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Mike Russell: Hi, I'm Mike Russell from Music Radio Creative. Welcome to the Adobe Audition Podcast were I'm interviewing power users of Adobe Audition. We'll reminisce back to Cool Edit Pro and take you right up to date with Adobe Audition CC. If you'd like to learn about audio production – everything from vocal effects to radio imaging, commercial production to music mixing – join my next audio production course at mrc dot fm slash learn. That's mrc dot fm slash l e a r n, learn.
Mike Russell: My guest today is Maxim Jago. Maxim is a keynote speaker and he speaks on a wide range of topics including what he's learned from his work as a filmmaker. The future he is a futurist a media technology expert as well. And he describes himself as having an optimistic realist attitude to future technology. So I'm very excited to discuss a little bit of that perhaps a little bit more during this podcast episode. He's also an award winning filmmaker and screenwriter and an author. You may well know Maxim Jago for the official Adobe Premiere Pro Classroom in a Book which is the standard text used by film schools all around the world. Not only that Audition related if you go to Lynda dot com he's the host of training such as the Audition CC Essential Training. Maxim, it is a pleasure to have you on the show.
Maxim Jago: Hi there, it is an absolute pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.
Mike Russell: It's my pleasure. So let's start then with Adobe Audition. How do you when you get into Adobe Audition how are you using it?
Maxim Jago: Well I'm a lazy consumer of technology. And so what I love about using Audition is that it is very forgiving friendly application and I tend to dip in and out of it mainly these days for things like audio clean up and sometimes for mixing basic sound tracks. One of things I love about it is that you know you've got these two modes where you can work in the classic audio editing workflow of destructively making edits to your original media in the waveform view. But if you work solely in the multi-track session view everything you do is non-destructive in the same way that an NLE is and that means that you can experiment. You can play around with things you can try stuff out and I actually sometimes use the multi-track view as a way to have multiple instances of the same audio and try out different versions of audio edits with it different effects different changes that I'll make to it. So I use it as a sort of graph paper onto which I can try things out.
Mike Russell: I do want to during this episode get more into some of your favorite features and the resources you're using in particular to create and edit audio. But I'd like to start off maybe usually at this stage I would ask someone the best audio production advice they've had but for you Maxim I think I'd like to ask you the question what's the best life advice you think you've received?
Maxim Jago: I think the best advice I've had lately is to nap more but I don't know I'd call that life advice. Well actually I think I can maybe combine the two. You know when you're you know they say fix it in post and and I would always say that the best post production begins in preproduction and one of the things I learned in life you know I'm in electively by choice. I'm an optimistic realist. So and just to spell that out that means that I'm primarily a realist but I think that generally speaking things do work out well. And I think in terms of production audio production generally speaking you can get the audio that you need and you know the audio finishing tools we've got now are pretty good. So we can fix quite a lot in post but it's important to be realistic and there are certain types of audio that are really difficult to clean up. Essentially if you think about the characteristics of sound you've got frequency, amplitude and phase and that's it. We have got some really advanced audio tools in Audition that will do some pattern recognition to remove sounds but at the end of the day if those sounds exactly overlap with your speech for example of a subject you're recording you're going to have a hard time of it because you're removing the frequencies that you need for the speech. So my best advice for audio production is to make sure that you keep an eye on things like echo in an environment reverb in an environment the stuff that's going to be difficult to remove in post and just don't worry too much about you know if there's if there's a hiss coming from an air conditioning system or a very low rumble coming from an engine. There's a good chance you'll be able to clean that up and fill out the sound in post and you can get the shot. And I think how that translates to real life and life advice is that you know they say. There was a lovely quote from somebody who was at the end of their days and they said that most of their worries never came to be. Most of their concerns never happened and I think that it's important to be realistic about what really matters and what really doesn't and take the time to remind yourself of the difference. Because as a business analyst friend of mine said years ago most of his work is helping everyone in the room remember the difference between the need and the solution and a dumb example of that is if you're really thirsty and you decided that orange juice was a great way for you to sate your thirst and you walked straight past a lot of apple juice because what you want is orange juice you've forgotten that actually what you need is to not be thirsty any more. And so in life we get fixated on our solutions and not the needs that those solutions are intended to serve. So try to remain focused on what really matters.
