The Mix

The mix on these shows is pretty easy because we are working on it all along and there is no one who comes in right at the end to try to second guess the process. The main challenge is to make sure the dialogue and narration can still be heard by a first time listener. As you work on the project you may hear each scene several hundred times. Soon you have all the lines memorized. Once you have them memorized you could pick out what those characters were saying while sitting on the runway of an airport. I always try to get some first time listeners to comment on the mix and whether they can hear the dialogue but I also shy away from mixing the effects so far down that they have no more emotional impact. In real life we direct our hearing, we "mix" what we hear with our attention. In a movie or radio show the director/editor/mixer has to do that for the audience both to make it feel real and to help tell the story. If the effects are to are too far down the story starts to feel too safe, or even remote.


Mastering is a process where minute corrections are made in volume and EQ, track numbers are added, and the program is adjusted so that it sounds the best on both CD and cassette.  In addition the mastering engineer makes sure that the show is a consistent level from one end to the other so that the listeners are not having to constantly adjust their volume controls.

We chose to have "Son of a Wanted Man" mastered by Bob Katz, an extremely well respected expert whose articles we had read in a variety of Audio related magazines (MIX Magazine, et al). We figured that if Bob could put complex technical issues into plain English the way he did, he must really know what he is doing.

Bob and his company, Digital Domain, are located in Florida near Orlando. This never seemed like it would be an issue as the modern wonders of FTP and FEDEX never puts you more than 24 hours away from anyone and anything. What we didn't realize was that we began the mastering process in the heart of Hurricane season. We sent some sample material off to Bob to make sure that he could work with the hard drives and file formats we use. In addition he was going to master a small sample section of the show so that we could get a feel for his work. We needed do this relatively quickly so we could finalize our schedules and set a date for the mastering session that would meet Random House's deadline for delivery. And that is when Hurricane Charlie hit! Thankfully everyone there survived and we were only delayed for a couple of days.  As we were preparing to ship off the hard drives with the entire show on it we realized that Hurricane Frances was impacting.  As it stands we had to sneak delivery and mastering sessions in between hurricanes Frances and Ivan.

Ultimately everything worked out and we got a great set of masters for both CD and Cassette!



Son of a Wanted Man

Home | The Story | The Perpetrators (Crew) | The Co-Conspirators (Cast)

The History and Making of Son of a Wanted Man
The History | Novel to Script | Pre-Production | Recording Dialog | Recording Sound Effects
Editing the Dialog and Sound Effects | The Musical Score | Mixing and Mastering | What's Next?

Photo Galleries
Location Photos | In the Recording Studio | In the Field (Recording Sound Effects)

Audio Sound Bytes
Trailer | Music

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