The Sound Process on Transformers 3D

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I just came across this interesting video on a newsletter that I get. Hearing, seeing and being apart of the finished product is why I got into the Film Industry. I love movies, and good stories. To me, sound can make a movie either really good, or really bad. If you ever watched a movie with bad sound, you know what I mean. I am not sure how many people are aware, but there are sort of two stages the sound on a movie/tv goes through. There is Production Sound, which is what I do, and Post Production Sound, which is what they are showing in the video. Both are integral to making a movie, or TV show ultimately fun to watch, and enjoyable.

SoundWorks Collection: The Sound of Transformers: Dark of the Moon from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

Production Sound is what is gathered while doing the actual filming, which is usually carried out by 2-3 people crews. It will include all dialouge and also some basic aspects of what will eventually become sound effects ie. doors shutting, guns firing, planes flying, cars driving, etc…

Post Production Sound is where the Post crew, usually around 5-8 people, get to cut together the dialouge and basic sound effects I gathered, plus they deal with the dialouge, music and finished sound effects in the movie. Typically a door shutting is not just a sound of a single door shutting. It is usually layered with other door sounds to make it beefier sounding. Higher frequency doors shutting are mixed with mid and lower frequency sounding doors to give it depth and more impact than what we hear with our ears normally standing there in the room with that particular door. That process happens with pretty much all, and any sound effects that need to be in a movie, be it footsteps to gun, or alien ship crashing on the moon.

As you will see in the above video, not all sounds are based in reality. That is where it becomes very creative for the sound people. A crew of 4-5 people (various sound effects editors)  will mish and mash all sorts of weird sounds together that they either have on their hard drives, or they went out and recorded especially for a certain segment of the film. In the end they will end up with 200+ (200 is a small movie mix) tracks of sound effects, music and dialouge that 2-3 people (Re-recording mixers) sit at a big mixing board and mix the final product we hear in the movie theatre, or on the TV show. It takes anywhere from a week to several months to complete the entire mix process, depending on the size of the show, or movie.

This is the kind of stuff that makes me love my job. Enjoy the video…