No, Not Stereo – It Has To Be Surround

Frick. Frick frick fricking frick frick.

Freaking hell.

Yeah, those weren’t exactly words I used just now in the privacy of my own living room. Here’s today’s nonsense:

I finally got hold of the sound mixer from Last Train to ask him about getting the sound mix from Fate & Fortune Dolby encoded. I told him I had a DAT of the final sound mix. “Oh,” he said, “not a TASCAM?” (using best Australian Quizzical Intonation). “No,” I said, “is that important?” He wasn’t entirely sure, but thought it might be so he gave the name of someone who actually makes the optical film soundtracks once he’s done his mix and suggested I talk to them.

I phone directory enquiries for the number–“Warwick Sound… in London.” “Warwick? W-A-R-W-I-C-K?” “Yes.” (pause) “We don’t have any listing under that name.” I go to the web and find it in zero seconds flat so I call back directory enquiries and ask them to refund the charges they add to my bill whenever I phone them. A-holes.

Then I call Ernie at Warwick Sound. Question: Does the soundtrack need to be Dolby encoded? Answer: yes. They won’t make an optical soundtrack without it. I tell him I have a stereo mix on DAT. He explains why that is useless–a stereo mix won’t reproduce properly in theaters because they all use Dolby SR (or DTS) equipment.

So I need an LCRS (left centre right surround) or LCR mix on TASCAM (which is eight channels instead of DAT’s two). Then I need to get that Dolby encoded for the optical tracks.

So, once again, that’s: “Does the soundtrack need to be Dolby encoded?” Answer: yes. And you need a TASCAM. With the surround mix on it. Not stereo. Surround. Even if there’s no surround channel. Because the lack of a centre channel will screw up the playback in theatres if it’s only in stereo.

Sonofafreakingbichcantmonkeyfarmer! And words to that effect.

So I phone up the rerecording mixer for Fate & Fortune and–Holy Mary mother of Jesus, I get through first time. I explain what I need and what I have. What I need, of course, being what I asked her to provide but she was so adamant I didn’t need. Cheeses. The freaking people who all know better than you but don’t and waste your time, even though you don’t pay them but who the freak cares about that right now when theymakepromisestheycan’tkeep?

Anyway, she thinks a TASCAM might be in the bag of tapes she gave me when we finished mixing. I look. It isn’t. So then she says we might be able to sort it out this weekend.

Don’t hold your fricking breath.

I go and bang my head against the wall now.