Questions to the Masters

Discussion in 'Fan Audio' started by Rjaniz, Aug 12, 2003.

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  1. Rjaniz Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2001
    Well, thanks to Nathan, I'm now planning on turning my most recent script into a radio drama. Seems like the best course of action (saves the heartache of making bad visiuals, money on costumes, time on producing the visuals, etc). Heheh might even be able to produce this one because I might have a better chance getting voice talent rather than actors. ;)

    But I'm curious what the average timeline was for a radio drama. From start to completion. Figuring the script, and readings are already finished.

    Also,
    How in blazes did you guys ever find the talent for your dramas? Just posting casting calls on forums?
  2. keithabbott Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 4
    Good luck with your project Rjaniz. Is this gonna be Star Wars influenced?

    For us to took 21 months once the script was done. Probably a bit extreme, but..

    As for talent, the internet was actually our #2 target. The #1 target was our local fan club, and the #3 target was local acting groups.

    Keith


  3. Spacehunter24 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2003
    star 4
    Good luck.

    I would say the timeline varies depending on how complex the project is. My audio drama, SMUGGLER'S RUN, was written in November/December last year, the dialogue was recorded in January, and it's been in post-production since then (but that's partially my own fault, because I kept putting off editing for a couple months). It should be completed soon, though, as things have been moving forward swiftly.
  4. Nathan_P_Butler Author, Star Wars Tales #21

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    Member Since:
    May 23, 2003
    star 4
    Size is the key, as is your crew resources.

    For 2S, I wrote it, and it sat on the shelf for a year before turning it into an Audio Script and casting, then it took about another year until we had all recordings in and were able to get part 1 mixed, then the other two parts took about a month, combined.

    But that was with delays and with a cast of 40+ for a drama that ran 15 sec shy of 2 hours.

    On the other hand, with an Anthology episode, which is usually around 5 speaking parts, I can hammer one of those out in a week, from writing through mixing, if I absolutely have to. I just have to be careful on what situations I use.

    So, figure, for your first one, give yourself a year. It'll be less, but try a year unless it's a really long script.
  5. Rjaniz Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2001
    Keith
    Yup, it's a Star Wars drama. Though no where near as gritty as something like "2nd Strike", and it's got a few lightsabers in it. Wow, 21 months is long, but I don't consider it extreme. Considering how much creativity you have to do (sounds, where said sound goes (all 5 speakers of sound), timing, etc), and for how much RoN sounds like it's going to accomplish.

    Michael
    Hehe I have a feeling I'm going to be in the same boat you are (with the putting off editing thing). Still...should be fun.

    Nathan
    Yeah, that's what i figured a year or so. As for the crew, right now... I AM the crew. :) So, after the script is finalized, I might start asking for help. But I don't want to ask for help if the script sucks. Getting people to devote their valuable time to producing crap seems like such a waste to me. heheh I'll never be able to work in hollywood!

    Thanks for the quick replies guys. I really appreciate it. Hopefully, I'll have better questions the next time I post. ;)
  6. keithabbott Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 4
    The 5.1 surround sound is an extra attempt at making RoN a bit more interesting. After looking over the cost of hosting, there's no way a 5.1 surround sound mix will be available for download to the public short of making it available on Kaaza or something like that. The surround sound mix will be for our cast and crew members only at the moment. That's new since the last time I talked about it. :( I wish I could make it available but the size would be enormous and I don't think any affiliates around the net would help us out. Now, if I'm wrong...that would be a coup! And I'd be really psyched to finish it.

    Anyhow, 21 months we're mostly due to recording and re-recording and mixing it all together. The effects themselves weren't too terribly difficult. Placement of audio however..now that and the recording of dialogue were the main issues. There's not a lot of dialogue at any one time, but there is a lot of back and forth conversation. Having to place those lines individually was painstaking, especially when having to use personal judgment as to how the response is formed...you know..does it happen immediately..do they pause..do they take a deep breath before hand...do you slow it down or speed it up.

    Keith
  7. Elan-Rai RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2001
    star 4
    I have to agree with Keith's last statement. It can be difficult when establishing the final mix, because you want to make sure you convey a "conversation" and not just sentences.

    I guess CORUSCANT? was written over a week span around the summer of 2002. I had planned on setting down and recording it then, but I had prior obligation with a fanfilm at the time. Once recording began, we zipped right through it. I knew I had roughly 2 weeks to make this happen, so I did. Parts were recorded all across the states and mailed to me via CD (WAV format) in the mail. I brought all the parts into SONAR and went to town. I met the deadline by a day. So I guess 2 weeks was about right from the time I received the dialogue to the time I uploaded it for everyone.

    I know.. that's all wordy, but that is how it happened. :)
  8. Rjaniz Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2001
    I'm a little confused, what format would you have your 5.1 mix in? I was under the impression that it could eventually be put into .mp3 and pseudo 5.1 (actually 4.1 because MP3s and that center speaker don't get along) format.

