audio tips

Howdy SEA Fans welcome to another Tiptuesday blog post.

In our previous Tiptueday blog post, we shared information on the best mixing tips for a balanced soundtrack for film audio.

Today we are continuing with some more tips related to the topic like the audio fades, loops and the importance of silence in the movie.

Audio fades (fading, fade-in, fade-out)

Introduction and suffix of moods and scenes can / should also be supported with the music.

So if you have different settings with different voltages within a scene, and this is also should be shown with different music, you should set meaningful audio fades (fade-in, fade-out, crossfade).

Do not just play all the tracks one after the other, provide a breathing space let the music breathe with the picture.

If two settings or scenes are directly related to each other, this can be clarified acoustically by setting only one piece of music.

However, when it comes to fast picture sequences and mood changes, several pieces of music can serve to express chaos and drama.

These may sometimes be cut tight, depending on what the message requires.

Watch your movie as a whole, and you’ll find that music that is simply dulled without thinking behind a video can even ruin a movie.

A film usually tells a story – the music should help, not just on top of it.

Suitable volume and use of suitable music are the most important points here.

You need a formula how to do that? Very easily.

See, hear and feel your movie. Then you have reached your goal!

Handle to the volume control?

This usually means that the mentioned points were not given any value, it was probably just everything nailed in and shot to the limit – the wrong approach, not only for the music itself but also for your film.

See, hear and feel the movie, you will automatically do the right thing because the gut feeling is usually right.

Do not be tempted by the loudness war.
Let music and film breathe, dynamics instead of broken screaming through loudness delusion.

Loops, repetitions, loops

We have already seen some videos that were set to music with a 5-second audio loop.

No problem with a 5 or 10-second video, but do not loop the same loop for 3 minutes!

Why?

Loops and jingles are ideal for use as gap fillers, sound bridges, audio clips, intros and outros, but please do not use it for soundtracking a whole movie or video clip.

This will be a problem in 98% of cases.

They’ve gone to the trouble of making a movie or making a video – giving their place to the music as well, which is often underestimated.

Do not just pop in a loop, but take the time to find suitable music.

Your viewers will thank you!

Silent passages in the movie

Not always a film must be underlaid from beginning to end with music.

Quite the contrary – even silent scenes and attitudes positively support a tension curve and give both the film and the viewer time to take a short breath and process information.

With a healthy relationship between the set and silent passages, you give your film the necessary dynamics to be able to work and convey a message.

Liveliness through different styles of music and pieces

The choice of matching, but stylistically and categorically different music can do your movie well.

Scenes and mood changes are ideally hinted at and supported by music.

Do not just play the same piece of music for 3 minutes, but liven up the movie with different music.

Even if it’s only a few seconds in some cases – different pieces of music or sound design bring life to the booth and keep viewers on the pole!

Summary

  • A reasonable ratio of volume and loudness, especially when using different pieces of music.
  • Skillfully insert panels and thus weld or selectively separate pictures and moods.
  • Do not use short loops and jingles for a complete movie dubbing! Instead, select matching music and use loops only as bridges, etc.
  • Let the film breathe, not incessant Hollywood action and annoying music but also incorporate silent passages.
  • Support liveliness and dynamics by selecting and using different pieces of music in a film.

Further Reading & Related Videos

You can also go through the links and videos provided below to find more topics related to Sound Mixing and Sound Design for Films.

Sound Mixing your film: Top Fifteen Tips For Working With The Professionals

Sound Mixing your film: Top Fifteen Tips For Working With The Professionals

Sound Design 101: Making Your Film Sound Great

Sound Design 101: Making Your Film Sound Great

Sound Design Tips for Film Editors

Sound Design Tips for Film Editors

5 Basic Audio-Mixing Techniques for Editing Video

5 Basic Audio-Mixing Techniques for Editing Video

Hope you have found this content useful and gained knowledge on how to effectively mix film music after going through the 2 parts of this blog post series.

