You've reached the new home for Jay Rose's “dplay.com” articles and tutorials!

dv logo Jay Rose's audio tips and techniques from Digital Video magazine.

DV doesn't post more than a few years of archives, which means most of these tutorials aren't available on their website. But I've kept my original manuscripts, and am slowly posting them here.
If there's an unposted column you'd particularly like to read... or use in a class you're teaching... with the date and title, and why you want it. I'll respond, and post the material here.
Currently available on-line columns are shown in red. Click their titles for access.

1995 Columns

Microphones & Acoustics

With a little acoustic theory and some rules-of-thumb, you can get the best sound out of any recording situation.
November, 1995    On-line version.  

Editors' Tricks

Better tracking with less hacking... just one of the things you can fix with these voice trax trix.
December, 1995  

1996 Columns

Ground Loops

You've got to have the right connections. Here's how to look for that pristine sound of silence.
January, 1996   

Casting & Paying Voices

Your video needs to talk. Here's the best way to find a narrator... and get them paid.
Febrary, 1996   

Sound Effects Sources & Libraries

Buzz, crackle, zap. Here's how to get the most bang! for the buck.
March, 1996  

Sample Rates & Bit Depths

Choosing an audio format? More isn't necessarily better.
April, 1996   

Lossy Compression & Conversion

How to get the most sound for the least bits... and the least effort.
May, 1996  

Voice Processing

Can't afford a big-time narrator? Use these big-time tricks to make any voice -- even your CEO's -- better.
June, 1996  

Original Music & MIDI

Any production can benefit when you know the score.
July, 1996  

Outboard Equipment

Want the best digital sound at a reasonable price? Your best bet might be some Analog Helper.
August, 1996  

The Joys of SFX

Here's how the pros use sound effects to add impact to a video.
September, 1996  

Speaker's Notes

Need a tv or intercom on-camera? Here's how to make it real... even after it's heard through the listener's tv.
October, 1996  

Say What?

The voice-over session can give you just what you're looking for. Here's how to keep costs and tempers down.
November, 1996  

Mix Masters

What can you do once your audio's mixed up? Techniques forfixing the mix.
December, 1996  

1997 Columns

The Great Equalizer

You know what an equalizer does, but do you know how much it can really do for you?
January, 1997  

Things that go bump in the studio

Creating your own sound effects or Foleys can use everything including the kitchen sink...
February, 1997  

Off the Walls!

Can you trust your control room for mixdowns? Here are some acoustic tips that might also improve your studio or v/o booth.
March, 1997  

By the Numbers

DF? NDF? VITC? SMPTE? We crack television's often-secret code.
April, 1997  

You Can't Always Fix it in the Mix

... so here are things you can do to keep your soundtrack from getting broken in the first place.
May, 1997  

Off the Record

Stock sound effects can save lots of time. Here's how the professionals make them sound real.
June, 1997  

In Your Face

Tv sound should be up-front and personal. Here's how to make it that way.
July, 1997  

Mac Audio FAQ

It was the first computer to talk. Here's how to make it sing.
August, 1997  

Taking Stock

Library music hath charms to sooth the savage video.
September, 1997  

The Kindest Cut

You can edit music. Really you can.
October, 1997  

Instant Studios

Recording perfect tracks in a less-than-perfect world.
November, 1997  

Talk the Talk

Audio-speak for video editors.
December, 1997  

1998 Columns

New Ears Resolutions

Make this your best-sounding year ever.
January, 1998  

Outstanding in the Field

Bring that sound back alive.
February, 1998  

If You Ask Me...

Audio-using readers want to know.
March, 1998  

Mouthing Off

One of your best sound-effects devices has teeth and a tongue.
April, 1998  

Cutting Remarks

Professional tricks for dialog and voice-over editing.
May, 1998  

Digitize with Dignity

How to make your desktop editor sound like an online suite.
June, 1998  

Prepare for the End

An out-of-house audio sweetening session may be just what you need to finish that desktop project. Here's how to do it cheaply and efficiently.
July, 1998  

Over the Top

Why waste data on sounds that'll never be broadcast? Here's how to manage those mangy bits.
August, 1998  

Read Online: Gadgets

Got ten bucks? Here are some easy-to-build audio circuits that can make your sessions go a lot easier.
September, 1998  

Toy Story

There's a reason why a $50k audio workstation sounds better than a $50 sound card. Here's how to make the most of whichever you're using.
October, 1998  

Voice-Over Recording

Feature length article on the art and science of making announcers sound good.
November, 1998  

What to get a Sound Designer for Christmas

Handy stuff costing between $10 - $300.
December, 1998  

1999 Columns

Make Room!

