Archive for Post Production

Live Television Mixing

For the last 5 years I have filled my fall Sunday’s with mixing the live television broadcast of Fantasy Zone for DIRECTV Sunday Ticket Football. We’re on the air from 9:55 AM PST until around 5:00 PST with LIVE, game-to-game NFL football with awesome Fantasy football analysis every Sunday regular season game.

During the week I work with the editors mixing and sweetening various pieces that will play out during the Sunday show. I also mix and sound design the RED ZONE show open.

Jimmy Buffett PBS Show Mix

I recently finished up a 5.1 music mix for a Jimmy Buffett PBS television show and DVD release. Edited by Stan Kellam. Production by Albert Spevak of Ambassador Entertainment.

The Dan Patrick Show

The Dan Patrick Show - On Air

I’ve worked on this show for the past five years at the DIRECTV Los Angeles Broadcast Center. It is a very unique show in that Dan and the Danette’s are in a studio in Milford, CT, while the television production is done in Los Angeles. 11 Camera feeds plus audio are fed 3,000 miles to us via a fiber network. The entire production crew, Producer, Director, TD, Video Play Out, Editors, Graphics and Audio all work here – 3,000 miles away! Needless to say the engineering crew have worked out some serious technical issues to make it all work. The show has been a huge success and I’m proud to be part of the very talented crew making it happen everyday.

The show airs Monday through Friday here and on here.

Summer Video Production

Shot and edited this music video of the inaugural Veritas World Junior golf tournament this summer here in southern California. Original music by me also. Edited and color graded in Final Cut Pro X with music produced and mixed in Pro Tools 10.

  • Shot this mostly handheld, with a CANON VIXIA HF G10 at 23.98p.
  • A few shots with an iPhone using the FilMIC PRO app at 24p.
  • Audio recorded with a Sennheiser MKE 400 to the camera and a TASCAM DR-100 MK2
  • Edited in FCPX, 23.98p timeline, 1920 x 1080, ProRes 422
  • Vimeo and YouTube upload transcoded to 720p, x264 encoder CODEC
  • Post-production video and audio at RedNote, Santa Monica, California

Dialog and the Lead Vocal

I recently got a new gig mixing a half-hour TV show on a major cable network. I’ve done three shows so far and the client really likes the way things are sounding. They also seem to be really great people to work for. The production quality of the show is superb which is always inspiration for a great mix. There is a lot of music in the show and they wanted it mixed pretty aggressively. Man, they found the right guy for that! The show is also pretty dense at times with dialog, SFX and music all competing to be heard. But no problem, I’m good at clearing a space or notching out an area for the dialog in productions like this. I constantly use techniques I’ve learned mixing music.

I’ve spent over 30 years making records in the studio. I’ve worked with countless bands and singers. Probably one of the most important things in the music mix is the placement, clarity and overall feel of the lead vocal. It has to sit just right — it has to feel just right. I tend to use quite a bit of dynamic and EQ processing along with extensive automation moves to achieve this. Of course all of this depends on the type of music. If it’s a really driving and dense track, it takes more work to get the vocal in the pocket.

When working on a TV show mix such as this I treat the dialog just like the lead vocal in a music mix. Quite a bit of processing and quite a bit of automation rides in ProTools. I also really work the music tracks the same way — with compression, EQ and A LOT of automation rides. Here’s a timeline of the music tracks for a recent show I did, and you can see the amount of automation moves there are. I’m also automating the EQ for each track. Rarely does anything remain static. To give the show dynamics, emotional impact and clarity you must spend time riding that fader!

ProTools Music Track Automation

When I first started doing more post-production work I felt somewhat intimidated because I had been a ‘music guy’ for so many years. I felt there were audio techniques and skills that were used in working on TV and film that I didn’t know. But I quickly learned otherwise. What I discovered first off was that most post-production editors, sound designers and mixers came from the music industry! I also quickly understood that the expertise I had acquired recording and mixing bands for all those years could be used in post-production mixing. In fact, it was an advantage to have that experience. I’ve since had clients say to me that they preferred someone with my music industry background mixing their TV show.

So for me, and the way I work, there really is no difference between the dialog and the lead vocal.