Sunday, November 8, 2015

My First Foley Experience

This past Saturday, I took out the intermediate audio production studio (Park 143) for a couple hours to just mess around and practice doing some foley work. I had it all planned out, my files were ready to go on my external hard drive, and I brought snacks (of course).

Things started out totally normal: I went to master and got them to unlock the room, put my stuff down, and then headed over to PPECs to pick up equipment that I reserved. I had reserved one ME-66 Rycote shotgun microphone, and the rest of my order would be non-reservables. Pretty soon I realized that the mic I reserved would not connect to the mic stand, nor would I be able to remove the dead cat. Fine, I'll take out a different one. Turns out, I'm not authorized to take out many microphones. I ended up with a ME-66 K-Tek shotgun mic, which also would not connect to a mic stand. Instead of the stand, I got a boom pole, mic boom cradle, attached that to a grip head and then attached the grip head to a C-stand. It was a very awkward setup and it looked like this.

Not as low to the ground as I wanted it to be.
The whole thing took about 25 minutes because for whatever reason, the computer I was being checked out on stopped working. Obviously, it wasn't anyone's fault at PPECs, but it was still frustrating since I lost all that time.

Once I got all my equipment set up and plugged in to the right inputs, I was ready to solve the next series of problems. For whatever reason, the computer in 143 would not recognized my external hard drive. This was an issue because the file of the video I wanted to use was on it, so I ran to master control to get help. We couldn't fix that problem, but the computer would read one of my thumb drives, so I transferred the file from the external to the thumb drive and then I was good to go.

Nope. Not yet. I thought I had everything set up and ready but whenever I would hit record on any track that wasn't the first one, no waveform would display in the recording, which meant it was not recording any sound at all. I asked for help again and figured out that there was a setting turned on in Pro Tools that makes it so that every time you add a track, it automatically chooses the next input for you. So the first track would record from input one--that's where the mic was plugged in; since I only had one mic, track two would automatically try to record from a second input that didn't exist. Once we identified the problem, it was easy to go in and switch the input to mic one for every track.

After working out all the kinks I could finally begin. And let me tell you, foley is 100% at least a two man (or woman) job. I probably looked like an idiot to all the families walking around Park peeking through the window to 143 as I hit record and ran from the control room into the studio to record a couple times and then ran back again. But I don't really care.

This is the video I attempted to foley. It's a short animation of a guy getting up to dance to Pharrell's song "Happy."

My foleyed edit is by no means perfect. I know that there are sounds I missed or left out and that's because I had a limited amount of time in the room and because I only sort of knew what I was doing. Here's my edit. You will definitely have to turn up the sound and put on headphones to hear what I foleyed. (If it looks like its lagging a tiny bit, it's because I've uploaded the video directly into Blogger).

Overall I'd say this foley experience was a positive one. Now I know what sort of problems I will probably and definitely run into when I do post sound for our project for class as well as foley for the senior thesis film Scout's Honor.

Here's another edit just for you, Internet.

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