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Logging audio best practices

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Lev Kalman
Logging audio best practices
on May 16, 2011 at 9:03:02 pm


I'm preparing to edit a large film project. I recorded audio separately, and there are audio clips that include the on-camera take, rehearsal takes, sound-only takes, tone, etc.
I'll be doing a basic edit with sound in Final Cut, and then the heavy duty audio work in Pro Tools.
Are there any opinions on the best way to organize all that audio? Should I be using FCP's logging info, or is there another solution that can help me split all of what I have into a more organized library beforehand?

Thanks for any advice,

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Bouke Vahl
Re: Logging audio best practices
on May 17, 2011 at 8:02:00 am

I don't quite get it.
Are you the picture editor or sound editor?
If there is another (picture) editor, talk with him about what is handy for the both of you. If not, start by deciding what you would like yourself and start looking for ways to make that possible.
There are tons of logging applications out there (I myself coded two...).

smart tools for video pros

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Lev Kalman
Re: Logging audio best practices
on May 17, 2011 at 3:34:22 pm

Sorry I was unclear. I'm an artist-filmmaker, so yes I'm sound editor and also working on the picture edit. I also recorded the audio.

I'm looking for a solution that would allow me to label the clip, so "Sc4 LAV Rehearsal_01" but also allows for broader categories in case I want to use a sound elsewhere (e.g. "Rustle", "Outdoor Tone")
I'm also looking for something that will allow me to quickly split tracks that have all sorts of audio on them into more manageable smaller clips.
And I want it to integrate really simply with Final Cut and Pro Tools.

Thanks for any suggestions,

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Stephen Hall
Re: Logging audio best practices
on May 19, 2011 at 6:04:58 am

Here's what I deliver for a typical indie film.

I use an Edirol R4 Pro, so when I'm recording multiple tracks ( the usual ), each take generates a folder with a WAV file for each track.

I sample a file in each directory to hear the slate for the scene and take number. I then rename the directory for Scene and Take, as Sc_016_T_005.
Then, inside the directory, I rename each WAV file for the track source, as: Sc_016_T_005_Marsha_lav.WAV or Sc_016_T_005_boom.WAV.

I deliver logged audio on data DVDs with a readme file explaining everything and contact info.

This way, every file has a unique name and the editor can copy them around and still know exactly what each file contains.

This consumes a few hours, but it's worth it, I think. I've received emails from grateful sound post guys thanking me for having a good organization system and keeping good notes.

Really fancy recorders allow you to easily rename the file for each take easily, but I don't work off a cart (one-man band, usually) and this enables me to make up for not having $6-8,000 for a 788T and all the trimmings.


Stephen H

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