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Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)

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Debbie King
Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 10, 2014 at 7:42:10 pm

Hello Everyone:

Does anyone know the best sound editing software to use for mixing a feature film?

I used Sony Vegas 12 to mix my trailer, and felt that there were limitations. So I added audacity for certain things. I have Cubase and am still learning how to use it.

Which platform do you think of best of the three I mentioned?

Best,

Debbie


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Steve Rhoden
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 10, 2014 at 10:10:51 pm

Yes, Vegas is a sufficient platform for such a tasks Debbie.
Its what i use for all my Sound mixes, layering, Dubs etc.
And no, there are no limitations in using it from my point of view.

Steve Rhoden
(Cow Leader)
Film Editor & Compositor.
Filmex Creative Media.
http://www.facebook.com/FilmexCreativeMedia
1-876-461-9019


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Debbie King
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 2:20:30 am

Hi Steve:

Thank you for responding.

I am relieved to know that I can use Sony for all audio mixing. I do not know Cubase that well, and my composer will be creating the music in Cubase and saving it in separate tracks for me to drop on the Sony Vegas timeline for mixing. Is that how I would do it, if he sent me separate files?

He will create the music for the full length of the film on about 16 tracks so that I can mix the levels of each instrument. We discussed it today and I decided that I did not want a stereo file because if I received a stereo file and it was not well mixed, I would not be able to do much with it. Please let me know if you do it differently.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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John Rofrano
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 10, 2014 at 10:14:47 pm

[Debbie King] "Does anyone know the best sound editing software to use for mixing a feature film?"
Pro Tools.
[Debbie King] "I used Sony Vegas 12 to mix my trailer, and felt that there were limitations. So I added audacity for certain things. I have Cubase and am still learning how to use it. "
What limits did you encounter? Vegas Pro is an extremely capable multi-track audio editor / mixer.
[Debbie King] "Which platform do you think of best of the three I mentioned?"
It depends on what your needs are. The biggest difference is that Cubase supports MIDI Instruments and Vegas Pro does not. If you don't need to add MIDI instruments to your mix then both are very capable. Audacity is more like Sound Forge. It's an audio editor not a multi-track mixer.

Of Cubase and Vegas Pro I'd have to pick Vegas Pro because you are already using it for video. Using Cubase would require a way to export an audio session from Vegas to Cubase and back again. Any tool you can eliminate will make your workflow go smoother.

What couldn't you do in Vegas Pro?

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Scott Francis
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 11, 2014 at 5:33:06 pm

I use both and Cubase is lightyears ahead of Vegas with audio handsdown. We usually mix everything in Cubase and then export "stems" to import into Vegas for the final mix. I have had issue with FX's, audio (ASIO)drivers, buffer setting, yada, yada, yada with Vegas....
Pro tools is not as easy either, being in the game since '97 I have used Cubase since '99 and have tried others...In my experience, Vegas falls short, especially when you add a lot of FX's and also a fair amount of video tracks. Audio looses sync and video preview suffers.

Scott Francis
Mind's Eye Audio/Video Productions


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Debbie King
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 2:08:35 am

Scott:

Thank you for your response. Just want to be clear, when you refer to stems, you are referring to instrumentations recorded on different tracks. For example, a track for strings, a track for drums, etc. In music we just say tracks, but I am hearing stems a lot and am a little confused by what it means exactly.

So what you are saying is that if the music is recorded in Cubase, I can mix it in Cubase, save the file and drop it in the Sony timeline. I have not yet had any experiences with dialogue losing sync in Vegas. All have been working quite well so far.


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Scott Francis
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 2:14:50 am

Stems are more like sub-groups. When doing plays I record the entire pit, so for example, I may record brass as individual tracks, or woodwinds and "stem" them out as a group instead of individual tracks. Keep the number of tracks in Vegas down. I also process dialog and singing differently and will split that out in Cubase as well.

