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Old 12-22-2016, 08:27 AM   #1
gorillaonabike
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Sound software

Soooo... the advantage of FCP7's studio was the sound studio which was much better than FCPX's pretty rough offering. While FCPX is surprisingly good these days and I'm happy with it, the issue I have is around getting a dedicated bit of sound software, especially because FCP7's sound software isn't supported these days. Also, I have Audacity so am looking for something better.

This is for feature film stuff.

As a note, my workflow is after I have completed my 'rough' sound mix containing music and foley, I give it to a pro who works on it and puts it into the right place, changing and adding foley etc... as appropriate. He's more of a foley artist who does a sound mix but he's reassuringly expensive and has produced impressively strong results which really comes through in a cinema. I've done enough that the mix I put together is OK enough for film festivals etc... but I want to step it up to the next level and need an appropriate tool.

Would anyone like to recommend a bit of software, ideally under $500 USD which I could buy?

Also, I managed to screw up my last bit of sound recording in an echoey room with a mic too far from the actors' mouths. It's not a major issue because I warned them multiple times in advance I couldn't record the sound properly given the circumstances, they should provide a sound recordist if they wanted it done properly. However, if anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears. I'm doing the usual bits and pieces that I know but if anyone could make a recommendation, I'd be delighted.

Last edited by gorillaonabike; 12-22-2016 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 12-22-2016, 10:29 AM   #2
El Director
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Pro Tools is super affordable and used on practically every feature film in Hollywood. I think buying it outright is $500, or you can rent for like $25 a month. Same with Media Composer - You can buy or rent, but it's a little more.
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Old 12-22-2016, 01:21 PM   #3
gorillaonabike
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Originally Posted by El Director View Post
Pro Tools is super affordable and used on practically every feature film in Hollywood. I think buying it outright is $500, or you can rent for like $25 a month. Same with Media Composer - You can buy or rent, but it's a little more.
$5,000 USD for ProTools HDX, $3,000 USD for ProTools native, $2,500 for a perpetual license. It's about $1,000 USD per year to rent...
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Old 12-22-2016, 02:38 PM   #4
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For a complete system, yes. But if you already have an interface and control surface (or don't need one. I'm using mostly a touchscreen monitor these days), this would work for you: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PTSoft-e
Oh, you need an iLock too, but those are $50. If you're just looking to rough mix things to pass to your engineer, that should do it!
Also, if you don't have an interface, any inexpensive one should work. Pro Tools used to be locked down to certain hardware, but I don't believe that's the case anymore
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Old 12-22-2016, 03:37 PM   #5
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Yeah, I was referring to the software only option. You can run most hardware with it, if you choose.
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:40 PM   #6
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Adobe Audition is fairly affordable with Creative Cloud, and surprisingly well-featured. Also includes a fair amount of bundled plug-ins.

That said, Pro Tools is obviously the industry standard. Depends how hard you need to work your system as to whether you can get away with Software-only versions, but based on your workflow, it probably will suffice.

The benefit of using Pro Tools means you could give your entire session to your sound guy.

Keep in mind that FCPX doesn't offer OMF export, or really any great way to get audio out of it properly, so you'd need to get a third-party plug-in to do so.

Or alternately, go the Premiere/Audition CC route.
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Old 12-22-2016, 08:02 PM   #7
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I hate to sound like APE, but software isn't going to improve your mixes; expensive plug-ins and a mix stage with the appropriate speakers will.
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Alcove Audio View Post
I hate to sound like APE, but software isn't going to improve your mixes; expensive plug-ins and a mix stage with the appropriate speakers will.
My 'old' software no longer works because no longer supported by Apple. At the moment, I'm round tripping between two different pieces of software which takes forever and no-one in the entire world would keep it.

Therefore I am definitely changing it.

Last edited by gorillaonabike; 12-23-2016 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:43 AM   #9
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With FCPX, Apple basically incorporated a bit of the functionality of SoundTrack Pro into FCP. But it's less than elegant.

As for updating to a new DAW, Apple really screwed the pooch with FCPX (one of many ways, actually) by omitting any way to export an OMF or AAF. That's the only way to move audio from an NLE to a DAW and really have full control over sound editing and mixing. To get an AAF out of FCPX, you'll have to spend a little extra for X2Pro. It's a third-party app/plug-in that extracts AAFs from Final Cut.

If you have X2Pro, then ProTools 12 really is the way to go. It has native abilities to work in time code and to import and export AAF files. Not that you would need to export an AAF, but you can, which is an easy way to move your PT session to another post house.
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Old 12-23-2016, 08:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorillaonabike View Post
I've done enough that the mix I put together is OK enough for film festivals etc... but I want to step it up to the next level and need an appropriate tool.
This is why I posted about the appropriate room and the speakers.

For editing, Pro Tools, ( as was mentioned by AcousticAl) in whichever flavor you can afford is going to be the first choice for most audio post types. If you own a Mac MOTU Digital Performer is very nice; CuBase is another alternative. No matter which DAW you choose, however, you are going to need an interface, which will probably put you over your budget.

And, despite the new and improved work flow, better audio post software and interfaces will not improve the sound quality of your mixes. I mix more than 90% of the projects that come into my studio, and they sound fine, but don't have the "magic" and "sparkle" that comes out of a dedicated mix facility.
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:19 AM   #11
gorillaonabike
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Originally Posted by AcousticAl View Post
With FCPX, Apple basically incorporated a bit of the functionality of SoundTrack Pro into FCP. But it's less than elegant.

As for updating to a new DAW, Apple really screwed the pooch with FCPX (one of many ways, actually) by omitting any way to export an OMF or AAF. That's the only way to move audio from an NLE to a DAW and really have full control over sound editing and mixing. To get an AAF out of FCPX, you'll have to spend a little extra for X2Pro. It's a third-party app/plug-in that extracts AAFs from Final Cut.

If you have X2Pro, then ProTools 12 really is the way to go. It has native abilities to work in time code and to import and export AAF files. Not that you would need to export an AAF, but you can, which is an easy way to move your PT session to another post house.
FCPX is a good tool now for anything visual. I'm convinced it's excellent in this respect and editing is literally 3 or 4 times faster than FCP7. However, for sound, it's painful and the whole OMF debacle annoys the hell out of me although there was a workaround which seems to have been killed off by Apple in their last upgrade.

The old FCP Soundtrack Pro had sooo much more functionality and FCP 7 allowed me to layer everything and round tripped beautifully. Now, it takes 10 times as long to produce the same result and piece everything together after using Audacity. So I need everything you've written about plus ProLogic.

I'm just wondering if I could use LogicPro instead of ProLogic. At the very least, it would allow me to roundtrip.

Last edited by gorillaonabike; 12-25-2016 at 08:00 PM.
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