Picture this: You're sitting in an edit suite after successfully completing production on your film. The shoot went well, the locations were incredible, the performances first-rate, the sound captured perfectly, and everything seemed to click in a way your previously worried expectations couldn't have foreseen. Take a bow (and a breath).
Now you're in post-production mode and it's time to add a crucial element of the process: a musical score. You already have that provided to you by a trusted composer? Perfect! Now a fusion needs to take place. How do you successfully mix that score with the dialogue you previously captured?
Fortunately, the good folks at KitSplit (the community marketplace for camera rentals) have just released an excellent tutorial on that very task. Titled How to Mix Dialogue with Music in Adobe Premiere, host Joseph Wolensky (NYC Production Sound) helps demystify the art of sound-mixing and breaks down how to determine the right balance for a maximum merge between tracks.
As the video makes playfully clear, the goal of sound-mixing is to find the perfect balance between your diegetic and non-diegetic audio. In order to tone one down and boost one up, you will need to know the difference between compression and equalization (EQ).
Compression is "a signal processing operation that reduces the volume of loud sounds by adjusting an audio signal's dynamic range," and EQ "a signal processing tool that adjusts the frequency response of an audio signal to better fix a mix." As made evidently clear by cinema's best examples, the synergy appears when the two work in tandem.
Courtesy of Kitsplit.
Still unsure of the difference? As Wolensky explains, it's an (almost literal) puzzle! "Think of EQ as a tool where you're going to create some notches between your two tracks so they fit into each other just like puzzle pieces."
After watching the tutorial, does sound mixing feel a little less daunting? Are you ready to become close friends with your parametric equalizer? Tells us about your audio-adjusting experiences in the comments and remember to filter out your lower frequencies.