In small audio mixes, Vegas is fine, HOWEVER, when I have like 5 HD video tracks and 20 or more audio tracks with processing on them, Vegas tends to get janky, crashes and audio buffers constantly have to be adjusted to get decent preview and/or to keep audio in sync with the video.
If you only have like a music bed track, dialog, ADR, and special effects or so, Vegas should be fine, a pit mix with dialog, backups, pit and overheads and stage mics, (20+ tracks), Cubase is my goto first...OR if the score is recorded and needs to be mixed as well...
Good luck!

Scott Francis
Mind's Eye Audio/Video Productions


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Debbie King
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 2:38:00 am

Hi Scott:

Oh, I see. Wouldn't you have to mix down the separate sections; for example mix down the woodwinds, brass, etc? Sounds great. What are pit files? By the way, I have already been having crashing with just the video and dialogue with some bed track music. When you say music bed track, are you speaking of a stereo track that has been mixed, like a stock music track?


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John Rofrano
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 2:19:31 am

[Debbie King] "Just want to be clear, when you refer to stems, you are referring to instrumentations recorded on different tracks. For example, a track for strings, a track for drums, etc. In music we just say tracks, but I am hearing stems a lot and am a little confused by what it means exactly. "
No, stems are not the same as tracks. Stems are a submix of multiple tracks. So if you had 8 drum tracks and you sub mixed them to a bus and rendered the bus, that would be the drum stem. If you routed all of your dialog tracks to a single bus that would be the dialog stem. Likewise sub mixing 10 tracks of sound fx would be the sfx stem, etc. Stems are multiple tracks with a single purpose mixed into one. In Vegas Pro your buses could be considered stems. When I'm mixing for broadcast, I usually have a dialog bus, a music bus, and sound fx bus with the appropriate tracks routed to them. These would be three stems that could be output separately.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Debbie King
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 2:49:27 am

Hi John:

Thank you for your response. I see! Can stems be remixed? Like creating a bus for the dialogue and discovering that it needs to be remixed, or the bass drum is too loud in the stem, etc? When dialogue is stemmed, is there a risk that if the synchronization is off a bit, that it cannot be fixed without starting with a clip and audio file that has not been stemmed? In other words, is this a part of mastering the project?


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John Rofrano
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 3:05:13 am

[Debbie King] "Can stems be remixed? Like creating a bus for the dialogue and discovering that it needs to be remixed, or the bass drum is too loud in the stem, etc?"
No, and that's not your job. The person giving you the stems has done the mixing already. That was their job. If you or the producer don't like the mix, you go back to them and have them remix it and give you a new file. Stems are a way of giving you some level of control over just a single stereo mix but not the full level of the original tracks. This is done because quite often dialog, music, and sound fx need to be mastered to different broadcast levels.

You used the analogy of a 16 track recording in another post so I'll use the same analogy. When you're ready to have your 16 track recording mastered, you mix it down to a 2 tracks and the mastering house takes over. At that point, all they have to deal with is Volume, EQ's, Compressors, Expanders, etc. They don't get to remix it. Stems are like your two track master. You can play with volume, EQ., etc. but you're not the mixer anymore.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Debbie King
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 2:16:05 am

Hi John.

Thank you for your response.

1. The limitation that I experienced was the cleaning up the background noise. It was an easier process with Audacity.

2. I would like to keep the workflow smoother. The reason I asked about Cubase, is because my composer will be using Cubase to created the music. He will be sending me the audio files to drop onto the Sony Vegas tracks (stems, I believe); still trying to understand what Stems actually mean. When I used to record years ago, we saved the recording on 16 tracks on a DAT and when we mixed, we would be able to mix the tracks separately. Is this what stems are?

3. Thank you. I was wishing to be able to use Sony to mix everything, since I already have Foley, ADR and some music on the timeline.

