November 18, 2017

Essential Post-Production Effects for Creating a Dynamic Sound Design

As you work on your film's sound design, here are some of the effects you'll want to utilize to make it more dynamic.

We all know that filmmaking is a visual art form, but sound is also one of the most important aspects of a film. However, so many filmmakers don't know enough about the technical side of sound design to confidently work with it in post. If this is true for you, Kris A. Truini of Kriscoart shares some really helpful tips on how to create a sound design in Adobe Premiere Pro that is cinematic, dynamic, and professional in the video below. Check it out!

Before you start thinking about altering your audio in post, you'll need to make sure that the sound you record out in the field is clean. Remember, garbage in, garbage out. A few things to remember to do is:

  • Record plenty of clean room tone
  • Avoid noise pollution (traffic, alarms, planes, electronic hums, conversations, etc.)
  • Get your mic as close to your source as possible
  • (Bonus) You might want to consider recording real sound from your production instead of relying on stock sound

Now, once you've recorded some clean audio, you can head into post and start to adjust it as needed. Truini digs into a few effects that will help you modify your sound to fit your scene:

  • Reverb: This is important for establishing the location of your scene. For example, a bedroom won't have as much reverb as a giant empty cave.
  • EQ: EQing sound is an art form in and of itself and requires a lot more than a short blurb to explain. However, one tip for a better EQ is to pay attention to which frequencies you want to focus on at different times, and then adjust the EQ of each audio clip to highlight it. Truini gives the example of taking out the bass of other clips so the bass of one particular clip comes in nice and clear.
  • Panning: This can help make your sound more dimensional and realistic.
  • Treble: Truini uses this effect to create a bit of mystery and anticipation for what the audio clip will actually sound like once the treble is removed.

What are some other post-production effects that will help make your sound design more dynamic and cinematic? Let us know down in the comments.     

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