Mike Russell: Obviously you've mentioned about the the ability generally to capture good audio and you know there are some some problems there are tools out there available inside Adobe Audition that can help you clean it up but maybe in your career as a filmmaker and editing audio Maxim you've had a project which has really challenged you and it's been really difficult. What would you say is up there with one of the most challenging projects you've worked on yourself?
Maxim Jago: Goodness in terms of audio. Years ago I directed a short film called The Party's Over and you know you can find it online it's beautiful very intense scene. Funnily enough shot in a bar I used to own which is a much too long a story for us to cover today but a really nice place and a group of us clubed together to buy this place and I did what we were thinking but we had a good time. We shot a scene in there and it was interesting. We recorded the audio straight into the camera. We had a Panasonic, I forget which model it was… and the the DP wasn't super familiar with this model of camera and nor was the sound recordist and there was a moment where they said you know we're pretty sure it's okay. The level is right. It doesn't seem right all the way through the chain you know we're not getting the right level of the recording system you know but we think it's okay. And I was the director and I was thinking well you guys are professionals so you know let's just go let's do it. We've got to shoot the film and in the end it turned out that what was happening was that my best guess is that the level was set wrong on the mic and then it was being boosted coming into the camera. So we had incredibly bad sound in a film that was entirely about the dialogue and five different people worked on the audio to try to pull it back because we didn't have the budget for ADR and in the end we managed it we got something that was just about usable but I would say most of the energy that we have the post-production and editing this thing went into trying to make it audible at all. And so the lesson I learned from that was not to take chances on your audio and on the indie productions that I've worked on time and time and time again. It's the audio that's the biggest challenge never the visuals never you know you can do terrible looking stunts you can get away with all manner of things visually the audience will forgive you but if the audio is bad then nobody will forgive you. And so now I never ever skimp on the audio capture the audio recording budget for a film because my goodness and the thing is you know it was this really intense dialogue scene where at some point the character was almost whispering. You know it was really this very emotional quiet moment and all you can hear is this thunderous hiss in the background. And as I said we we got there you can you can watch it online and know that if you watch it none of that's ADR and none of it's done in post that's all the original recording but wow what a challenge. So I never short changed the sound recordist and I have a policy on set actually as a director that there are three people who are allowed to say cut. There's me the director, there is the producer who's paying for everything and the sound recordist because if we're not getting the audio. Why are we bothering? You know nothing that we shoot now is going to end up in a finished piece unless you have the budget for ADR which nobody really likes to use if they can the actors don't feel they can get the performance in so I give the sound recordist the authority to say cut
Mike Russell: And just for anyone listening who is not aware what ADR is. Could you just describe that for us please?
Maxim Jago: Yes so ADR is a shortening for automatic dialogue replacement. And it's a system where you record any old audio that you can on location just something to use as a place holder to get the timing. And then you go into a studio after production after the thing's been edited and you'll play it sometimes as little as one line of dialogue at a time for the actor that spoke the lines originally and have them give the lines again in a controlled environment in studio with the microphone really near. And it means that you get absolutely perfect audio and the system aligns the audio you record in the studio with the audio that they spoke on location and this is why when you see a film and it's a big battle scene and this bomb's going off all around them and it's in the open air and the camera is nowhere near them and they speak and it's right in your head and really close by. That's because it was recorded with ADR. None of that audio was recorded on location. None of the dialogue anyway. And interestingly ADR is so normal now for film production that if you don't have that if it doesn't sound like the actors are speaking into your ear it actually seems a little bit unusual these days. We actually feel like there's something wrong with the audio when actually it's just the actual audio recorded on location.
Mike Russell: So I'm interested to ask you this next question and I know as a Futurist. You have many opinions on I would guess artificial intelligence. I know that you've been working on some feature film projects including virtual reality storytelling elements so let's talk about cool projects maybe involving some future tech or some some tech that is just on the periphery of where we are now in time. What is the one cool project that you would really like to work on. Maybe you haven't told anyone about yet even?
