Take a moment to just close your eyes and listen to the world around you. If you are in an office, you probably hear people typing and phones ringing. You might hear the drone of the heater or the air conditioner going on in the background. You hear your coworkers. You hear their footsteps and their conversation about working on a particularly nasty bug.
Evan Buist is the creator of needajingle.com and is a freelance audio engineer, sound designer, and composer with experience in both production and post-production environments. He has worked on thousands of projects spanning TVCs, promos, cinema commercials, documentary, animation, radio commercials, short films, corporate videos and even children’s television working with Paramount Pictures, Vodafone, 3 Mobile, The Lifestyle Channel, Nature’s Way, Universal, ABC, Naturopathica, National Geographic Channel and Dreamworks. In this article he talks about the importance of sound design and the impact of the latest.
Mixing vocals could be considered the most important part of your mixing job. For instance, people will tolerate a poor acoustic guitar mix when the vocals shine through. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t put effort into creating an all-around solid mix. My point is that when the vocal mix suffers, everyone notices. How do know your vocal mix was bad? Have you ever heard these complaints; “I couldn’t hear the lead singer,” “I couldn’t understand what they were singing,” or the worst complaint, “they sounded terrible, what happened?”
Making a movie is a never-ending series of compromises, and nothing is as good as the original concept you had in mind. But if you’re really lucky, there’s a moment of alchemy that can happen in the editing room when you put the right piece of music or the right sound effect into the cut. Suddenly something magical happens, and the thing comes to life. You forget about the perfect location you couldn’t secure and the cold your lead actor had on the day you shot the emotional scene. It stops being a maddening litany of disappointments and becomes a movie.