FILM DIALOGUE: Post Production

Is the approach for mixing and mastering Music Vocals the same for Film Dialogue in post-production? Because I hear the same differences in Music Vocals that I hear in Film Dialogue when not mixed properly to sound professional.

There’s some different techniques like noise reduction and different style reverbs and probably a lot more involved.

They will not use Autotune or Melodyne for pitch correction :grin:

I do not know if they will use like in MMW’s channel strip some kind of analogue gear’s emulation.

They will certainly use convolution reverbs. But no fancy modulation effects.

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Thanks, jmfriedman – for insightful feedback.

The reason for my original post stems from my current project work where I’m more focused on mixing and mastering Dialogue for an upcoming feature film – to put forth the best (professional) sounding dialogue due to my competitive nature, in which my goal is to have the ability to have my current film project sound as great (or better) than any film audio at any random (respectable) movie theater around the world because why do something “half-a!@” and not to the fullest while expecting to put forth a film-project next to the great film-projects on Netflix, Hulu, (etc.) & expect to be respected as an artist/professional by professional peers (just doesn’t make sense to me). As such, MixMasterWyatt Academy (via the Ultimate Program course package) is definitely assisting me in making an attainable dream…an achievable reality and I look forward to possibly working with some of the people from the MixMasterWyatt Academy family.

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Thanks Valentin.Meys for your feedback.

The Ultimate Mixing and Mastering Program is PRICELESS! And having Mr. Wyatt as an instructor is AWESOME & PRICELESS (along with everyone from the MixMasterWyatt forum)! So, whatever Mr. Wyatt and company (i.e., this particular forum of great audio people) recommends for me to produce a superb sounding track, film-score, music-vocals, dialogue-vocals, etc., “I’m IN!” (because of the vast array of knowledge and proven techniques to produce a superb sounding mix and master).

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Hey @LorenzoMorganJr , I scored and mixed a film this past summer…

Mixing dialogue is tricky. Although the same principles apply at the mix phase, most of your time will be spent on noise removal, fixing continuity issues, and phase problems. I spent a good 70% or more of time cleaning up the dialogue before I could mix it…

Mixing it was generally the same approach, but preparing it was a whole other world… And frankly, I had to break a whole lot of eggs before I got it to where the director was happy… I found referencing more important here than in anything else I’ve worked on… Magic AB wound up living on my dialogue bus…

I spent at least several weeks in RX and a week or so in Logic… (A couple days of which was just fixing mic issues)… Basically, a good 75% of a dialogue mix is time spent fixing things, 25% or less on mixing…

This was the second film I mixed dialogue on. In both films there was at least one scene where the dialogue was virtually unusable, but people expect you to work miracles… Even with a really good recordist you’re most likely going to wind up with one scene that drives you up the wall… For those scenes know when you’re fighting an uphill battle you can’t win… (Garbage in garbage out as they say…) Clean what you can, but hide unfixable garbage with an ambiance track and sound fx… Tha’s the only solution that worked for both films… That and using dynamic EQ to remove room resonance…

Another thing I didn’t figure out until the second film is to de-click and de-crackle any location sound as your first step… Lavaliers pick up lots of little scrapes and crackles that slip by when you’re focused on removing other noises… If you’re in RX build a module chain with de-click and decrackle (default settings typically just work really well) as you first process… Also a good idea to follow it with an EQ removing rumble and ultra-high end. (And make sure you EQ with linear phase. This is critical or you’ll make any mic phasing issues worse…)

Like I said, I had to break a LOT of eggs :wink:

best of luck!


Thanks for the feedback justinc.

I stumble upon a Youtube video a few months back about iZotope RX 6 Advanced and I’m seriously contemplating the purchasing of this software/plugin to add to my audio mixing/mastering tool-set because the Youtube video (via the iZotope Inc. Youtube page) states and illustrates the iZotope RX 6 Advanced software/plugin being highly capable of “separating spoken dialogue from non-stationary background noise such as crowds, traffic, footsteps, weather, or other noise with highly variable characteristics. It can be particularly effective at increasing the level of dialogue in challenging low signal to noise ratio conditions” and because I am going to be doing some filming projects where dialogue shall be in heavy usage. So, having a software/plugin that specializes in background noise removal/reduction for spoken dialogue is a “make sense” type of tool to have when doing film projects with heavy usage of spoken dialogue.

you bet Lorenzo. RX is definitely incredible. The stuff you can do to audio with it is something no one could have imagined possible 10 years ago… It’s also a great mastering tool. A lot of people use it for restoration. I’ve found it useful for removing little clicks and pops or if a track has a tiny bit of unintentional crackling…

Yeah it’s denoise is pretty amazing. They added a new algorithm in 6 that can do separate dialogue from severe background noise. (It isn’t perfect though, occasionally it misses something…) Definitely a learning curve when you first start using it. You kind of just have to experiment for a little bit before you get a feel for what’s probably going to be the best tool… Amazing software though, couldn’t say enough about how powerful it is, especially for audio post production…

Would definitely demo first just since it’s pricy, and does have a learning curve… Great to hear back and best of luck…

Audionamix made a plugin called IDC (Instant Dialogue Cleaner) that I have used for cleaning up dialogue that I prefer over the dialogue isolate feature from RX 6. IDC processes signal in realtime and can be used in a DAW, so I find it easier/simpler to just add that to my dialogue tracks and use one knob in IDC.

Here is a video on Youtube about IDC:

Good evening and happy Saturday, codeblue0076.


Saturday, August 18, 2018
6:18 p.m. PST

Hi, thanks for sharing your experience, my question is about using plugins, I am a recordist do mostly sound on a film set, and rarely I do some post-work for small projects, this helped me a lot to improve my job during the shootings. I’ve realized how easy it could be making a mess when cleaning up dialogues and mixing (mostly doing it at the same time). I have mixed in the past mostly music and carried with me that background. High levels, transients massive use some time of compressors, not cleaning rumbles, rustle issue because everything was recorded in perfect situations. But when I approached audio film post everything was more complicated. I used plug ins on the single tracks and on the stems and had at the end awful sound and background noises and room tone coming out that could not hear before. this is only one example.

so my question is what is a good approach when mixing and using any audio tool like denoiser or compressor and reverbs. Single tracks, on the bus where I 've routed into. Any advice and link is appreciated