Maxim Jago: Wow. I mean you know actually as a filmmaker there's only really one film that I have lined up that I really really care about and it's the one I've told people the least about. So I'll share with you now. It's a film called The Power at least that's the working title naming films is a bit like naming babies it's very very very difficult. The Power is a sci fi and it's the last film I plan to make before I probably quit directing films. And it's a sci fi about loosely it's a tribute to the old manga anime from Accura and if you if you've heard of it a beautiful film about these children that have this power and the government was trying to get them because they're too powerful. But when they use the power it agents them at a cellular level it's a fantastic old anime 20, 30 years old now. The film I have in mind. There's three films that I want to make and they're about purpose, morality and power but the first film Orpheus Rising is a feature film project I've spoken about before. We're actually looking at a sequel to that film being a game that will release the same day as the film. So you see the film when you go home the same day and play the sequel and the two inform one another and so we're in talks about one. The second film is called Light and Dark and it's an inverted morality vigilante film which is a kind of a tribute to the old Frank Miller Dark Knight Returns graphic novel which if you haven't read you need in your life you need that in your universe it's a spectacular piece of writing the second ever adult comic book novel graphic novel after Watchmen and then the third one The Power is about power. It's about love being the only true power in the universe and the way that we think that fear is powerful and that we're mistaken. And so that's all I'll tell you for now but these need bigger and bigger budgets and along the way as a director know I come from you know I don't come from money you know there's a there's a long interesting story about why I have this accent and it has nothing to do with my with the wealth of my family. I come from a part of London where if it's not bolted down it's going, literally. I lived in a flat in so I'm from northeast London. How can I say we were. We were definitely below the poverty line when I was a kid but we once had a broken shower and we put the shower out in the street in pieces and within one hour piece by piece it had disappeared. It was just bits of metal you know. So you know. I haven't had all these kind of you know opportunities and introductions and everything I've really had to work and I have such respect for anybody that manages to make any film whether it's a short or a feature or a documentary or anything. It really is such an achievement people don't realise it's easy to make a terrible film. It's really easy to make something that nobody would want to watch but making a film that people would actually choose to see and not walk out of the cinema when they're watching it. Oh my goodness the work that goes into that. You know it's like writing a symphony. You might be thinking well you know the melody didn't really touch me you know but oh my goodness the symphony was written you have to applaud that. And so along the way we were raising the finance for Orpheus Rising. And that was going well we had a lot of interesting people. People love the concept and really the story is a love story if you want to know about it. About a hit man who falls truly in love and the love forces him to be the true version of himself. So it's a very grown up film. Along the way we had this concept my father was a playwright and I inherited his literary rights and before he died he was working on a project. I asked him to convert one of his stage plays into a film project and he was working on a project called The Garden for me which is about this girl who lives in an underground garden and doesn't know that she's blind. And so she's very happy living in this artificial garden and just no one's ever told her out of kindness that people can see. And he never finished the adaptation I finished it after he passed away. And so we're now working on that. What's exciting about the project is that this is a one room film and we are planning and this is what we want to achieve with this project is that we're going to shoot a beautiful 4K version for cinemas so it's going to look gorgeous and then hopefully we're going to produce what's called a volumetric video capture of the performances. That means you get voxels instead of pixels you get a 3D model of the actor photo realistic giving their lines performing their story and we can place that in a 3D model of the garden that is one to one scale photographic and then the goal. Our goal down the line to this is really simple we want to make available a pop up version of the entire feature film story where if you have a warehouse as big as the original garden you can give people a backpack computer and a VR headset and they can literally walk around a one to one scale virtual version of the garden and watch the story unfold with the actual actors in the actual garden. In VR that's the plan.
Mike Russell: I mean the way the virtual reality seems to be going. Every time you put on a headset a new headset it's getting more and more realistic. I wonder when is going to get to the stage where you just simply won't know the difference and then it opens up the possibility of are we already in that reality?
Mike Russell: Back to the interview in a moment but if you want to in my perfect audio creator set up head over to MRC dot fm slash win.
