Audio Postproduction
for Film and Video

Second Edition

By Jay Rose, C.A.S.

Introduction to the Second Edition

Film and video sound have been separate disciplines for most of my career.

Film used platoons of specialists, sometimes with rooms full of interlocked transports and editing machines, to turn tiny bits of acting into tracks that would work in a theater. Video had to be smaller and faster. Even big shows often had only a few audio people, working with much longer performances and mostly the same equipment as music production. Film and video both had "sound for picture" and many of the problems were similar. But the equipment, techniques, workfl ows, and business models were different.

Digital changed that. Over the course of about twenty years, both worlds adopted the new audio technologies: they were faster, easier to use, and higher quality. But since the infrastructures and business models were already in place, we all pretty much kept working the way we had... just with newer equipment. Part of the reason those things didn't change was that film's picture was still an optical and chemical medium, with many expensive stages before it could be released. Video's picture was instantaneous.

Then pictures caught up. Some small digital cameras and desktop editing systems are now good enough to tell stories that can be shown in theaters. Blockbusters costing many millions of dollars can use essentially the same tools as well-produced corporate videos. Even if the production is shot on film (and a lot of "films" are now shot on video), most of the visual editing and post-production happens electronically. So Hollywood started looking to video sound for ways to work with it efficiently. Meanwhile, independents who had been shooting smaller videos started making features, and their sound people had to deal with theatrical-style tracks.

I'm trying to bring these worlds together. Shooting a Web video? Some feature-film track techniques might make it work better... And you theatrical guys? The video side learned tricks that could knock your socks off. Of course this edition also updates sections on equipment and software, and fixes one or two things that I wasn't happy about in the first edition. There's a lot more meat here.

(There's also more words, thanks to more pages and tighter layout in this edition. To make it all fit, I had to sacrifice a few small sections that just don't apply as much any more. I've noted those deletions in this text, along with pointers to where you can find the original text on my website.)


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