Many thanks,

Debbie


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John Rofrano
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 2:24:47 am

[Debbie King] "1. The limitation that I experienced was the cleaning up the background noise. It was an easier process with Audacity. "
Understood. This is what I use Sound Forge for as well. Same type of program for the same purpose.
[Debbie King] "2. I would like to keep the workflow smoother. The reason I asked about Cubase, is because my composer will be using Cubase to created the music. He will be sending me the audio files to drop onto the Sony Vegas tracks (stems, I believe); still trying to understand what Stems actually mean. When I used to record years ago, we saved the recording on 16 tracks on a DAT and when we mixed, we would be able to mix the tracks separately. Is this what stems are?"
Funny I just answered this from your other post and I see Scott did too so you know now that stems are a submix of tracks like a group or a bus.
[Debbie King] "3. Thank you. I was wishing to be able to use Sony to mix everything, since I already have Foley, ADR and some music on the timeline."
I think you'll be fine mixing everything in Vegas Pro. It's quite capable.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Scott Francis
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 12:09:42 pm

Each stem does require a mixdown. I usually pan my sub hard left and right and do two in a stereo mixdown. Once I bring them into Vegas I separate them into 2 tracks and that saves me 1/2 of the time to mixdown than doing subgroups in mono.

The stems (subgroups) can be mixed in Vegas FAIRLY smoothly, but the more you process and the more tracks I tend to have Vegas get more unstable...just being honest. I wish it were not the case. SVP13 is a bit more stable than 12. I use Waves plugins and they do take a bit of resources...
Hope this helps!

Scott Francis
Mind's Eye Audio/Video Productions


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Debbie King
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 20, 2014 at 4:11:47 am

Thanks Scott:

I appreciate the feedback. I was thinking about upgrading to 13, because of the crashes I experience when rendering. It has not happened lately, but when I was rendering my trailer it happened often.

Thank you for the info on mixing down the tracks to two stems.

Best,

Debbie


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Colin Morris
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 11, 2014 at 5:49:57 pm

Hi Debbie,
I have used SVP in projects for sound and picture. Pro Tools is the standard for audio mixing but we have had to work with different composers who all seem to have their own favorite software(Logic, Cubase, Reaper, Sibelius, Finale) With SVP and Cubase you really have everything covered. Cubase is great for midi, soft synths, samples as well as audio. For editing dialog you should use Sound Forge or Audacity from within SVP. We usually provide the client wave files that all start at the same point. That way they can import to any software they want. It really depends on how much of the project is your responsibility. Are you mixing the final dialogue and music? Just the music? Any Midi? Just dialogue? Surround Sound? Just make sure you can accept and deliver the required audio and video formats for your part of the project.

Colin Mendez Morris
ArsMusica
http://www.arsmusica.ca


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Debbie King
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 2:02:05 am
Last Edited By Debbie King on May 20, 2014 at 4:23:35 am

Hi Colin:

Thank you for your response. I am responsible for all of it. The entire video, dialogue and sound editing. In the past I have used Audacity to clean up the background noise. Is it comparable to Sound Forge?


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John Rofrano
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 14, 2014 at 2:12:58 am

[Debbie King] "I the past I have used Audacity to clean up the background noise. Is it comparable to Sound Forge?"
Yes, Audacity and Sound Forge are competitors. Both are surgical tools that get down to the sample level of editing.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Debbie King
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 20, 2014 at 4:08:36 am

Thanks John. That's great to hear. I have been using Audacity and was wondering if I needed to get anything else.

Thank you.

All the best,

Debbie


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Colin Morris
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 16, 2014 at 1:50:49 am

Hi Debbie,
Scott and John have described stems pretty well and I think that would be the way to go if you are responsible for everything. I usually mix the dialog first using Sound Forge and Audacity from within SVP. This keeps the dialog with any picture edits within Vegas.
Stems come in really handy with sound effects and music. For example, I would track music in Cubase with all necessary processing and plug in effects, then mix down all the tracks to 2 music stems. The music stems would then go on to 2 tracks in Vegas.
I would also recommend picking up a reference book or two:
Audio Post Production for Film and TV by Mark Cross is a good recent reference.
Good luck!

Colin Mendez Morris
ArsMusica
http://www.arsmusica.ca


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Debbie King
Re: Is Vegas Pro 12 a sufficient Platform for Sound Mixing a Feature Film (Sony VS Cubase)
on May 20, 2014 at 4:06:05 am

Hi Colin:

Thank you. I am so sorry for seeing this post so late. I was paying close attention to my earlier posts. I will definitely get the book.

I was talking to the composer the other day about stems. He was going to make about 4. Now I see that two is sufficient. Thank you so much for this information.

All the best,

Debbie


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