Maxim Jago: Yeah I mean this is actually a modern day philosophical positive argument and in fact it's rooted in Plato's Cave of Shadows the allegory of the Cave of Shadows is the kind of the root of existentialism. And what it comes down to is that as subjective creatures can we know that this isn't some illusion and in the example that Plato gave he describes these creatures that spend their entire lives tied to a wall staring at another wall. They can't move their heads at all they can't even see one another they can only hear one another and other creatures cast shadows against the wall in front of them which means that they only ever see in two dimensions and they never see in colour. And one of the creatures is taken up to the surface they experience three dimensions colour and sunlight and moving their bodies and then they come back to the cave. I'm obviously abbreviating the story that's pretty much it. They come back to the cave and they try to convey to the other creatures in the cave what they witnessed and of course the other creatures think they're mad. And one of the points that Plato was making is that for people that have not achieved enlightenment, enlightenment is indistinguishable from madness. The only way to understand it is to experience it. And there's a modern day so you know way back we had the the existentialists who argued then but we don't know what lies beyond the extension of our own selfhood. And so we we can't really know what we're doing we we have perfect objectivity and even though we might have consistent objective experiences we don't know what they really are. It could be an illusion. And so there is this modern day telling of that which is that as you say if we forecast VR and we look at the direction it's taking obviously there comes a point where it's indistinguishable from reality and in fact I was at a watch a panel at the Venice Film Festival about a year ago and they were saying a year and a half they were saying we need to use a new phrase we've got VR for virtual reality AR for augmented reality. We've now got MR which is mixed reality where there are objects that are physically in your environment that have an existence in the virtual environment this is really cool. You can have there's a VR experience where you have to walk across a gap between two buildings and there's a plank that you lay down between the two buildings and of course you're just standing in a warehouse but there is a physical plank which in reality has little QR code markings on it so that the VR headset you're wearing can spot it and see it in VR space but you physically pick up the plank and lay it down and it looks like a wooden plank in the VR experience you feel it in your hands. But in reality it's white with with markings on it. And so that's mixed reality and you have to walk across the plank and people get vertigo walking between these two buildings. They're literally an inch off the ground in reality. And this guy was saying we need RR which is real reality and we need to make that distinction. And so a few famous people Elon Musk famously announced a little while ago that as far as he's concerned this reality is almost certainly a simulation. And so the theory goes. What if this reality that we're experiencing is nothing more than an ancestor simulation where humans in the future decide to experience what it's like to actually steer cars and cook food and have to walk places and not have a direct mind connection with the Internet and experience genuinely this sensation of being separate from one another. And what's interesting for me about it is if you look at almost every pretty much every mystic telling of the human condition throughout history if you translate the concept of humans from the future into the word soul they pretty much describe exactly that. Whether it's Native American traditions or Celtic shamanic traditions in Britain we've got Druidism of course and the precursors to modern day Wicca. If you look away at all of the different ancient traditions the leaders in India in Hinduism all of that everyone is saying this is just an illusion and that your soul is experiencing this illusion and choosing to believe in it. And as a filmmaker what I think is a great joy of telling stories is that we are using our reality a form of reality as the medium for telling our stories. And so we create acceptably real visuals and sounds that compel the audience into believing that what they're witnessing is real and it turns out that we need very little information to empathize with characters and to project ourselves into a meaningful experience. In fact our conscious minds have very little to do with the processing experience which is why actually we perceive what we anticipate we will perceive until we get enough counter evidence. Which is why you know you can see a friend walking towards you in the street and you're literally seeing your friend walking towards you until as they get closer their face transmogrifies which is a real word. I really love that word it transmogrifies into a stranger that you'd never seen before. And what's interesting is that your brain was pre cognitively telling your conscious mind. There is your friend walking towards you and you literally experienced watching your friend walk towards until the counterevidence came. Now as a Futurist what I'm forecasting you know we we decoded the transmission protocol that our eyes use to travel send information through the optic nerve through to the visual cortex and we already know how to send information through the auditory nerves. That's how we get the what's called a cochlear implant for people to have. They just sidestep their ears if their ears to work for whatever reason we can have an audio device had it for years now that just patches directly into the auditory nerve and they've got better than human hearing. They actually get they've got something like 