A good mix keeps everything in its place.
January, 1999  

Comp Time

Compressors can be incredibly useful... once you understand what all those knobs are really doing.
February, 1999  

The Art of the Pickup

It's shoot time. Do you know where your microphone is hearing things from?
March, 1999  

Fool the Ears

A little art, a little magic... and your track can sound better than it really is.
April, 1999  

How to Waste Money on Sound

Here are the tricks beginners use to waste time and cash. Try to do the opposite.
May, 1999  

Getting Small with MP3 and AAC

How those algorithms squeeze sounds down to a few percent of their original size.
June, 1999  

Active 'Verbs

Reberberation: how it works, and how to pick the best settings for video production.
July, 1999  

Hard Effects are Easy

Bang! Crash! Kiss! Bring your track to life with sync sound effects.
August, 1999  

Mixmasters

Here's why those multimedia speakers that came with your NLE will ruin your project... and what you can do about it.
September, 1999  

Hooked on Phonemes

Learn to spot the tiny sounds that make up speech, and you'll be a much better editor.
October, 1999  

The Myths of Analog

Is digital better? Is analog? Here's the scientific truth... and ways you can prove it to others.
November, 1999  

Sounds of Christmas Past

Classroom films, old radios, telephones: recreating an analog century.
December, 1999  

2000 Columns

Read Online: Got to Lav It!

They keep getting smaller and keep sounding better. Here's how to get the most out of those tiny mics.
January, 2000
  

Got to Love It!

Jay's valentine to a creative way of thinking about projects
February, 2000  

Shhh...

Noise can sneak into any recording. Here's how to tame those tarnished tracks.
March, 2000  

Boom Mic Basics FEATURE ARTICLE

The fine art of hanging around.
March, 2000  

I See What You're Saying

If you want to talk about production issues, it helps to know how your client's brain is wired.
April, 2000  

Un-Absolute Zero

A simple calibration tone can be anything but...
May, 2000  

Off Tape

There are plenty of ways to convert old analog tapes to digital, but only one way to do it right.
June, 2000  

Read Online: Meet Mike

Knowing what's inside a microphone will help you choose the right one for the job.
July, 2000
  

Ransome Note Rules

If you edit voice tracks properly, nobody will know you've done anything at all.
August, 2000  

See What I Hear

Here's some eye candy for your ears.
September, 2000  

Read Online: Scout's Honor

To find the best locations, you have to use your ears as well as your eyes.
October, 2000  

Dialog Unplugged FEATURE ARTICLE

The Art of Wireless Mics. Written with G. John Garrett, CAS
October, 2000  

On Golden Ears

When you're working with video sound, knowledge is more important than great hearing.
November, 2000  

MD in the House

There's nothing Mickey Mouse about MiniDiscs.
December, 2000  

2001 Columns

EQ IQ

How to get the most out of an equalizer.
January, 2001  

Kids' Stuff

Children can be heard as well as seen, if you follow the tips in this article.
February, 2001  

A Place to Play, part I

How to soundproof an edit room or studio.
March, 2001  

A Place to Play, part II

Getting the room quiet is only half the job.
April, 2001  

Say What? Editing voice tracks like a pro FEATURE ARTICLE

Here's a little ear training to help you become a better dialog editor.
April, 2001  

When Worlds Collide

How to make digital video sound like film.
May, 2001  

Shooting Yourself In The Foot

The best place to fix bad dialog tracks is at the shoot.
June, 2001  

Sfxual Healing

Turn wimpy stock sounds into sonic perfection.
July, 2001  

Say it Again!

