Salvaging the Sound for Pacoima Can Wait

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Thu, 02/27/2014 - 10:50 -- Nick Dager

When it came time for Rob Roy Cesar to post his new romantic comedy Pacoima Can Wait he realized there were problems with the audio. Uncertain there was anything that could be done to make the audio sound better, Cesar brought his film to AlphaDogs in Burbank upon the recommendation of a fellow film composer.

Upon meeting the AlphaDogs team, Cesar’s concerns with the audio were put at ease. “I was greeted by a very friendly environment,” said Cesar.  Everyone was not only very knowledgeable, but enthusiastic. I felt extremely confident that they would be able to fix the problems I was facing with the film’s audio.” 

AlphaDogs audio engineer Curtis Fritsch worked with Cesar to identify problematic areas within the film including excessive wind noise, dialogue cleanup, as well as new voice over and music sequences for the final mix.  Removing wind noise is typically an extremely difficult and time-consuming process that involves taking apart and reconstructing rough areas within each audio track.

Fritsch’s tool of choice was Izotope RX plugins that were used to isolate and repair the audio tracks, removing wind noise while restoring any clipped audio. “I wasn’t sure if AlphaDogs could fix the wind noise in a couple of sequences, but sure enough Curtis was able to eliminate them,” said Cesar.

Camera audio was used as a primary source in the editing, which is prone to pick up a lot of background noises that drown out the actor’s dialog, making it inaudible.  Salvaging audio of this nature is not easy and is usually quite tricky. It takes a keen ear, and lots of patience. Fritsch said, “Luckily they were other microphones used during production which made the dialogue easier to hear.  By cleaning up the audio from all the mics used, I was able to deliver seamless dialogue within the troublesome scenes.”

AlphaDogs has provided full-service post-production for features, television and new media since 2002, working one-on-one with clients in delivering highest-quality work. “I would use AlphaDogs again without hesitation,” said Cesar. “I was happy that the final delivery was finished expediently and quite thrilled that they went the extra mile adding more sound sweetening than I expected.”

The story follows the adventures of self-destructive Nigel Waferhouse who through his humiliating calamities discovers he can still be a knight, even if it’s in beer-soaked shining armor.  The film, which Cesar wrote, produced and directed by Rob Roy Cesar, will screen later this year at film festivals across the country.