In this show and tell review Mike Aiton takes a detailed look at the new McDSP SA-2 Dialog Processor to see if it helps him with his post production workflow. Watch the video to see how he gets on.
Dialog is a key part of any movie, television show, documentary, or for that matter, any creative media production involving the spoken word. Add to the mix a sweeping musical score, dozens of foley effects, and plenty more – and it becomes clear the job of dialog mixing is a tall order. After all, if you can’t hear what the actors are saying, you loose the flow of the narrative and the story telling is broken.
More About The McDSP SA-2 Dialog Processor
The SA-2 is designed to improve the overall sound of recorded speech. But the SA-2 is not just for dialog. It’s equally useful for vocals, and is a great tool for adjusting the timbre of any track, a reliable de-esser, and a fine multi-frequency compressor, in our completely biased opinion.
The SA-2 Dialog Processor is made up of 5 bands of strategic active equalization, configured in a variety of modes to best address common issues of dialog. Each band of active equalization has a threshold control to determine at what signal level the active equalizer begins to effect the signal. There are also enable buttons for each band to quickly audition the effect of any given band. Two mode selectors – one for controlling the ballistics of the active equalization, and a second for placing the five bands at strategic locations in the frequency spectrum. Finally, there are input and output gain controls for overall adjustment.
SA-2 Dialog Processor Available As An AAX DSP Plug-in Too
Being McDSP it is available in AAX Native and AAX DSP formats and the pricing is amazing too.. The SA-2 HD will be available for $249, with the SA-2 Native available for only $149. However until October 5th McDSP are running a 50% sale so if you hurry you can get the SA-2HD for $124 and the SA-2 Native for $74!
Update - Surround Options
In the review I raised the point that it would be nice to have a multi-channel version, as centre channel dialogue is just an opening gambit - the gloves are off regarding dialogue placement in multichannel (even LFE use) these days. Team member Alan Sallabank wondered if the reason why it is not multi-channel might be because using on a bus master or group wouldn't be any use for object based mixing, such as Dolby Atmos. This is a very good point indeed, but I still think it would be a very nice option to have a surround version.