24 bit 96 kilohertz hearing which which our ears don't do so. So it's actually an upgrade and that's the interesting thing about about augmentation not just repair of our organs is we're now at a stage in the development of our technology where it's not just as good as our evolved biology. It's better than our biology and there's a lovely story about a lady who she lost most of her legs. And so rather than bemoaning it she had custom made sexy artificial legs and she could decide how tall she would be depending on her date and her friends were saying it's not fair. This was the magic moment. She said it's not fair. You you know you get to decide how. How tall you're going to be. And that was the moment that she realised that this wasn't just a replacement for her legs it actually gave her something that her friends couldn't have. And so what I'm forecasting is that you know there's a way of stimulating. If you cross the beams with an energy of one kind or another you can create where the beams cross you can create a high level of energy where it's lower energy where the beams do not cross. That's kind of how microwaves work. So if we I am forecasting something that you'll maybe you're maybe see it over the back of your ear in the way that we would you know the old style Bluetooth headsets for the phones you would wear or an old style hearing aid. Nowadays the hearing aids are tiny little things that go inside your ear but they used to be over the back of your ear. I think that we're going to have something like that that crosses the beams in such a way that it plants a signal in your visual and auditory nerves that is indistinguishable from what we see and hear. And so certainly in terms of sight and sound it will just be an overlay in our environment or it'll replace our environment in the same way that putting headphones on can drown out the sounds around you and I think that that's really the future of our experience of the arts. But I think that if you look at for example stereoscopic TV and wearing glasses to be able to see 3D people don't really want to wear the glasses which is why 3D really didn't take off in the home yet. The good ones you had to charge up people couldn't be bothered to charge them they're quite delicate the kids would break them. So people didn't really get into them that much but lenticular 3D lenticular stereoscopic absolutely works great. And we're starting to see more and more interesting technologies coming online now that are very high resolution very high quality that don't need special glasses. So I think the future of VR is going to be very comfortable very high resolution indistinguishable from our usual sight and sound. And of course we want physical feedback we want haptic feedback. I heard about a film project that people are working on now where during the film a character hugs you and they have actors standing by to hug you while you are experiencing it in the film. So you physically experience being hugged. I think it's really interesting.
Mike Russell: I guess the way it's going like you mentioned there with the new terms for virtual reality going all the way up to RR real reality. That's the point in which you'll have to actually choose you know do I want to be in this reality I'm in now. This is possibly a simulated reality or according to Elon Musk it is or do I want to be in the new real real reality that I know is a simulation?
Maxim Jago: It's yeah it's really interesting you know and it's that red pill blue pill thing in The Matrix. And you know though there is a way of looking at life that way that is quite constructive. Getting back to this idea of practical philosophy. When I was a kid I read a little thing about the lady that that she noticed that people were incredibly tenacious about winning games that they would put hours and hours if necessary to really just nailing a computer game and then she did some research into what it was that drove people to put that energy into a game that they did not put into their own lives. That was really the origin of the concept of the gamification of things. So if you look now you've got it even within games or within technology you've got unlocks and upgrades and badges and things and this is all about making things that you're doing feel like an achievement unlock but one of the things she said was you know what if life was a game what would we do differently. And then I got to thinking when I was a kid I got to thinking about that and I was thinking well what if what if that is the case? What if this really were a game? How would I approach my life differently what would I what would I seek to do and then I realized you know actually in many ways life is like a game and so and so I realized that for example if you want to be in if you want a character in a game to be in good shape you send the character to the gym and the character goes to the gym and they come out in better shape and I realized I can do that in life if I want to be in better shape I can go to a gym and be in better shape. And when you realise that when you look at life that way you begin to see that a lot of the things that we feel are not in our power actually are in our power. We just have to make the decision. And so that was you know that was my solution is to say well okay what if this is a simulation let's have an amazing simulation.
Mike Russell: That's got me to a really really deep thinking kind of state now listening to you talk about that. I'd like to go back to your childhood Maxim and ask you about when you first realized I know right now you do a lot of things. You're a keynote speaker you're you're a filmmaker. Obviously you work in audio you use Adobe Audition. I'm curious when the first moment was that you noticed as a child something about audio that was drawing you into it and made you think this is something I'm interested in and I want to pursue. What was that moment for you?
