When working on a film project, how do you organize your sound effects and Foley when it comes to tracks?
For example, do you have a different track for each character’s weapons, or do you allow them to share a single track?
What happens when you’ve designed the sound of each weapon and you have lots of different plug-ins/settings for each individual one? Do you automate them on and off as needed in order to use as few tracks as possible, or do you just have a different track for each?
In essence, do you allow yourself to have loads of tracks, or do you try to be really economic, even if you don’t really need to and your computer/software can handle it?
I have a very similar approach as TS. Especially for larger projects, and anything that someone else will be mixing. Organized, very identifiable, and controllable. In a big gunfight my hero gun shots will be on one set of tracks, enemy gunfire on another, bullet ricos, imps on another.
For smaller projects with very limited budgets, I may compact it a bit more. I might only have an FX A & B, with B being FX I need to control independently from A. My BGs will be checkerboarded for scene changes, but not separated into groups (winds/airs/traffic/birds/bugs/walla/misc). If I’m editing and mixing, I’ll know where everything exists, and not worry about organization/readability as much, but if someone else is mixing, I’ll try and make sure everything makes sense, and include region notes or markers where necessary. If someone else is mixing, I’ll usually just cut in their template however.
So it really depends on size/scale/budget of the project.
Personally, I set my sessions up with Voice and Dialogue at the top and music at the bottom. MY SFX and Foley are then based between the two, if I am not using specialised plugins I will then place them on individual tracks of similar nature, for example, if there are Car effects they will be on a track or group of tracks in the same area, or if it is house hold effects they will be on grouped tracks, these tracks sometimes overlap if I am trying not to have an overly large session for no reason.
As a rule I always aim to be as economical and organised as possible. Wether I’m mixing my own material on smaller projects or I’m editing and sending off to re recording mixers on larger ones, I always try and stay as logical and organised as possible. I’ve always found organisation is the biggest hindrance to creativity in both editing and mixing so I always endeavour to edit in a clean and organised fashion.
I have various templates for each type of project (promo, advert, short film, feature dialogue edit, feature effects etc) My tracks are organised roughly as follows (this obviously depends on project size) with buses and VCAs separating tracks into groups and virtual pre dubs, checkerboarding per scene when appropriate.
-Dirty Raw AAF
– Foley tracks
-FX A – G
If I’m not mixing, This is always dependent on whatever template the mixer is using. For the most part I keep similar sounding elements on similar tracks and keep this consistent throughout the scene or the entire feature of its appropriate.
Any sound design that requires heavy manipulation to create the sounds design in a separate sound design session and never rely on plug ins running and automating “live” in a mix session. For your example or the guns, any sound design using samplers, synths, pitch shifters etc would be done in a separate session, all effects baked into the sound and then brought into the final effects session.
Hope that make sense, there’s more than one approach so this is just myself and my colleges tend to adhere to.
I organize my sfx tracks as such:
- foley (foots, movement, special)
- production fx (non-dialogue sfx from shoot)
- hard fx (props, doors, etc)
- background fx (ambience layers)
More importantly, I have busses for each of these categories that eventually feed into the sfx submaster. That way printing out foley/hardfx/bgfx predubs can be done in a single pass.