I was in the sound studio this weekend with my audio guru and master sound designer, Geordy Sincavage (Emmy recipient from work on Lost, Alias) who I work with closely on motion projects, and with master audio mixer Onna who mixes the sound for CSI among other projects.
Several elements contribute to creating the final audio for a film or dramatic tv . There are endless effects and audio accents that enhance the depth and emotional impact of the work. Every little smack, tap, click as well as braking glass, punch sounds, wind, traffic, etc… is recorded independently by the foley artist. The the mixer blends the volume and level of emphasis for each of those individual audio recordings layered on separate tracks. Then each is directed to an output track for the full surround sound experience.
This is the same sound studio where CSI is mixed (see slide-show). In a facility like this you have a giant screen (maybe 30 feet here) with a fully equipped surround sound installation. In front of the screen is a large space for musicians or an orchestra to setup and play while the film plays above them. The sound engineers work on an elevated platform overlooking both the screen and the musicians, recording and blending the performance with he other audio components and the visuals. On an even further elevated level behind the mixer’s platform sit the director and clients overlooking the entire process but in easy conversation range.
In the end the music is mixed with the sound effects and foley plus the dialogue and ambiance from the original takes and the ADR (dialogue re-recorded in the sound studio later when the recording was not sufficient or ambient noise was problematic during the performed scene).
This studio is where all that comes together. It’s also a candy store for gadget freaks.