If dialog is hard to understand, try getting looped..
August, 2001  

Stereotypes

TV may have two speakers, but it's not your father's stereo.
September, 2001  

A Delicate Balance

A hundred-year old technique can quiet your wiring.
October, 2001  

Thanksgiving Hymn

We have a lot to be thankful -- and to watch out -- for.
November, 2001  

Multiple Choices

Boom or Lav? DAT or MiniDisc? Stereo or Mono? Decisions, decisions...
December, 2001  

BeachTek DX6A Phantom Power XLR AdapterREVIEW

A useful gadget with significant improvements over previous BeachTek adapters... and a possibly fatal flaw.
December, 2001  

2002 Columns

Working with Music Libraries FEATURE ARTICLE

Stock music doesn't have to be boring...
January, 2002  

Bah: Hum

The worst electronic noise may be the easiest to fix.
January, 2002  

Speakeasy

Knowing how the voice works can make you a better narrator or director.
February, 2002  

Elementary, My Dear Watts

Impedance? Power? Voltage? Life shouldn't be that complicated.
March, 2002  

The Space Between the Words

Background sounds can make or break your soundtrack. An April Fool's column, as well.
April, 2002   There was no article for May, 2002. They sold more ad pages than expected, and I got bumped.

The Wrong Line

Learn the nuts and volts of equipment interconnection.
June, 2002  

Big Mistakes

Ten audio blunders that can hurt your video.
July, 2002  

Walk This Way: The Art of Foley

How to create those little sounds that mean so much.
August, 2002  

Comb Neatly

Turn a precise delay into a filter that virtually eliminates hum and buzz.
September, 2002  

Medium Well

The sound of a track depends on where they’re listening.
October, 2002  

Somebody Isn't Listening

Those cute little speakers bundled with your NLE can hurt. Here's how to choose better ones.
November, 2002  

DV Camera Audio: Real Numbers, Real Recommendations FEATURE

We (Dan Rose and I) took some popular cameras into the lab and measured their true audio performance. Here's what we found... and how to make them sound their best.
November, 2002  

Somebody Isn't Listening!

Those speakers that came bundled with your NLE might be damaging your tracks. Here's why, and how to select better ones.
November, 2002  

DAT's Nice

Thinking Double-System? Here's the best recorder for it.
December, 2002  

2003 Columns January '03: No column, but reviews of the Marantz CDR-300 portable CD recorder and Metric Halo's Mobile I/O multi-channel laptop recording interface. Also some predictions for the next ten years in film and video sound.

Pattern Recognition

How a directional mic really hears the world... and why sounds coming from the sides often get distorted.
February, 2003  

The Pad, and How to Use It

Some simple, easy-to-build gadgets for interfacing different audio levels.
March, 2003  

Vox Machina

Presenting the Vocoder: a device invented for telephones in the mid 1930s (and not practical until modern cellphones)... and an important sound design tool.
April, 2003  

Ratio Shack

Decibels aren't like volts or watts or degrees centigrade... but they are perfectly understandable. Here's the story.
May, 2003  

Lies, Damn Lies, and Product Specs

What you see on websites and equipment catalogs is frequently, well, exaggerated is puting it mildly. Learn to tell when a manufacturer is stretching the truth.
June, 2003  

Sunk!

No lipsync, no reference, no slate? Here's a procedure for making things match again.
July, 2003  

Copy Rites

What's the real deal on copyright infringement, Fair Use, and other things that can put an unwary filmmaker out of business? One of my attorney friends* was VP of Music Business Affairs at Paramount for 12 years, and is now in private practice as an entertainment lawyer in LA...
* - Not an oxymoron.
August, 2003  

September Song

Advances in computer technology make getting great location sound easier than ever... even if you don't want to take your laptop to the location.
September, 2003  

DV's original philosophy of hiring expert video and audio people to write original articles, rather than running press releases and product stories, got expensive. As times got tighter, they started dropping columns.

