Friday, July 28, 2006

Sound Editors Rap

For anyone who's still wondering what it is I do - sorry, "did" - for a living:

Picture a beat. (No, that's not a contradiction in terms, but you can call it a wave-form if you like.) A pale-skinned white dude bent over a keyboard, typing with one hand, the other hand darting back and forth between the keyboard and the trackball. The only illumination is provided by the pair of enormous flat-screen computer monitors. Bursts of dialogue and sound effects - never allowed to play all the way to the end of a line, or to silence - punctuate the music.

The Dialogue Editor addresses the camera:

I got the wisdom of the old school, attitude: new school
I cut mag with a razorblade, now I'm using ProTools
You better hope your computer's a fast one
I'm cutting so fast, a G4'll be crashin'
Yeah, I fixed about a million edits
But you don't even know my name unless you stayed for all the credits
I know you never heard of me
But if editing was kung fu, I'd be Bruce Lee
I'm stealth, I'm an audio ninja
So smooth, you don't even know I've been there
I hear a lip-smack, a click, a tick and I'm on it
Isolate the wave form – bang! I've redrawn it.
Quick on the draw like my mouse was a six-gun
My tracks so clean you don't even have to mix 'em
I'm fixing mic bumps like it was nothing.
A grip dropped a C-stand? Man, give me a tough one.
[another voice breaks in - it's the Sound Effects Editor]
I know you shot it on a soundstage, I don't care
I'll make it sound so real you'll swear you were right there
Any scene, any time, any place, I'll never back down
Got foley, hard effects, all kinds of backgrounds
Got birds for the daytime, crickets for night
Got offices, restaurants, theme parks, barfights.
Stereo, Dolby, five point one
I've got so many sounds you can't handle it, son
Got left, right, center track, stereo surrounds
I think I better take pity on you, mix this mother down
[the break...

and then the Dialogue Editor again]
This scene has two actors, sittin' and talkin'?
You shoulda gone in with a boom and a shotgun
You don't record that dialogue with a radio mic, fool
Didn't they teach you nothin' in film school?
Now I hear the ambience changin'
One take's quiet, the other's got a plane in
I find a fill I like so I lift it
Copy it, paste it, maybe pitch-shift it
Reverse it, loop it, put on a fade
Now it sounds like it was recorded that way.
[and the Sound Effects Editor brings it home]
Director thinks he's an artiste with a vision
Fool, to me it's just another car collision
Tire squeals and metal crashin', crashin'
People screaming, think I'll cut some breaking glass in
Don't come asking me for choices
Cause you know ProTools only got two dozen voices
The best sound? I found it, you don't have to choose it
I know what I'm doing, shut up and let me do it
I got explosions, body falls, whooshes, hits
You want guns? Bombs? Airplanes? I got all that shit
But if I cut it, motherfucker better use it
I best not find out you went and covered it with music...

And a long slow fade out...

West Coast, fool.


At 8:26 AM, Blogger LawMommy said...

Word right back at you.



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