Funny Story to start the weekend

This week, we have been working on the sound design of a small animated thing.
After sending the first versions, we were a little surprised by the feedback we received.
But … the client was an add-agency, so it is not un-commen to get … euh … “strange” feedback …

Finaly, the artistc director phoned in and tried to explain what was bothering him.
Again, it struck me that I needed to explain why & where certain sounds were placed.
I was starting to think that there was a problem with their playback system (laptops), or that something strange happened during conversion, etc …
But, after long debating and making adjustments, we finaly finished a version with which they were happy.
So when the last emails with “thank you’s” were exchanged, we got the request to “send it all”, “send the complete thing”.

So I asked … euh …whatdoyoumean?
The answer was: “please send us the video back with audio embedded, so we can see the complete thing.”
Euh …

To cut a long story short … during the whole process of the sound design, they only listened to the audio. They never put the audio underneath the images. They never saw the video with the audio in sync.
They had no clue how to do this. And they never asked.

Now that’s an objective way to judge a sounddesign …

Fredo (still undecided if I should laugh or cry)

This is good. Happened to me once. :smiley:
That’s why I always send my sound design along with a video preview, just in case. You never know.


Oh my god :slight_smile:

There is a good part of it which is quite funny - beside the “oh no, what a waste of time” part…

Well, stuff like that happens all the time… Even though your story is hard to top!
Dudes checking mixfiles only via iphone speakers, dudes checking master-files on a laptop where a compressor brings the soundsystem to pUmp like hell, when you ask them if this is the same with other music they tell you “no, i never listened to music on this computer before” - AFTER you sent 3 new versions with (in the end) absolutely no compression anymore…

Funniest thing ME happened is mastering an unknown song in Nuendo - in a 44.1 khz project, in the morning, fresh ears - not realizing that this was a 48 khz file. I was writing an email about how much I like that deep and fat sounding drums, how easy the full guitars sound in the mastering blabla, I created a version which I totally liked. Upload… etc… Later I realized the SR thing - converted the file… oh well… aahm… sounds bad like hell… had to close it and redo it another day, I was not able to master that song with those ungly thin and fast drums :slight_smile:


That’s just pure insanity!!!.. Unfortunately not just funny but also a bit depressing…

yep fortunately for me ad agencies use to tell me from day one that they have no idea how it syncs with video and from then on I too make sure I send the video with the audio, as well as the audio separately.


I love it when clients come in and say, “Where did all that bass come from? That hum wasn’t on my source tracks before you got them.”

Me - “What speakers were you listening on?”

“My Laptop.”


I quit the post-pro arena about seven or eight years ago (after working there for more than 15 years). I’m solely into music and audio software development ever since.

Last week, a long-time acquaintance - owner of a well-known, established AV-company - asked me to mix the score for a short corporate video he produced. The DIY-mix by the score’s composer himself wasn’t “there” at all, and he knew that professional help was needed.

The video was produced for a huge power supply company. They had lots of expensive shots in there (like helicopter flights across the North Sea, for a mere ten seconds of used footage). Some animation, too.

“Oh - and while you’re at it … there are some sound FX to be mixed-in, too”. Long story short: In the end, I mixed the whole audio-side of the production.

The rough-mixed music they used for cutting the video was obviously imported via analogue inputs from an MP3-player - it drifted away from the original tracks which I got for mixing directly from the composer. The “sound FX” were quick’n’dirty snippets from arbitrary sources (mono, mostly), spread over several tracks without any recognizable pattern by the video cutters. (Talking to them was like communication with aliens from Mars anyway. For example, they seriously asked me why on earth I would need a video with burnt-in TC.) True original sound wasn’t available (they didn’t even transfer it, it seems). I replaced many of these FX with material from my old private library.

When I delivered, actually the only comment was “Can’t we have the sound FX louder …?” Nobody cared about the music, let alone the flow, the rhythm or the impact of the whole audio-track in general - which didn’t astonish me as I knew that these guys are sitting near racks of roaring machines all the day (… the door of the “Silent Rack” is always left open).

I could go on with my rant, but what I want to say is that these few days reminded me instantly why I had left this part of the business (and never looked back). For people with a sense for sound and audio it is just so humiliating to see it treated like an annoying necessity, without any respect or feel for its scopes and needs. Don’t tell me that this is the exception - we all know it’s rather the rule as soon as “picture” is involved. :unamused:

When mixing music for its own sake, audio is king, and our ears decide. This is where I belong to. :slight_smile:

Hello Dietz…
I think, you made the right choice, all those years ago. I know those picture guys all too well, too.
Mind you, some are really nice persons, but a whole bunch of them are *** … oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…

I have, lately, thrown out a producer when we were doing sync work for a short feature film.
It was unbelievable how he treated the voice actors and the rest of his staff ( and that in my rooms!).
I am, as you know, a man of hmmm … considerable … physis and have, yet, a very mild and forgiving nature,
but this dork was just too much. Last thing I saw of him was his sorry oarsch, picking up all the flying pages of his manuscript (with which he used to wave about all the time, when getting loud…) from the street infront of my Studio doors. I lost …temper and some money, but hey, it stopped the revolting stench of slavery and dictatorship in my premises. Kicking him out gave me back some peace of mind… :wink:
Which you need for producing music!
Mind you, making technical mistakes in the movie is not a bit as dramatic as messing up something audio in a film.

Big K

I can understand it completely - though I never worked with film-stuff.

I can only imagine how unsatisfying this would be, because I even felt bad/unsatisfied when something like that happened in the music-world… It is not very usual - but from time to time there are projects were you just recive an “ah, ok - thanks, we got the files/CD 3 days ago” kind of feedback - well, whats bad about that would some banker/office-dude ask? The problem is, that you have put a piece of your heart and soul in something, that you even implemented some very cool ideas or that you had to deal with suboptimal material which asked for a “small innovation” here and there or something like that - you know it. There is something in you (beside the part who is checking the bank account regarding the cashflow) what asks for some kind of “positive, detailed feedback” which is most of the time quite enthusiastic - sometimes things are still not ready and then it is completely ok to recieve a “well, we like it - BUT…” kind of feedback. So you can modify/change stuff till in the end the clients are stisfied and happy - but NO feedback is quite disappointing.