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Blog: Mixing Dinosaur Dialogue

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As I was going to be in the lovely East Midlands for the day on Thursday I thought I'd use the time wisely and book a SESSION at The Snug in Derby to get on with mixing the dialogue for Dinosaur Planet: THE ALBUM. I was VERY excited about it... so excited, in fact, that I got there an hour early!

Once I'd realised this and been off for a bit of a wander Rich arrived and we headed in for a hard day's GRAFT. My foolish hope was to mix ALL the dialogue parts, do rough mixes of all the songs AND then have a first attempt at segueing it all together... this turned out to be a BIT of wishful thinking, as we spent most of the day JUST on the dialogue.

Crikey tho, WHAT a day of THRILLS this turned out to be - I'd been sent very rough mixes of everything a few weeks ago, but due to a funny FORMATTING issue with some of the sound files we'd used a lot of it had been missing - one particularly dramatic scene was so BEREFT of Actual Action that all I had was two minutes of light rain with a small cheer halfway through! THUS listening to it all AS IT WAS MEANT TO BE was TERRIFICALLY exciting, and with a few tweeks we managed to make everything EVEN MORE SO. There's some sections, especially near the start, where it's a bit slow - one part consisted of a telephone being picked up, dialled, and then ringing for about five seconds which, really, i doubt is what anybody listening to an album called "Dinosaur Planet" would hope to hear. Everything got a LOT more DYNAMIC as we tightened everything up, and we even got to add some MORE EXPLOSIONS! HOORAH!

The weird thing, as ever, was how easy it was to take it all VERY SERIOUSLY. We spent AGES, for instance, debating exactly what kind of reverb a talking Space Dinosaur would have. "He'd have a very large chest cavity, so LOGICALLY there should be a large echo, but sort of tube-like, perhaps?" I heard myself saying. Also "No, the space ship is landing with no intent of taking off again, so the pilot wouldn't be worried about landing it that gently. Let's put in MORE EXPLOSIONS!"

More thrills came when the doorbell occasionally rang - one time Rich said "It'll either be Robbie, or a man selling cakes." IT WAS A MAN SELLING CAKES - i thought he was joking! John Shuttleworth, or someone very like him, popped by to enquire about recording his Karaoke act too. Rich went to the Dentist, so Robbie came by, and for one STEAMY SESSION all THREE of us were bent over the desk (STEADY!), debating impact levels for space bazooka.

I even got to do a bit of recording - adding some Crowd Dinosaurs to one song, filling in a line we'd forgotten to record, and best of all reporting LIVE from the devastation of Peterborough, for a bit of background radio noise. I would often dream of the obliteration of my hometown as a teenager, little did I know my imaginings would come in handy for a ROCK ALBUM decades later!

We DID manage to get rough mixes of about 70% of the songs, and I'll be doing my OWN little segue attempt over the weekend, so's i can send it to cast members, but soon it was time to RACE OFF to the station... or, at least, The Brunswick, NEAR the station, where there was time for a cheeky pint with Mr F A Machine before I needed to hop on the train and head back to the Comedy Festival.

It was a busy busy, but wonderful, day's work - and the results sound BLOODY AMAZING!

posted 18/2/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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