Home on the Ranges

Not knowing what frequencies are critical to dialog or music can hurt you in production and post. Here are the real facts, along with graphic proof and downloadable audio samples.
Bonus: As a follow-up to last August's article, tips on how filmmakers can license well-known recordings for independent features and corporate projects.
November, 2003  

2004 Columns

Level Headed

A camera's or recorder's meter only guesses at what's going to cause distortion, and the accuracy of that guess depends on what you're recording. Here's why, and how to be smarter than your meter.
January, 2004  

Producing Great Advertising Voice-Overs

If you're just sticking a mic in front of an announcer and letting them go, you're doing your client and yourself a disservice. Here's how the Clio-winners (like me) do it. Also, some tips on writing great voice-overs.
March, 2004  

Digidesign 002 REVIEW

Hardware controller bundled with ProTools LE. Bottom line: nice, but missing one vital feature and over-priced for DV production.
April, 2004  

Supersize! Making things bigger by compressing them

A compressor can make your tracks jump out of the speaker. But using the wrong settings - which includes using most factory presets - can turn good sound to mush. Here's the right way to do it.
May, 2004  

Running Scared EDITORIAL

Today's economic climate can force you to do bad work... or give you an opportunity to do the best stuff of your career. It's up to you.
June, 2004  

PSC DV Pro Mix REVIEW

Field mixer designed for the DV shooter. With a little level-tweaking, it's a great deaal for the money.
June, 2004  

Fair and Balanced

There are plenty of ways to use pro XLR microphones with your mini-jack camera, and they don't have to be expensive. Here's what, why, and how.
July, 2004  

In the Blink of an Ear

When editing dialog, little things - often less that a frame long - can mean a lot.
September, 2004  

Logic Pro 6 / Logic Express REVIEW

Apple's new audio software is a wonderful environment for creative sound for video. Is it expensive? You bet, though not as much as some other programs. Is it worth it? Depends on what you're doing: read the article.
September, 2004  

Zapped Weasels

A few guidelines for setting equalizers and compressors... and why you should take them with a grain of salt.
November, 2004  

Bias Peak 5.1 / SoundSoap Pro / SuperFreq REVIEW

A very powerful audio editor and nice parametric/shelving/cutoff eq for the Mac, and an intelligent and useful Mac/Win noise reducer.
December, 2004  

2005 Columns

My Brain Doesn't Work Right!

Want better mixes? Learn to think like a sound designer.
January, 2005  

Free is Nice.

Got a few bucks for audio resources? Save them!
March, 2005  

Little Bits.

16 bit audio? 24 bit? Sometimes a trillionth of a decibel matters... and sometimes it doesn't.
May, 2005  

Fostex FR-2 REVIEW

Reasonably-priced field recorder with some very nice features... plus one that's not worth wasting your time with.
May, 2005  

Beep Beep

You don't need a synth to create electronic sounds... or to have fun with them.
July, 2005  

Say it Ain't So!

A lot of what you hear about audio can be just plain wrong. The truth about bitrates, single vs double system, mini-jacks, mp3s and more...
September, 2005  

No November column... I was busy doing sound design and dialog/music editing for a small Hollywood feature.

2006 Columns

Read Online: What I Did Last Summer

Ah, the things they do in the movies! Some tips and tricks gleaned from the Hollywood pros.
January, 2006
  

Soundtrack Pro REVIEW

It's not a full-featured DAW like Nuendo or ProTools, but easily could be all a filmmaker needs... and it does some valuable things that those big boys don't.
February, 2006  

Edirol R4 REVIEW

Portable multitrack recorder; review by John Garrett, with tech measurements and analysis by me.
April, 2006  

Tascam HDP2 REVIEW

Very impressive stereo field recorder with DV-friendly features; review by John Garrett, with tech measurements and analysis by me.
August, 2006  

Time Piece

Prepare to enter another dimension... the one where sound lives.
July, 2006  

2007 Columns

Deconstructing Jay

Lots of things are easier when you have a formula: writing a technical column, designing a soundtrack...
January, 2007  

Disco Ducker

A concept that helped radio broadcasters in the 1970s can improve your TV mixes today.
April, 2007  

Read Online: Decapitation

There's an art to cutting talking heads. There are also some nifty tricks.
August, 2007
  

Read Online: Confessions of an Autodidact

Looking for knowledge in all the right places.
December, 2007