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06 Dec2017

Audio Post-Production Guide for Professionals

The audio of a professionally produced video is an important part of the video production process that must be given careful attention both during production as well as in post-production. The craft of audio post-production includes several different processes, among them the sound design, mixing, sound editing, and the addition of a variety of different effects.

Audio Plays a Significant Role in Creating a Great Video

The first instinct of most people is to think of video as a primarily visual medium. Yet, sound plays an enormous role in how our audiences perceive our work. Not convinced? Try this experiment. Put a scary movie on, turn down the sound, and put on some light music. Without the aid of the soundtrack, much of the power of the original is stripped away. All the elements of sound – dialogue, music, ambient sound, and sound effects – work hand in hand with the visual elements to create the overall impression of your video production.

Capturing Great Sound on The Front End

While the role of post-production in shaping your video’s soundtrack is vital, the task will be made much easier if vital elements of the soundtrack are captured clearly during the video production process. Here are some of the important elements to consider when recording the sound for your video.

  • Use an external microphone – Don’t think for a moment that you’re going to get good sound from the built-in microphone on your camera. Invest in the proper microphones for your shoots. If you’re shooting interviews of spokesperson videos, lavalier microphones are a must. Shooting outside? A boom mic with a windscreen is an essential.
  • Monitor while you record – The single best way to get proper sound levels is to monitor your sound while recording. Have a dedicated member of your team whose job is to plug into the recorder with their headphones and monitor the takes. Check with them after each takes or set of takes before moving on.
  • Record ambient sounds on location – To get the most authentic sound for your video, record ambient sounds on site. While you can use the resources of stock sound libraries to supplement your ambient sound recordings, there’s nothing like the authenticity of recording real sound from your real location.
  • Consider the weather – Weather can have a big effect on the quality of the sound you record. The biggest enemy at most location shoots is the wind, but it’s a good idea to check weather forecasts to avoid issues with other weather conditions, like thunder.

Obstacles to Achieving the Sound You Want

Even when you follow the tips listed above, there are some common pitfalls to watch out for when recording sound for your video. You’ll need to plan these things before so that they won’t require extra attention in the post-production process.

  • Noisy locations – Ambience is one thing, but excessive background noise can get in the way of successfully recording dialogue if you’re not careful. Do what you can to screen out these sounds when possible, and choose your microphones carefully. Directional microphones will help eliminate excessive off-axis noise.
  • Incorrect gear – Be sure you’ve got the right gear for the right situation. Forgetting to bring your microphone’s windscreen may result in unusable audio tracks.
  • Incorrect recording levels – Don’t fall prey to “set it and forget it.” Just because the recording levels were good for your first takes, be sure to check levels throughout the shoot, particularly as you change locations.

Post-production Techniques to Take Your Sound to the Next Level

Recording clean audio tracks when shooting your video is important. But the work doesn’t end there. Post-production techniques should be employed to not only polish the sound but to add the extras that make up a first-class audio track for your video. Here are some of the tools and techniques that are added during the post-production period.

  • Cleaning up dialogue – The services of a professional dialogue editor are an important part of post-production audio. They’ll listen to and analyze every line of dialogue to identify flaws in the recording, then apply effects as necessary to improve the quality. If necessary, they’ll add and sync rerecorded lines of dialogue.
  • Adding ambient background sound – Ambient background sounds do a lot to establish the location and realism of scenes in your production. And “hard” effects like gunshots often need to be added during the audio post-production process. Sound effects designers can add these effects from ambient recordings done during the shoot or from audio libraries.
  • Foley artists – Foley artists add the details that bring a scene to life. The clink of ice cubes being dropped into a glass, the sound of boots crunching through the snow. These are just a couple of examples of the work of Foley artists.
  • The musical background – The post-production music editor will add and set the levels for the music you’ve selected, either original or existing music as a traditional soundtrack, and may also add and set levels for music that may be playing in the background of a scene – such as a song from a jukebox in a bar, or the background music being played in a retail store.

Let Video Caddy be Your Post-Production Partner

Outsourcing your audio post-production editing to Video Caddy will put these vital tasks in the hand of a highly skilled and effective team of industry professionals. Video Caddy, a leading audio/video editing and post-production service provider with its years of experience and a skilled team of post-production specialists, can offer you unmatched quality work at a competitive cost. Video Caddy’s transparent process and customized engagement model will not only ensure you to meet your deadlines but also will provide you with the reliability you need in an audio/video editing and post-production service provider.

– Video Caddy

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