Audio Errors

I started watching this great animated short film yesterday but instantly noticed something wrong, have a look/listen…

I find it hard to believe that the video has had 152,000 views and no one noticed the glaring audio error… At first it made me check my playback – had my monitoring somehow changed!? No… So I downloaded a copy of the film, imported it to Protools and instantly verified the error… I presume its a mistake in the layback/embed of sound to image, and is easily fixed but… 152,000 views!?

I commented about it on twitter & someone commented maybe it is due to the fact most people had watched it on a device that sums to mono.. which i can concede could account for many/most but not all… Do people really not notice this? I know I live in a bubble, where most people I would discuss this with would pick the error instantly i.e. within the first 15 seconds… but this is also a good reminder of how many people are either simply unaware – can you remember when you could hear only music or a soundtrack as being a single ‘thing’? No, me neither…

I left a comment on that video, but I will see if I can contact the sound designer & let him know – the soundtrack is really nicely designed & mixed, its a shame when great work is let down by a technicality at the last stage…

So staying on this theme of technical fck ups, whats the worst audio mistake that you have experienced? Where you just had to ask ‘How long has it been like this?’ Hopefully the answer was not “for 152,000 views”

3 thoughts on “Audio Errors

  1. Dan Powell

    I’ve come to the conclusion that most people are slightly deaf… not that they can’t hear sound, but that they don’t really listen to it.

    At the same time though, I wonder how this mistake could have happened ? We (confident that us sound engineers are super careful) basically assume it must have happened after the mix was finished… but flipping the channels is not trivial in most video editing software, it’s not even easy to do in most audio software if the file is itself interleaved. So I wonder if in this case it MAY have been that the designer — maybe he had new speakers/soundcard/interface or something… finished the job, and then presented that to the producer.

    After that it’s understandable that few people noticed… until Tim of course. 😉

    1. tim Post author

      call me a vigilant 🙂

      re errors,
      I once had to investigate a complaint from a director who said his film did not sound good in a local theatre… So me & one of the re-recording mixers went & visited the theatre in question… Even before they played us anything there was a very audible earth hum in the speakers… They then played us the start of the film and the panning was very strange… A bit more investigating and discovered they did not actually have a Dolby decoder (this was Dolby stereo with encoded surrounds, back before 5.1) – we had to just walk away & ever since strongly reccomended directors not screen their films there.. thankfully it is now demolished…

      & another horror story
      Went to the cast & crew screening of a film I had worked on & again the panning was very strange… A car pass that I knew panned L > C > R seemed to disappear… A bit of investigation afterwards & turned out the theatre had blown their left main speaker some time earlier, and as it was apparently taking some time to get it fixed they had turned that amp off! WTF!?!

      1. Dan Powell

        Somewhere online there’s a video of Van Halen playing a concert … they’d clearly used a digital playback for the synth intro to that awful “Jump” song. The interesting part is when the live band finally join in they’re a half step (and a half ) out of pitch with the intro … the old 48 vs 44.1 chestnut ! … the confusion that follows is fabulous.

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