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Hello everyone,

I am working on the sounddesign for a movie and I am kind of stuck with a dialogue scene where two characters are talking through a slightly opened appartment door. In theory, as perspective changes back and forth, so should acoustics, right?. If the door was wide open it wouldn't matter that much, but in this case it's kind of a crass change of perspective while the characters are very close to each other.
I managed to get a pretty decent setup for the "hallway over shoulder shot" but once the camera shoots from inside the appartment I can't quite manage to hit the sweet spot combining (or reducing) hallway and appartment room and eq's. Maybe it's just me, but just swapping between the two feels very distracting on the sound level, which is of course the opposite of what good sounddesign should do.
The same question goes pretty much for the subtle backgrounds that I built, but haven't added yet. Noisy neighbours, a barking dog, "bad neighbourhood" sounds, all that kind of stuff.

Any Ideas?

  • Oh and it's a 5.1 Mix btw. – Geronimo Jan 25 '13 at 12:35
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if the scene has lots of cuts i'd be inclined to keep the background stuff consistent and only change the dialogue reverb for the perspective shifts.

  • I should try that, maybe it masks the dialogue in a way that the differences don't bother me anymore. Would you add some reverb of the other room when the person in that room is speaking? There is dialogue from both characters in both perspectives. – Geronimo Jan 25 '13 at 12:35
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Hey Geronimo,

why don't you experiment with re-amping the dialogue track through a slightly open door. Even if the result isn't usable, you'll at least have a very solid reference that you can aim for with regards to verb and eq.

speaker in room A -> half open door -> mono mic in room B from camera perspective

alternatively you could shoot an impulse response with that setup and use a convolution verb if you love the effect but need more control.

seems like the straightest path...

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Without seeing/hearing the particular situation:

In general, I'd avoid trying to "fake" anything real with plug-ins, especially when it comes to spaces. Getting a real world recording of a particular situation will be a lot better and it will take considerably less fiddling around with a DAW that probably doesn't lead to anything.

So check Rene's suggestion of remicing the dialogue track, taken that the dialogue track has been already recorded (from a wrong perspective).

  • In general, that sounds like a good idea. The problem is that I neither have the equipment, nor a decent-sounding place to do such a recording. The material I have was recorded on location, whith the disadvantage of having the sound of an artificial location setup in a much larger room. The recordings are pretty dry and sound pretty good without anything added. They just lack the characteristics of the "in film" situation. The movie is a sort of Neo noir/thriller/serial killer film so I wanna go for a bit more over the top sound than usual. A narrow unpleasant hallway and a shabby appartment.. – Geronimo Jan 29 '13 at 3:38

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