Dialogue mixer Ron Bartlett talks RX in Deepwater Horizon


We sat down with Academy Award-nominated sound mixer Ron Bartlett to chat about his work on the new film Deepwater Horizon.

“I use RX Advanced on every film I mix."

Deepwater Horizon was a very challenging mix. The overall concept was to keep it very real and give it an almost documentary feel—instead of a slick drama about the events that surrounded the biggest oil spill in history.”

“My task as the dialogue mixer is to tell the story by ensuring clarity and intelligibility of the dialogue. There were a number of scenes that had plenty of ambient noise to clean up, and for that I used RX 5 Advanced. One of the first things I like to try is Dialogue De-noise, because it is very forgiving to the track. Spectral Repair is one of the most powerful tools in the [RX Advanced] arsenal. It allows me to visually see the sound and attack only the specific areas that need help.

“There is a scene in the film where the actors are on top of the rig while it’s on fire. That scene had a lot of fan noise obscuring the dialogue. They didn’t want to loop the whole scene, so I went to work using RX to clear out as much [fan noise] as possible. I was able to save most of the dialogue and only use a few lines of ADR (automated dialogue replacement) to complete the scene. That makes clients very happy when you can save good performances like that.”

“Another challenge throughout the film was the radio communication sounds. There were a lot of different perspectives and PA settings, which I had to match. Some of these were already done either from a temp mix or prior recordings. I used EQ Match to recreate the same quality of futz to match into or replace new lines.”

“I use RX Advanced on every film I mix. Whether it’s cleaning up tracks, matching takes, taking out clicks, or removing unwanted hums and tones, iZotope has truly enhanced my work methods and given me the tools to create a much better mix.”


To learn more about cleaning up location dialogue with iZotope’s RX, check out the free RX Audio Cookbook.

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