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Help with movie+live music pls

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Help with movie+live music pls

Postby alk » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:15 am

Hello. I am new here and totally out of my depth.
I am not sure if this the right place to post or ask questions but I would be grateful if someone could point me to the right direction.
I am a classical musician and know very little about recording and technology.
I have been asked to reconstruct a 1960s movie soundtrack and perform it live with an ensemble of about 8 players, with the movie playing at the same time.
So, this will be a screening +live music.
There is also zero budget for all this so I will need to learn how to do things.
I know how to type music and i am able to reconstruct the score.
I know i need to somehow extract dialogue from the movie. I am trying to find unmixed sound but no luck so far. Also, there is no 5.1 or high quality sound of this movie on dvd-blueray. Any suggestions on how I could erase the recorded soundtrack from the movie and keep all other sound? i know its not easy. Is it possible?

Next,I will need to create a score that fits with the screen. I can use notation software like Dorico and Sibelius. Is there a music production software which will allow me to create this score and synchronise it with the screen? I will need to create clicktracks etc.

Finally, i will need to have attached to the movie 2 seperate sound files:
1 for the viewers with the dialogue
1 for the musicians, containing click tracks

Could I ask what equipment will allow me to create such a file and play it live? can we have a source with 2 seperate but synchronized sound files , played on different outputs?

I hope the above makes sense.i know production and engineering is a highly specialized job. In this case, I just have to do as much of the work myself as I can.
I would be grateful if you have any thoughts on this
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Re: Help with movie+live music pls

Postby desmond » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:45 am

I presume this is a mono film? You'll need to assess the music + dialog situation. If a lot of the time there isn't music behind the dialogue, then you can presumably lift the dialog easily enough.

However, if there is loud music behind the dialog, all in mono, it's going to be all but impossible to meaningfully extract the dialog - it's like removing the eggs from a cake!

So the success of being able to lift the dialog will really depend on the extent of the problem.

What's your timescale for this? It's a lot to do without any previous experience of this kind of thing, and the added pressure of impending deadlines will not help in that regard!

Pretty much any modern DAW will let you be able to add the movie file to your project, extract the audio from it, let you edit the audio (eg trim out the dialog sections), let you compose and mix your replacement score in sync with the movie, and output the resultant movie file with your mixed or multichannel audio.

While you could play this back from the DAW live (and send whatever audio mixes wherever you wanted), I'm not sure I'd choose to use my DAW for this - I might find some other media-playback related tool to play the video and multiple channel audio, but that's not something you need to decide upon yet, as there's a lot of assessment and prep work to do before you get to the playback stage yet.
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Re: Help with movie+live music pls

Postby alk » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:55 am

Thank you!
Yes i have only found it as mono, so far.
However i know it has been dubbed in German and French so I presume that premixed sound files ARE available, or were at some point.i am reaching out to those companies as well , in case they can help me.Its an american film and the producers and distributors have all changed names.Its difficult to trace it.

There is no strict time frame at the moment, because of Covid.I will however have to decide soon, whether this is possible or not, especially having a clean dialogue audio file to work with.
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Re: Help with movie+live music pls

Postby desmond » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:03 pm

Yes, *if* you can track down and use the original unmixed recordings, then that will obviously make things easier in regard to the technical stuff.

While you're waiting on that, you might as well figure out the software. Dorico does support video I believe, so if you want to create clicks and score in an environment you're already comfortable in, I'd maybe start there.

If you already have a copy of the video that will let you get started on creating cues, clicks, tempo etc you should be able to load it and start to see what the process is like, and whether it's workable doing it that way.
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Re: Help with movie+live music pls

Postby MOF » Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:50 pm

Is it vital that the original voice is used? For simplicity I would re-record it and maybe effect it with eq to sound a little less hi-fi/modern, having said that it would sound strange if the music is high quality so that would need effecting too to match.
If you were able to get the clean original dialogue it would sound a little strange against a modern music recording.
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Re: Help with movie+live music pls

Postby alk » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:08 pm

thank you.
I have to keep the original dialogue somehow, clean it up and balance it against live music,probably entirely acoustic, not amplified.Its going to be a lot of work
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Re: Help with movie+live music pls

Postby desmond » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:16 pm

Sounds a fun project though!