Maxim Jago: I'd like to say that you know when I was a kid I had a stereo and I used to listen to the Eurhythmics really loud or Led Zeppelin or you know really pumping out the speakers and I think that you know obviously music has this ability to make you feel something and you know it's worth it when you're making films you know the visuals give you the information about what's happening and you can empathize characters that you witness feeling things and the soundtrack gives you the feeling that it's real because it gives you the sense that it has depth and presence the things you are observing but it's the music that tells you how you should be feeling. In fact it makes you feel the way that you should be feeling and it's those feelings that give you the context for everything else that you're witnessing. So it's very important for film. But actually as a kid the really powerful experience I had with audio was that my dad I didn't go out with my dad. And we every now and then he would send my brother and I a cassette tape of him just he had this little cassette recorder and in-between things that he was doing he would just hit record and he would he would tell stories about what was going on. So he would literally you know hit record he'd say hello boys. I just made a slice of toast and a cup of coffee and I've got to paint this window and I don't really want to do it but I really ought to. And so I thought I just have a coffee and a slice of toast before I paint the window and he would tell us this little anecdote about why he's got to paint the window what's going on and these little moments in time were absolute gold for my brother and I growing up we used to get so excited about receiving these cassettes and just hearing our dad's voice and his whimsical stories about this time that he went to Woolworths all you know he went to the shops the other day and this thing happened. And by the way he's really looking forward to seeing some picture my brother was working on or something like that. And it really felt like it felt like he would just happen to be sitting on the other side of the table and was just speaking and we happened to not be replying. It was a very relaxed conversational thing and these cassettes you know especially now that he died about 10 years ago. So having that little piece of time with him became incredibly valuable to us. And so I think that you know we talk about picture paints a thousand words. And how important visuals are to us and that is true but there's something about the nuance of sound that when you have a recording of a loved one's voice it is irreplaceable. There is nothing like it so if anybody is listening to this I would encourage them particularly if have older relatives you know your phone has a great microphone on it and just hit record in the memo app and just talk to them a little bit because you're really going to appreciate that in years to come and it's something it's something quite precious.
Mike Russell: I agree. That's great advice and like you say it's so easy to do something like that now with a smartphone to hit record. Gone are the days of C90s or C45 cassettes which now seems to be an in thing to get plugins to reintroduce tape like hiss and noise into recordings which is very very strange. But I'd like to bring the conversation now round a little bit more to focusing on some features of Adobe Audition and some of your workflows Maxim. I know you use a wide range of features you touched on them at the start of the show and you were speaking about ADR and the fantastic automatic speech alignment you can do inside Audition. If you had to isolate if you had to pick just one single feature in Adobe Audition that's your favourite feature. What would it be for you?
Maxim Jago: It's an interesting question you know in Audition obviously the noise clean up features are high on my list of favorites but actually if I were to name one feature that's my favorite. It's kind. It's kind of a workflow thing. I am a huge fan of the effects rack. I am really really like it. I love the fact that it looks the same and works the same in both modes. If you are working on the waveform or in the multi-track session view and I just love that you can stackup the effects you know adjust the way they are applied. I love the way in particularly in the multi-track view that you can lock the effects and kind of pre render them without burning them into the original sound file. I love that you can make groups of effects in an effects rack. That you could access later with with presets or even you know actually often will use the favourites function which allows you to go a bit deeper with the settings that you put into effect and use the non effects rack effects. But really I'm all about the effects rack and love that you can just drop things in and out and combine them and try them out. And that for me alone is one of the main reasons I would choose to use Audition.
Mike Russell: Starting off with what you mentioned first the noise reduction capabilities are absolutely brilliant and then the effects rack. Yeah the ability to add in effects and swap them around. Do you have any favorite combos maybe of a effects that you put into the effects rank.
Maxim Jago: I'm all about the parametric EQ effect. I tend to really I mean if I am working on vocals my workflow is usually just to do the noise canceling clean up the audio and then put on the parametric EQ set the preset for vocals. That just it just gives a lovely curve to the you know brings down the raspiness part of speech and brings up the sibilance a little bit which is good and the bass a little bit I might tweak that manually depending on the voice and then I'll put on some basic compression. I used to use the multiband compressor but now I often just use the single compression and just punch up the vocals a little bit and that combination of those three effects often gives me really just really great vocals and it's clean and that's a lot of the time all I'm doing.
