Hello everyone

Please could I get some feedback on the clip with suggestions for improvements for the sound?

Link - http://vimeo.com/19744059

Thanks and I look forward to the replies.


6 Answers 6


it seems like some offscreen sounds could punctuate the grey skinny character and that would help


It's a fairly simple scene but I think you did a good job. I couldn't hear any of your edits except for one of the last lines "ridiculous." Did you try and remove the hum? There are plug ins that can do that for you, or you can use a spectral analysis plug in and reduce the frequency range.

The panning door sound was pretty cool, I thought it worked very well. It may be a bit loud but that's just my opinion.

Overall the dialog was smooth and mixed up from the backgrounds. I might mix the BG's down just a bit but, again, that's just my personal taste. Nice work!

  • @Dan - Listening back maybe the sound of the door when it shuts is a little loud. With the hum both yourself and Sonsey have pointed out, I will look into it, thanks. Feb 9, 2011 at 18:57

I agree... overall very good. A few things I thought of... mostly really fine detail work.

I probably would have hit the door opening at the beginning (on the street) very subtly - yes you wouldn't hear it in real life, but it helps sell the reality. Same with a little bit of street BG. Of course that might be a director's decision too...

I didn't think the BG's were too loud, but the dish/glass layers felt too close - sounded like it was right at the table with them. Needs a bit of EQ and reverb to put it back in the room. And the crowd, to me, seemed a bit big for the scene (too many people for the space that we see). Again those may have been directors decisions.

I agree with Chris - having the sound of the character scratching the card when he puts his head down, but before we cut to the CU of the card itself would have been good.

On my big system, there was a definite sub rumble (super low, like 40-60hz )going on during the dialog - not annoying, but there. Not something that would be noticed on most systems, but someone with a well tuned sub might hear it. It's also possible it came from the encoding to vimeo.

Finally, a little more foley/cloth stuff would really help bring it to life. For example when the main guy sits down, we don't hear cloth or a chair squeak. These are the little things that really help bring sound into life...

Well done on the Dialog... nice and even overall. At the end of the day, in a short like this, it's all about two people talking, so dialog is truly king, and you served it well.

  • @Sonsey - Thanks for the great feedback, there is cloth movements there so I will push that higher in the mix. Thanks for pointing the rumble out I have no sub with my monitors so it is maybe why I haven't noticed anything. I will work on the points and let you know how I get on. :) Feb 9, 2011 at 18:54
  • Come to think of it, I put in some traffic noise which I only left in the low frequencies it could be that? Feb 9, 2011 at 22:15
  • Could be... that was my first thought - but it only happens when the characters are speaking.
    – Sonsey
    Feb 11, 2011 at 2:10

Nice job; good work fitting all that ADR (it is totally ADR, right? - at least for the bigger guy).

I'm going to be straightforward here, a few points:

  • Both characters sounded a little bit boxy, particularly the bigger guy. Sounded like you only had access to a small booth, maybe? A little bit of notch eq might help bring that down a little. Also, it depends on the style you're going for, but i felt a little more perspective on the characters (making their voices less present, perhaps with a touch of reverb) would have made the ADR seem more like it's coming from their mouths. For me, right now, it feels like it's sitting on top of their lips, if that makes sense.

  • As another way of selling the ADR, you could record and really push some foley. Clothing moves and bigger foley spots for character movements would go a long way. Also, you laid a great atmos, but perhaps you could make it a little more dynamic and bring out certain elements such as people moving chairs, walking, an espresso machine, stuff like that.

  • Overall, it seemed a little bit too clean, but that's more personal taste than anything. Little imperfections and aural details can help to sell a setting, as well as affect the audience's perception of time. For example, an awkward silence feels longer than a pause in dialogue punctuated by a car pass from outside, or someone dropping a fork. Although having said that, a fork drop can make a fantastic awkward moment; it all depends on context and timing.

It seems like the biggest problem with the ADR is performance, but that's not down to you; sync is good. I hope this doesn't sound too negative, you've done a great job at cutting the ADR and creating an atmos track.

  • @Roger - Thanks for the feedback, the ADR is tricky, there is still one around 38 seconds which I've found extremely difficult to cut up the dialog to fit the film. I am editing bits based on feedback from this thread, will post the changes soon. Feb 11, 2011 at 17:10
  • @Adrian No worries, look forward to hearing it. Not to point fingers, but i really think the thing that lets the ADR down most is the performance (common for short films). Some fine mixing will bring it up a few notches though. Feb 11, 2011 at 23:27

I agree with Roger.

I think you should try and find the boxy resonance and notch eq it away. And add some short, ugly reverb, to make it feel more like you hear the ADR resonating in the cafe.

I really need some foley. He flicks the scratch card, as he enters the cafe and sits down. He needs some footsteps, chair noise and cloth sounds throughout the scene.

I think the background noise is too smooth for me. It sounds like there's a big crowd in there, but from the outside it looks like a pretty small cafe. I know the crowd is not loud, but to me it sounds like 20 people chatting far away in a big room, I think it would be better with 2 or 3 people closer to the table. The music sounds pretty good, perhaps the reverb is a bit too long.

It would be nice with some car passbys, perhaps a bus.

You could also have a cappuccino machine in the cafe.

It would also be nice if you build up a background sound for the exterior shot, with footsteps, the door opening and city sounds.

I think the ADR is generally really good, there are some places, where you could edit it so it would be more in sync with the picture. It's not much, just to make it spot on. I usually listen to the production sound while syncing up the ADR, and then I cut and stretch the syllables of the ADR until it fits the production sound. I don't know what to do about the sentence at 0:42 where he stutters or mumbles, perhaps you can generate a credible stutter from an alternative take.

I think you are good and you have done a great job syncing the ADR for this scene!

  • @Morten - Thanks for the feedback and the compliments. I have recorded a coffee machine and implemented that, there were car passbys but they were at quite a low frequency, I have boosted the lower mids and it sounds clearer now. The sentence starting at 36 seconds is the main problem, time stretching the words makes it sound horrific but he speaks so quickly. Feb 11, 2011 at 17:13

Right, I have uploaded the final bounce down. Many thanks for all of your feedback I feel it is definitely improved from the previous bounce down. I've done as much as I can given the time restraints and technical knowledge. Let me know what you think. Thanks

Link - http://www.vimeo.com/19744059

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