How to work with a Sound Designer
My more specific question is: “How do I work with a sound designer when I’m not happy with the technical quality of the audio?”
I’m currently working with a sound designer at a studio to finish a film in both 5.1 and stereo. When working at the studio, all the sound is very loud, especially the dialogue. He says that dialogue has to be a lot louder than people normally think. Is this true? While watching with two of my producers, we had a difficult time listening to some of the characters speaking. And in the finished product, since we find ourselves lowering the volume, the ambience and music become really low.
The main problem I have is that I feel a lot of the audio sounds low quality to me. As if my original sound files (which were recorded very well and with the highest quality mics) have been downgraded to a lower quality or heavily compressed in some way. Also, some of the ADR sounds artificial as if a “robotic” effect was put in but since the sound designer says it’s just me nitpicking, I just moved on. He explains to me everything’s fine, and since I’m not a sound expert, I just have to let it go.
But recently, what alerted me was when I watched the film on my TV at home. I uploaded the film to Vimeo like I have done on previous projects, but I can’t get the volume to go higher than medium before the sound begins cracking. And sometimes, the music cracks even at a very low volume. All of my previous projects in which I worked with another sound designer have crisp sound and doesn’t crack even at the highest volumes despite streaming on poor quality sites like YouTube. Since I plan streaming the film online in the future, I would like for the audio to play well. But the sound designer just tells me that I have bad speakers/headphones. So I don’t know what to do. Maybe if I knew what the problem was, he would fix it for me. Any advice on what to do in my current situation to end with good stereo?