Producing Great Sound for Digital Video

By Jay Rose


This is the TOC for the first edition. Click here for information on the newer second edition.


Table of Contents

  I. FAQ
    
Problems with dialog / background noise / recorder troubles / lipsync issues / hum and noise / computer playback issues / editing problems / the mix doesn't sound right / other common questions

  II. Technicalities

    1. How Sound Works
      
The life of a sound / frequency / harmonics / envelopes / sound pressure / the decibel / echoes / inverse-square / soundproofing

    2. How Digital Audio Works
      
Why digital / error correction / sample rate / sample depth / dither / digital myths / lossy compression and MP3

    3. Audio on a Wire
      
Analog wiring / dBV, dBm, dBu / levels and dynamic range / noise / balanced wiring / connectors / digital audio wiring / cross-connecting digital formats

  III. Tips and Plans

    4. Planning for Sound
      How sound can save video $ / sound in the script / DV vs broadcast vs film / elements of a track / thinking about music / planning for sound effects

    5. Budgeting, Scheduling, and Pre-Pro
      
Production costs and current rates / budgeting time for sound / location scouting / special sound situations

  IV. Production

    6. Microphones and Room Acoustics
      
Pickup patterns and the real world / types of pickup patterns / problems with directional mics / types of elements / phantom power / using wireless / avoiding problems with multiple mics / location acoustics

    7. Recording Dialog
      
Using mic booms / lavalieres / avoiding noise / room tone / controlling mics / wind noise / using a separate recorder / multitrack for video

    8. Recording Voice-Overs, ADR, and Effects
      
VO recording technique / studio considerations / mic positions / recording to picture / dialog replacement / directing the vo / casting and unions / working with children / gathering sound effects / foley techniques / mouth sounds

  V. Post-Production

    Post Production Overview
      
Linear vs non-linear audio / organizing audio post / prioritizing

    9. Post Production Hardware
      
Edit room acoustics / choosing a monitor / useful audio gadgets you can build / mixers and alternatives / sources / meters and analyzers / wiring the post setup / patchbays / ground loops

    10. Levels and Digitizing
      
Transfers vs digitizing / digital audio choices / gain-staging / calibrating without test equipment / lineup tones / timecode / syncing film with computer audio

    11. Editing Voices
      
Phonemes as editing guides / three ways to cut / matching words / fooling the ear / maintaining lipsync

    12. Working with Music
      
Spotting your video / music sources / stock libraries and costs / rights societies / selecting music / music editing by ear -- even if you can't carry a tune / customizing music to picture

    13. Sound Effects
      
Deciding what effects are necessary / sources for effects / choosing effects / placement against picture / modifying sound effects in an NLE

    14. Processing
      
Processing pitfalls / equalizer types / using an equalizer / compressors and what each knob does / reverberation to simulate rooms / other delay-based effects

    15. The Mix
      
Do you need a console? / track layout / mixing as physical space / preparing for out-of-house mixes / file and tape interchange / after the mix

  VI. Appendix
    
Glossary
     Resources
     CD Track Notes


©1999 Jay Rose
First posted 22Nov99
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