Tips & Tutorials | June 17, 2015
When mixing such different assets as dialogue, production sound/ambience, sound effects, and music into one cohesive, emotive mix, the challenge of ensuring every unique sound has its place is a difficult one.
This is currently solved by mixing into stems. Aside from stems being useful and often-required deliverables, they allow for a combination of volume and surround panning automation, as well as other spatialization and equalization effects.
The traditional approach relies on practical techniques for making dialogue pop, like positioning most dialogue in the center channel and most music in the left and right channels, panning special effects around all the channels, and even automating the levels of the production sound, sound effects, and music stems to keep them out of the way of the dialogue.
But that's only the beginning. RX Final Mix, a plug-in specifically created for audio post production professionals, introduces some creative mixing techniques for a new level of control and audio enhancement.
RX Final Mix is the ultimate mixing processor for stem and master busses—use it to add clarity, excitement, and impact to your mix, creating an overall more compelling and pleasing experience for your audience.
It's common practice to position a dialogue stem at approximately -23 or -24 LKFS, and then mix in the other assets around it. This usually results in a clear and well-balanced mix.
Here are some tips for using RX Final Mix to enhance the clarity of a dialogue stem even further.
Instantiate RX Final Mix on your sound effects and music stems. Use a dynamic EQ node in Compress mode to carve out the frequencies between 3-7kHz.
Adjusting the threshold (which is what triggers the EQ into action) ensures that the EQ will only begin to cut those frequency areas when they become particularly energetic — which is where they'd begin to interfere with the frequencies on the dialogue track.
Instantiate RX Final Mix on your dialogue stem. Add a gentle proportional Q cut in the low mid-range, set to dynamic Compress mode. Adjusting the threshold will cause the mud to be cut out of the dialogue only when present.
Add a high shelf boost, set to dynamic Expand mode. Adjusting the threshold will cause the brightness and clarity in the dialogue to increase, but only when the dialogue is present.
When mixing sound effects, it's not just about peak volume. Here are tips for making sound effects more impactful.
Use the Lift control in the True Peak limiter to drive the signal hotter into the Limiter. This will reduce the dynamic range of the sound effect stem and increase the volume for maximum impact, transparently, without distortion.
Instantiate RX Final Mix on your sound effect stem. Add a narrow proportional Q boost to your low end, set to dynamic Expand mode. Make sure LFE processing is enabled Now, whenever a low sound effect hits, there will be a transient low boost for more impact. This program-dependent behavior avoids adding rumble across the entire mix.
Don't let bad audio get in the way of an unforgettable viewing experience. Get RX Final Mix on your tracks and bring your audio to life.