In part 1 of my truck record retrospective I talked about the prep work required to get ready for a full on vehicle record. Part 2 covered the actual recording date, and this part will go over the post and editing process with the final recorded files.
I've thought a bit about how to approach this particular blog post, and I think I'm just going to go mostly with words here and less with screenshots and audio or video.
Once I got all of the files back into the studio I dumped the raw tracks and photos into a folder on a drive called 1993 Ford F150-raw. I needed to jump right into editing the sounds into the film, which mean I really didn't have time to go through a formal library edit/metadata tag process at first.
I had tons of stuff, so I started listening to the audio slates I had given at the top, and used those to roughly rename the files. This was mostly a working naming system that looked something like Truck-onboard-tire-start stop by-20mph.
Once I had my roughs labeled I opened a 24 bit 96k protools session and imported everything. My first order of business was to come up with something from the onboard mics that I liked. Each onboard truck mic angle was put on a track, the tracks were routed through an aux and out to a mono print track. I started playing with balances and EQ until I was getting a moving vibe that I liked.
My initial impression was that I was very happy with my control of the wind during the shoot. I was also a little surprised at how much rattling and craziness was going on in the engine compartment when monitored soloed out on the big speakers. When I put together a comp track like this I'm looking for which mics and textures are working in which frequency range. For example, the tire mic was very good for mid range whirring and high end grit so I pulled back the low end there, while shelving back the top end of the exhaust mic a bit to replace that part of the spectrum with a better texture. The engine mics were used pretty sparingly, and the end result of each move was a balanced and mixed mono track. I knew I still had the split out iso's if I needed them in the edit, but I had made the determination that I'd go to them only as needed.
My next move was to deal with all of the foley. Some of the foly was in mono, some was in stereo, some was pretty loud, some was pretty soft. I did no dynamics processing here, though I did boost the levels on some of the wide angle door opens and other softer moves for usability. Mostly I was dividing sorting and naming though.
The same process followed for interior driving moves, exterior moves recorded with the shotgun, and anything else we recorded that day. Listen, divide, name, and process if needed.
This whole routine took the better part of one working day, but it made the next step very efficient - cutting the sounds into the picture.
With all of the prep, this step actually went pretty smoothly. Only in a few spots did I feel like I needed more coverage, and I was able to augment my recordings with a variety of library stuff and other recordings I'd done. I got through the entire truck edit for the film in around 2 days, and was very happy with the result.
My main takeaway from this part was that the time spent prepping the whole process paid huge dividends when it came time to actually cut the sounds into the film. A lot of sound effects editing is ingredient based cooking, and when you take the time to get the recordings right and mapped out on the front end then the back end editing becomes the easy part.