Once you’ve decided on your audio workflow, it’s time to get to work. Dialogue, sound effects, music, and mixing are all essential for creating professional video.
Once you’ve decided on your audio workflow, it’s time to get to work. Audio tasks fall into 4 primary categories. dialogue, sound effects, music, and mixing. Other than mixing, which could be a whole course on it’s own, the order of operations for these tasks isn’t crucially important. Let’s start with dialogue. In this case, we’re using dialogue as a catch all term for tracks that have a person or people speaking. Whether it’s actors in scene, a narrator, or an on camera host, getting your dialogue sounding great is essential. Typical operations you’ll need to perform include inserting ADR, removing unwanted sounds, noise reduction, normalizing levels, applying EQ and possibly compression. You’ll also want to make sure that the levels between clips and scenes remains relatively consistent. This is also where you can perfect any existing transitions between clips, or add new ones if necessary. Next up we have sound effects. Sound effects can include hard effects , foley, ambience, sound design, and production elements. Hard effects refer to placing a single sound precisely timed with on screen action to heighten it’s effect. Like a thump sound at the exact moment when a football is kicked. Foley sound is custom made to time perfectly with the action in a scene. This can be footsteps, clothing rustle, breathing, and more. Ambience includes any sounds you add to heighten the reality of a scene. This may be crowd noise, traffic noise, and other things like that. This could also be room tone that was recorded on set to help bridge noticeable audio edits. Sound Design is the process of stacking various layers of sound to give more realism and drama to on screen actions. These sound layers can be custom creations, or pulled from an existing sound library Finally, production elements refers to all those whooshes, swooshes, stingers and more that are commonly used in motion graphics sequences. The combination of all of these types of sound effect results in a richly textured reality that supports the on screen images. Finally we have music. Most of us probably won’t have a composer, and will be left to fend for ourselves purchasing stock music, or hunting for royalty free music on the web. Once you’ve got all these elements chosen and placed, it’s time to mix them all together. Any audio pro will tell you there is an art and science all it’s own to this process. As a general rule, start with your dialogue, mix in your sound effects, then adjust your music levels. Of course, this isn’t truly a linear process, and you’re bound to be fiddling with all the levels until time runs out or you’re satisfied. All that’s left is to export, and marry the results with all the work that’s been completed on the video side of the project.