    As for the "dialogue" as opposed to "sentences", that's something I never really considered. Is that a serious problem?
  9. Elan-Rai RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2001
    star 4
    Don't mean to take this off topic, but this is for Keith:

    What programs/plugins are you using to get a 5.1 output? I thought Soundforge might have that, but can't find it.
  10. keithabbott Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 4
    MP3 cannot handle 5.1 surround sound. I have no idea about 4.1. The final mix would end up basically being a WAV file but the extension is .AC3. This is playable in programs like Power DVD, etc. as an AC3 extension. Otherwise you can just put it onto a CD and play it easily on most dvd players. DO NOT however play a CD-R with an .AC3 file on a regular cd player. That would be very very bad.

    I'm using Soft Encode. It's an older program by Sonic Foundry but it works. They have a newer version of Vegas Video that does this but it's really expensive.

    Keith

  11. Elan-Rai RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2001
    star 4
    Ahhhh.. Sonic Foundry. I'll have to dig to see if they have a Soft Encode plugin for Soundforge.
  12. Rjaniz Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2001
    Doh, you're right. Sorry, I read the information wrong. That'll teach me to not test the theory before I post it.

    BUT .WMA files certainly produce that 5.1 goodness. And they're almost as small as an MP3. Unfortunately, the only thing I know that'll run it is the latest version of Windows Media Player. And that still elminates the CD aspect.


  13. Elan-Rai RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2001
    star 4
    Well, I suppose there is always DVD Audio (DVD-A). It isn't really widely used by any means, but it can be done.
  14. Nathan_P_Butler Author, Star Wars Tales #21

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    Member Since:
    May 23, 2003
    star 4
    Swear t'god, I will one day slap the person who named the audio-only variant of DVD media "DVD-A."

    Did they not see the blatant porn reference or what? Jeez!

    (Granted, Nathan hadn't heard said term until it was the name of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's band, but still.)
  15. keithabbott Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 4
    Soft Encode is not a plugin. It's a separate program you probably won't find it anywhere. I had to get it second hand myself. Got lucky at that.

    But you might have more success with the latest version of Vegas Video/DVD Architect.

    I wish I could comment on WMA but I have no idea. From all my research AC3 was the best route to take for DVD audio so that's what I decided to try.

    Keith
  16. Rjaniz Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2001
    no no, you're right, ac3 is best for a DVD. In fact I don't think any other sound format WORKS on DVD. But for the standard John Q. Downloader who has Windows XP, WMA could be an alternative if you really wanted to present the community with 5.1 sound. By the way, does anyone know the precentage of computers that are running XP?

    here's a example if you're interested. it's an .exe file, that has 2 5.1 files in there. WMA and WAV.
  17. Rjaniz Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2001
    Another question for you guys.

    You ever been in the final phases of a script (you're basically done, and just tweeking everything so it flows right) And suddenly realize that this story just isn't enough for you? You suddenly get like a 1000 new ideas to put into the story? And want to go back and put it all in there?

    This always seems to happen to me and I was wondering if it ever happens to anyone else. And also what is your usual course of action. Ignore the new ideas and keep going on your already set route? Or take the story back to outline?
  18. Elan-Rai RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2001
    star 4
    Yeah, it has happened to me (and obviously to George Lucas as well). All you can really do is work something until it flows on its own. Always remember that a project is never finished. It continuously evolves. Just get to the point that you are satisfied. :)
  19. keithabbott Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 4
    We did add new stuff into RoN that wasn't there before the script had been completed. But we've also taken out things. You just have to learn when to say no...we don't need it. If it's easy to do and enhances the story, then sure why not. But if it's a distraction or takes too much time, I wouldn't see that as a good thing.

    Keith
  20. keithabbott Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 4
    That 6.1 surround sound file doesn't work on Stereo systems. It may work on home PC surround sound...but if you send it to an external Dolby Digigal Decoder it doesn't decode. I believe you sitll have to use an AC3 file to decode externally to a home audio amplifier. My current sound card allows that..it's a Phillips. I don't use computer speakers with my computer. I hooked my external audio to my dolby digital stereo system.

    Keith
  21. Rjaniz Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2001
    Oh. Yeah that would be one stipulation. That RoN would have to be run on a computer, not any stereo. The others would be that the computer would have WinXP, Sound Card to handle 5.1, and of course, the speakers for that.

    Whew. Certainly are a lot of "stipulations." Yeah, you're smarter to just do what you're doing and do it up in Stereo for the general mass.
  22. Elan-Rai RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2001
    star 4
    Of course, you could always just make the project in Dolby Surround. I think that can mostly be done by a plugin. I know I've seen that somewhere before. Any ideas on that, Keith?
  23. keithabbott Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 1998
    star 4
    If you mean just a few channels...na. Although hypothetically I might be able to save it as a wma or wav...just don't know if it would be in surround because I don't have a setup like that to test it.
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