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Sound Design+Mix, Social+Strategy

Ralph Media enlisted us for audio post on their innovative marketing campaign supporting Netflix’s hit show Maniac.” Case Study Below. 


The Show

exists in a parallel dimension

where technology is advanced but seems frozen in the aesthetics of the early 90’s. To build on this, creative agency Ralph, developed in-world content rich with Rubik’s cubes and bubble screens to promote the release of Maniac.

This particular piece of comes from the parallel-dimension version of the MTA — we can only hope that the subways in this other New York” are cleaner and run on schedule. We recorded original voice over, and implemented fun atmospheric sound design, including a sonically detailed subway car.



The Sitch

The biggest challenge of this piece proved to be the inclusion of some of the show clips which were already mixed with dialogue, atmosphere, sound design, and music. When we put these clips in conversation with our freshly recorded voice-over and musical score, there was no way to boost the dialogue of the show clips to match our voice-over without bringing up the atmosphere and show music to a point where it was distracting. 

Due to quick turnarounds, it wasn’t feasible to request the isolated audio of the show clips.



The Solve

We utilized Izotope RX to isolate dialogue from the original show clips. This software is essentially Photoshop for sound, and allows us to work audio magic in a pinch. While the feature is very smart, it is not perfect; in order to smooth out digital artifacts that crop up during that process, we layered the isolated dialogue on top of the original audio. The artifacts dovetail into their original audio sources and become less apparent to the ear. In order to shade” the edges, we then add a layer of ambiance from our sound library. In the case of the clip below, this was NYC street sound. Adding this ambiance allows us to fade in / out and smooth the artifact edges leaving a clean final piece of audio with dramatically improved dialogue levels.

Here's a video to demonstrate: