Sounds and Audio

russ31073
russ31073 Posts: 10 Just Starting Out

I have been working on a small project and was wondering when is the best time to typically add the sound effects and audio? Should I do any sound effects after the project is completely edited or do some of you add them before doing the final footage editing?

Thank you!

Comments

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,316 Ambassador

    For me it depends on how central the extra audio is to the edit. If I can edit without the added audio, I'll do it. If some piece of audio—whether a music track or sound effect—drives the advancement of the story, then I'll go ahead and add it.

    For example, in the SMOVE Mobile unboxing piece I posted yesterday, my initial idea was to use the first couple quick box-opening cuts without any extra audio, drop in a stereotypical singing choir over a slow-mo shot of the cardboard box opening to reveal the product, then move back to quick cuts for a bit more. I quickly discovered that I didn't like how everything flowed—mainly because it just didn't flow—so I switched my approach and went searching for a music track that could influence the edit. Once I had that, the editing process went much more smoothly.

  • russ31073
    russ31073 Posts: 10 Just Starting Out

    Thank you for the reply Clever Tagline. That is helpful information!

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,078 Ambassador

    There's an "it depends" at plat here. It depends on what you're making. 

    For a music video or similar project  obviously you add music first, because you cut to music. 

    For character animation you certainly add dialog first, because that affects animation timing. Then again, you'd also be breaking lines down with timing sheets. 

    In general you would add certain sound effects for timing - maybe a monster growls off screen that someone reacts to? But you're adding minimal spot sound effects, not background tracks/ambience.

    Final/detailed audio mixing is almost always near-final step. You don't want to get deep into audio until picture is "locked." When editing things are cut, trimmed and shifted a lot. Early audio mixing is just more stuff to keep track of during the edit. 

  • CleverTagline
    CleverTagline Posts: 3,316 Ambassador

    @Triem23 Exactly. Same goes for some other things like grading and FX, which brings to mind another example from my SMOVE video. I originally had a longer example of the run test, and it showed the front of my car. I didn't want the license plate visible, so I went to the trouble of tracking it and replacing it with a dummy plate. However, during a subsequent review of the full piece, I decided to trim that run example much shorter, which cut out the car entirely. If I'd thought about that trim earlier in the editing process, I wouldn't have needed to bother with tracking and replacing the plate.

  • russ31073
    russ31073 Posts: 10 Just Starting Out

    Thanks guys! That is great information and exactly what I was looking for.