Do share your perspective about the content which is been discussed as a comment below.

and as always

Happy Sound Engineering

audio tips

In our Tip Tuesday blog post series, one of the least discussed topic is Film Sound.
Even though Audio for Film is part of our Diploma Course Curriculum, much is not discussed in this blog about the topic.

Howdy SEA Fans, welcome to another Tip Tuesday blog post and today we are inviting your attention to some tips on Film Sound Mixing.

This post is the Part 1 of the series and we would like to give you a few tips for the setting of your films and videos.

The topics discussed in the post are of-course only touched upon and in most cases mean whole universes of further complex information.

However, as an inspiration for your music settings, this contribution should bring along some basic knowledge that you would like to deepen on your own, it’s worth it.

Volume and Loudness

Both terms sound the same at first, but have an important difference.
Volume is the unit of sound measurable in decibels (abbr. DB), loudness, on the other hand, is the perceived volume, depending on a few factors, such as noise. the frequency range. Important for a homogeneous film sound are both properties.

Basically, the physical volume must not be exceeded. In video editing programs and other multimedia software, the master volume (sum) is usually displayed with a dB scale.

This has its maximum at zero dB, which can be a bit confusing.

However, zero does not mean “inaudible” but represents the maximum level before the digital clipping. Note, therefore, when mixing the movie sound, not only in the music dubbing but also in dialogues, off voices etc. the master level – this may 0 dB Otherwise, the sound goes into digital overdrive and the sine waves are practically cut off at the amplitude maxima (highest, loudest rashes). This creates the digital scratching, which is sure to be known to many.

Not to be confused with the so-called tape saturation, which dates back to the time of the magnetic tapes.

At that time – and luckily today again – tape saturation was a kind of natural compression that sounds far warmer and fuller than what is possible with software today.

Usually, film music is used, which has already been mixed for immediate use and possibly mastered – that is, the soundtrack as if it was “right” made already in the maximum volume and can basically without further adjustment in the film sound mix be driven without having to expect to clip. The prerequisite for this, of course, is that no further plugins for artificial inflation etc. are inserted (inserted) in your master channel (sum) and the individual channels.

Music from different sources

If you set your movie to music, you may use music from various sources. This means that you have soundtracks from different studios and composers, which should have a clean level, but can still be extremely loud. Then there is the loudness, so the perceived volume.

Unfortunately, today there are many producers who use the so-called loudness-war, so pump up your music technically so that you only hear a shallow shriek, according to the motto: the louder the better.

This is a common means in advertising because the human ear perceives “louder” music as “better”.

So it is compressed and pumped up until nothing works to differentiate itself from others. However, the reality is as follows: the louder, the more broken! Modern music, so most mainstream stuff on the radio, etc. has almost no dynamics, it’s just loud and annoying. See also the topic Loudness-War under About us
Film music supports the film, not the other way around

See your film as a whole, based on dramaturgy or tension curves.

That’s probably true in most cases, unless you have a purely technical video. The goal now is that the music supports the dramaturgy of the images. If your movie begins quietly, that should also do the music. If there is an increase in tension soon, the music can and should also be involved. Here comes the point of volume and loudness to fruition.

See your movie as a kind of wave that depicts the voltage curve.

This wave, no matter what training and shape it has, should also influence the music.

So be sure to use emotionally appropriate music and pay particular attention to the volume and loudness of each track.

Do not start with ultra-cool Hollywood sound when your video shows a kitten and do not use soft piano music while your cat falls from the 10th floor.

These are the principles – exceptions, of course, are possible and often deliberate to create irony.

Lastly, make sure that you adopt the various pieces of music to the overall work and the scenes according to the technical and perceived volume.

Do not just leave everything as it is, but make sure to create a homogenous audio ratio by lowering too loud pieces from the level and lifting too soft pieces depending on genre and type.

Raise only if the maximum level of the piece clearly falls below zero dB!

Hope the topic which we have discussed today has been an informative one and useful for you. More topics will be discussed in the second part of this blog post.

Do share your perspective about the topic as comments below and as always Happy Sound Engineering !!!