Post: Trying to Save Lives With Sound

Jan 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Blair Jackson



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For the final mix in the actual simulator, Dweck rented a Pro Tools HD rig from Absolute Rentals. “We figured out how to get a ProControl main unit and one fader pack wedged between the two front seats of the Humvee, which was mounted on the motion base about seven feet up in the air. I had to climb in and out with a ladder. I jammed my 6-foot body into the back sitting on the transmission hump. The inside of a Humvee is a little torture palace, with large exposed bolts and brackets everywhere. I can't count the number of times I hit my head, and I couldn't sit up straight.

“It was without question the most uncomfortable mix room I've ever worked in. I would mix a scene, get out and stretch, and then grab Bob Wolterstorff and Richard Lindheim for a playback; they'd sit in the back seats directly next to me, we'd make some tweaks, they'd climb out and I'd move on to the next scene. The proof came when we started putting all the elements together — the mix plays exactly as we expected it to when the motion profiles are applied.”

Asked whether, ultimately, he feels like he's doing a good deed by taking on this sort of project, Dweck notes, “You know, I've spent years sitting there at two o'clock in the morning replacing and removing inconsequential dog barks for the fourth time at the whim of some producer — which is my job and I'm glad to do it. But I've looked at my co-workers, and said, ‘You know, we're really not saving lives here, guys.’ This is the first time I've been involved in something where I actually might have some effect on somebody's life. If I can make this real enough and help a guy learn to spot something and avoid it, or help them learn how to make a direct hit more survivable because they've been through something like it once, that's huge. That's bigger than all my past credits put together.”

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