Mike Russell: Now let's move on a little bit. You have created the Audition CC Essential Training on Lynda I believe that's just over six and a half hours of training and tutorials brilliant tutorials that I've watched and in those tutorials you cover so many different workflows and timesaving shortcuts for Audition. So maybe I don't know maybe from your experience of just teaching with that training. Is there anything that you think in particular has maybe hit with the audience that have watched those videos what are some tips you can give out. You can say this is a workflow or this is a time saving tip. That a lot of people should know about in Audition. What would it be for you?
Maxim Jago: You know if anything I think it would be the integration with Premiere Pro a lot of people are using Audition with Premiere Pro and that feature just got better so you can now a little while back Adobe put a lot of Audition effects into Premiere Pro and we now know that was in order that you can you can open a Premiere Pro sequence directly in Audition now and you can take the mix and work on it in Audition and work that you've done in Premiere Pro to begin working with effects. Maybe adjusting the audio certainly adjusting the audio level pan and the mix all of that comes in to Audition. So it's now worth while using those adjustments and making some basic mixing efforts in Premiere Pro whereas in the past you'd be expecting you'd be discarding that. You know the traditional workflow is you do what you need to do to cut the movie and then you remove all of your audio adjustments to hand over to your mixer. But now it is worthwhile making those adjustments and you can tune and improve them in Audition. So I would say you know learn that workflow. It's just a few clicks not even two clicks maybe and also the option to send an audio clip to Audition from Premiere Pro is absolutely brilliant. If you've got one audio clip that has a bit of noise in it and you can you know capture a noise print in Audition and clean that up in Audition and then all you have to do is save and you're done. It updates in Premiere Pro. This is brilliant as a way of integrating Audition into your post production workflow.
Mike Russell: It is like you mention it's so fast and like you say as well it seems that with every release there's another integration bringing those two pieces of software closer together so first it was a dynamic link but now as you say you can just you can open a Premiere Pro project edit it there in Audition or you can even edit a single waveform and then save it and immediately it's back so really really good stuff there. Combining audio and video now I'm curious about the the kit and the gear and the resources you use or maybe you would recommend. Obviously you do a lot of film making so perhaps you'll have some some recommendations related to that but audio gear microphones, interfaces even headphones possibly what are you using? What would you recommend?
Maxim Jago: I got to actually for you. One is as a microphone. I'm a huge fan of the Countryman E6 headset mic. I use that for basically all of my tutorials now while I'm recording tutorials. It is great we sometimes call them the Madonna mic because you know you wear it. It's very discreet. It's an incredibly popular microphone for stage performances because it's so discreet but what's great about it. If you are recording stuff were you need your hands you need to be doing stuff while you are recording is that it's just a great quality microphones for the purpose. And I'm a big fan and for headphones I actually use Beyer DT770s and there are three versions of those with different ohms different different resistances and that's difficult to sum up briefly in a podcast but the more ohms the more resistance the more power you need to drive the headphones and Beyer do 250s, 80s and they also do 32s which require very little drive to run them. And the more expensive it's difficult to make the components that will run it. For example so I've got the 80s I also have a 32s and the 32s you can drive with an iPhone you can drive with a with a phone or an iPod or any kind of player. And it means that you are just fantastic but the audio range the frequency response is well beyond human hearing. I think it's an 18 db cutoff. They're a closed back microphone so when you see audiophiles in the subway or on tube they're wearing headphones like this and the reason they wear them is that they're actually shielding you they're blocking sound around you like ear protectors ear defenders at the same time as giving you great quality sound. So if you can pick up the Beyer DT770 32 ohm version headphones they're just fantastic. They're my go to cans.
