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  • Writer's pictureJake Fielding

Mix Handover

Since graduating from the NFTS, I've learned some key lessons as I specialise as a Sound Effects Editor, especially regarding the mix. My recent experiences at Twickenham, mixing my work and ongoing time in the mix on my current project, have highlighted the most critical points. I want to share these with you; hopefully, they're valuable!

1️⃣Premix: Before handing off your work to the mixer, carefully balance your tracklay. The film should sound good enough that a non-informed audience could watch it and think it's okay. If reverb is critical for a scene, consider rendering it on a track below. I've made the mistake of leaving too much work to be done in the mix, which takes away valuable time. Remove unwanted artefacts using EQ, and pan backgrounds and FX

2️⃣Session Layout: Keep your session layout neat and logical. Label your tracks clearly and consistently. This allows the mixer to quickly locate specific elements; you don't want them wasting time searching for tracks. They will likely have a template they want you to work to - it is your job to abide by this to keep things as smooth as possible

3️⃣Communication: Maintain open communication with the mixer. Share your vision for the project and discuss any creative choices you've made. Contact them beforehand and maintain an open dialogue throughout. Whilst you have spent weeks on the project, they are new to it. This is great as they can bring fresh ideas, but there will also be things you have implemented in collaboration with the director - this must be communicated to them.

4️⃣Options: You should provide the mixer with options, like neutral backgrounds, in case your atmos is too distracting, and ensure everything is covered. The mix is often about experimenting; music and dialogue can often be lowered or muted on the fly. You don't want to leave a section bare with nothing underneath. You can supply options for sound design and leave them muted below

By delivering a top-notch premix, an organised session, and fostering clear communication, you'll be well on your way to achieving a sound that truly captivates your audience.

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