Mixing Sound for a Film: An Overview

Before You Start

f you have already worked with other sound professionals on similar projects before, then you certainly know the vast majority of all the things that get involved in mixing audio for film, but if this is your first time, the following points will definitely come in handy.

Photo by Obregonia D. Toretto from Pexels

The Timeline

If you have already mixed at least five-minute songs at some point in your career, then you know how time-consuming the tracking and mixing process is before you even get to the “I finally got a polished song” part. So, how to scope out how long it will take you to mix a whole film? One thing is for certain: as an audio professional mixing a film you’re going to do way more than just mixing.

Scoping Out The Post Production

For a 40 minute film, you will likely put in between 150 and 300 hours of work depending on the quality of the input you’re given — that is, the quality of the audio. If the project you’re gonna be working on has major audio problems, of course, things are going to take more time; but if you’re given pristine, high-quality audio, you might be even able to bring down your timeline perhaps 100 hours. However, it will always be much better to be prepared in advance (meaning: don’t assume everything is going to be on point.)

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

The Format

Always make sure to tell the picture editor what file formats you require. We’re most likely talking about .mov for picture lock and OMF or AAF session export from their own software. If you’re able to import an OMF or AAF into your digital audio workstation this will also help you buy some time, as you will not have to checkerboard the dialog yourself.

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Enhanced Media

Enhanced Media

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We tell stories through sound. We specialize in creating a complete audio post-production and sound design experience.