Audio for Video

Sound will effect video.

Always record it, even if it is only the wind. This may seem obvious, but poor sound mixing can destroy even the best camera work. An outstanding audio mix is very complicated. So much so, that in large productions there will be multiple layers of sound at any given moment.

Hum, frequency buzz, and many other distracting noises need to be identified and eliminated. Many editing programs such as Final Cut Pro X, offer great audio filters that can help fix poor sound. Ambient sound, correct music and sound effects play a critical role in your ability to tell a story. As with editing, there are many audio programs available to manipulate and enhance sound. Good audio for video productions holds more weight than pictures.

Video without excellent audio is useless.




Pleasing Sound


  • Always record natural sound and weave it into your audio channels

  • Use a sound proof booth with a good microphone in recording voice tracks

  • Attempt to record more than one channel of audio with different microphones on location in the field

  • Find or create ambient audio and sound effects

  • Layer your music with primary, secondary and support sound

  • Be attuned to voice: rate, tone, pitch, volume and inflection

  • Audio levels on a speaking voice should average about (–5Vu analog) or (–15db) digital and music levels should not exceed (0Vu analog) or (–20db digital)



 Music Rights


  • Every recorded song is protected by law

  • ASCAP / BMI - the major labels

  • Public Performance Rights - fees are usually paid by the television station or media entity that is broadcasting to the public.

  • Synchronization Rights - fees that are paid in the joining of music to other media, such as recording into a show open (embedded). A "one time only" use usually goes unreported, however any repeated use will require approval from the publisher. Clearing Houses are helpful in these cases.

  • Music Libraries offer yearly contracts to use their material




Final thought - begin creating with audio first - not video. Close your eyes and listen - does any sound annoy you? If so blend, sweeten or eliminate it.


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