. This will allow you to focus on each step and not get overwhelmed by the work load. Take a look at http://bit.ly/post_sound_basics for a detailed workflow. -Good Luck


Be a bit more generous when cutting BGs and SFX. Your tracks might sound cluttered when you cut them in stereo but being able to throw things around in 5.1 opens it right up. If it still becomes cluttered then your mixer can just throw the fader down.

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