Curtis Fritsch, Erik Valenzuela and Marcus Pardo are part of the audio post team at Burbank-based AlphaDogs. They all agree that one of the best parts of the job is the collaborative process — working with clients to realize their audio vision to the fullest potential.
Projects taking place at AlphaDogs include everything from indie feature sound design to documentary clean-up to promo sweetening and audio for reality TV, which is a big part of their work.
AlphaDogs’ suite of tools includes Izotope RX for audio cleanup and restoration; Waves Diamond Bundle for EQs, compression and limiting; Cedar DNS One for dialog noise suppression; Dolby Media Meter and the LM-100 for the CALM Act TV Dialog standard; the Surcode for surround sound encoding; and the Waves 360 Surround for surround mixing.
AlphaDogs (@AlphaDogsPost) also runs Avid Pro Tools for software, along with the Avid Mix console for a peripheral, a combination of Dynaudio 5.1 speakers and M-Audio speakers and the StudioComm 76/77 series for D/A conversion.
Ok, here is a Top 5 from Pardo, Fritsch (@CurtisAudioEdit) and Valenzuela (L-R, above):
1. Know your specs and deliverables. This is the most important aspect in audio post, in my opinion. There are infinite ways to deliver your final mix. Doing your due diligence on exactly what your client needs saves time, money and headaches.
2. Monitoring and control room. Never skimp on speakers/monitors. Tune your control room and speakers with, at the very least, a SPL meter.
3. Know your DAW and CPU platform. In a client situation, and especially in a crucial deadline situation, you must be able to troubleshoot any problems that may arise. Knowing your digital audio workstation, and the computer itself, goes a long way in satisfying the client and finishing the project.
4. Take breaks. Sometimes while mixing or editing, we tend to forget to take breaks. Stand up from your workstation, take a walk around the block. This can clear your head and ears for the better.
5. Have fun. Remember why you are in this business to begin with. It’s fun to make a impact on a project. It’s fun to be part of a team that works together and succeeds in drawing an audience into another world.
Want more tips? AlphaDogs is hosting its monthly Editors’ Lounge on Friday, January 30, with a special focus on audio geared toward video editors. Valenzuela and Fritsch will be discussing common pitfalls and errors in audio track assignments, audio editing decisions and offer tips on how to avoid or correct them along with an overview of the best technical practices for delivering project assets for a ProTools mix. Free to attend, just BYOB! Editors’ Lounge will provide the food.