Good luck - if you get stuck on anything, I'm sure you'll be able to get some help/advice here if necessary.
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Re: Help with movie+live music pls

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:35 pm

The other aspect you haven't mentioned is foley and background sounds. You will need to retain these along with the dialogue and, while there are (expensive) software packages that can separate vocals from music I'm not sure whether they would work with spoken dialogue and especially with sound effects, at least to a suitable standard. Unless you can get access to the original audio* MOF's suggestion of re-recording the dialogue and foley is the only method guaranteed to succeed.

* I don't know much about how audio for film was created in the '60s but I'd guess that was a time of transition from recording everything live, music, foley and dialogue straight to a recorder to multitrack recordings the sound guys could mix after the event. The fact that it is only available in mono suggest that it is more likely to be the former.

I did work a crew on amateur musicals in the late '60s and the' theatre' was a cinema for most of the year, one of the first jobs on load in day was to hoist the single speaker up off the stage remove the trap and lower it into it's pit under the stage for the duration of the show so I guess most if not all movies that were distributed to smaller local cinemas were still mono back then. It was a huge thing about 5' tall and weighing, I guess, a couple of hundred kilos, a folded horn design and, IIRC, powered by a small valve amp of about 25 watts.

edit :- Fantasia was the first film to have multichannel sound in 1940 so it was certainly available in the '60s but presumably only bigger cinemas would have stereo so, while it's likely only copies of the film that made it to those cinemas would have stereo soundtracks (see above) it's possible the original sound was recorded in a multi channel format..
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Re: Help with movie+live music pls

Postby alk » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:46 pm

very interesting!

Can i ask a silly question: I've read somewhere that it might be possible to remove music from the main sound file by adding again the music tracks on top and then editing them out...
Something about identifying sounds and frequencies..

Does this make sense at all? ..Not to me.
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Re: Help with movie+live music pls

Postby desmond » Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:11 pm

alk wrote:I've read somewhere that it might be possible to remove music from the main sound file by adding again the music tracks on top and then editing them out...
Something about identifying sounds and frequencies..

Does this make sense at all? ..Not to me.

You can't easily remove the eggs from the finished cake, I'm afraid.

Depending on the characteristics of the source audio there are some things you can try to do but it cannot be done properly in the way you want. To do this properly you need to obtain the source audio without the music mix, and if you can't get that, then whatever you do your vocal audio will be compromised.

In any case - if you had the movie score without the dialog, you'd have presumably got that from the same source as the dialog only, making it a moot point. (No, you can't go and grab a similar but different recording and try to extract the differences - it would need to be the exact actual dialog-free music with no timing differences, and even then, the results would be variable.)

If you need the dialog to be perfect, and you can't get access to the original recordings, then you will have to either compromise somewhere, or decide whether the project is viable.

But it all really depends on the source audio, and as we have no idea of what you might be dealing with, it's difficult to give any specific tips or advice.
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Re: Help with movie+live music pls

Postby CS70 » Tue Oct 06, 2020 4:42 pm

There's a few things that can be tried, but no guarantees and it's gonna be incredibly tedious in all cases.

Your best best is absolutely to get the dialogue from the producers.. but it's not a great bet: even if it can still be found, they would likely want money for it. But trying is free. :D

Beyond that, there are spectral analysis tools that claim to be able to "unmix" stuff to a degree but to try that on an entire movie boggles the mind. Even under the assumption that the dialogue is mixed in, in average, at a higher level than the music, the combination of processing capable of further getting the music in the background is complex and, while it could be made to work for a snippet of a few seconds, again the length of an entire music makes even trying all but unfeasible.

And of course there's the foley, as Sam says..

One option would be to have some one at a mixing board riding the faders, lowering the audio when there's no dialogue.. but of course it depends on the specific movie
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