Mike Russell: Yeah, DT770 Pros. I got a couple myself and really really enjoy using them. That's really good advice on the ohms as well. I think the couple that I've got they have a straight wire but I believe when you go up to 250 the highest end one day they actually make the wire a bit like an old style telephone it's kind of curled kind of cords but yeah brilliant headphones. I also find that the cushions are really comfortable as well you can wear them all day without too much of a stress on your head or any problems there so they're brilliant and the Countryman E6 I've not heard of that mic before certainly not experienced it. I'm looking at an image now it looks amazing so is this something you'd wear when you're presenting to camera so the microphone is not visible and you can just you can speak and and it would work really well I would guess.
Maxim Jago: Well I mean I would if I was using if I was speaking the camera you know I'd probably use a shotgun or a lav but when I'm recording podcasts you know it's really or if you're on stage obviously not if you're on stage and you know when people are doing theatre performances or musicals they're all these tiny little microphones they're often in their hair. Although I saw a bit of a fail of that recently there was a kid on stage where the microphone was so visible even from the audience sticking out from the top of his forehead that he looked like a sort of weird mini micro unicorn horn. It was very very odd. But you know you want to avoid clothing rustle obviously but if you're on a stage in a situation where you want the it doesn't matter if the audience sees that you have a microphone and you've got a radio mike and you won't be able to walk or only want to be able to use your hands. They have a really small pick up and what's great about that is that if there is extraneous noise it tends not to pick so much of it up and even if you're wearing even if you're wearing a lav the pick up you know or a tie mic the pick up is big enough that you can start to get some noise from around you. But the E6 has got such a small pick up zone and that's okay because it's literally right next to your mouth next to it rather than in front of it because you don't want to some pops in and overriding the mic but you just get great quality sound with a small pick up and it means that you don't get as much interference from peripheral audio. So it's great for when for example you need to speak to an audience. You can't do better.
Mike Russell: So I'm really pleased in this episode we've covered a lot about the projects you've worked on growing up with audio. Some of the best features in Adobe Audition. Even touched on virtual reality, mixed reality and real reality which is it's a new term to me so I am excited to hear more about that. So if you could if you could leave the person listening to this podcast now. Maybe they're an aspiring audio producer somebody who wants to get into this audio creation or possibly even video filmmaking industry. And they're they're young and they're aspiring and they're keen and energetic. What would be your advice to that person listening now who would like some advice from someone who's you know been there and done a few things. What would you say?
Maxim Jago: Well you know if you want to get into audio production post-production I would say this the audio is always the most important part of the production. Know that and has some pride in what you're doing because the people that know what they're talking about will agree with you and the people you don't want to work with won't. And so it's really important that you you know that what you're doing is absolutely critical. They say you'll never go hungry if you're a location sound recordist and it's one of those things where I can tell you as an indie filmmaker it's almost impossible to get someone to record location sound without paying them. You can get. You can get DPs you can get actors you know you can occasionally get lights but you are going to pay your sound recordist and so as a occupation as a way of earning money it's actually pretty good. But the other thing I would say is to be determined about getting good quality sound you know push hard. Don't be afraid to say no really. We do need to do this. This is important and you know we cannot accept that audio because down the line when the production gets into post-production. If you didn't push that hard and the sound isn't good quality you can literally end up with not using the take you wanted so you end up not getting the visuals you wanted because you didn't get the sound. So has some some courage and some confidence and demand that you get good quality sound in the first place.
Mike Russell: It all starts with with good quality audio. Well Maxim, it's been a fantastic session. I really enjoyed talking to you and for those who would like to know more about you and maybe find out a little bit more about what you do. Where's the best place to find you online?
Maxim Jago: Well thank you it's been an absolute pleasure I'm pretty easy to find. I'm a Google whack I have a weird name or unusual name. So if you just google Maxim Jago you will only find me or people illegally sharing my content which I'm quite proud about because I think that you've arrived when people pirate stuff. But you know my website's Maxim Jago dot com I'm on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook it's all just Maxim Jago I'm pretty easy to find.
Mike Russell: Awesome, Maxim thank you for joining me.
Maxim Jago: Thank you so much. It's been an absolute pleasure.
Mike Russell: That concludes this episode. Would you like an extra chance to win the awesome audio gear giveaway? Hit subscribe and review this podcast then email the details to podcast at MRC dot FM for extra entry into the awesome audio gear giveaway. Good luck.
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