AUS220 - Bonus Blog 5 - It's All About Process

This AUS220 series belongs to an assessment from college.


I've been reflecting about some that Tim said in the live sound intensive, that's not about the end product as is with studio or post production; rather, it's about the process. It's about planning and efficient execution. While I do agree with the former, I must disagree with the latter. 

You see, since I began studying sound I've always been told that people don't care how you do it, as long as you deliver what the client asked for. However, without process, one would deliver poor quality work instead of a professional and outstanding one. I've always been a tech nerd, especially when it comes to portable gear. The illusion student are often bombarded with is that the better the gear you own, the higher quality your work will be. Is it though?

I was recently confronted by a fellow sound engineer on a recorder I use to go field recording on the fly. He said it was unbelievable that I'd call myself a professional by using a cheap zoom recorder. My reply to him was: "Well, it's not its quality that matters here, it's how I use its potential to my own benefit." In other words, it's about process; by understanding its frequency response, polar patterns and SPL sensitivity, I can make a plan at to what and how to record in order to save time in the editing and treatment stages. If I were to approach this randomly by just thinking of the end product, I would be neglecting important factors such as noise control, EQ, compression, not to mention what story would such sound be telling--I always record thinking about the characteristics of the sound and if it'd be a good fit to the story I'm telling.

I'm writing this bonus blog on Friday, a day after our last intensive class. Something that Trinski has been repeating since the first trimester is to ALWAYS de-ess before compressing. That's process. Sure, the mix is our final product, but in order to get there we had to follow both a creative and technical processes. The same it applied to post production. It terms of sound design, there are many ways to figure out the character of a sound, but without a guideline as to how to approach it, you end up with nothing. 

After the previous paragraph I struggled to continue because I had the idea to turn this into an article, so I'll end right here and start brainstorming ideas for it. I really wanted to write more than 5 blogs, though I think I'll the other ones for next trimester.