Sound Editing Office Park Exercise

The scene is a simple short story of a man receiving a phone call and meeting another man in a park. All details of the story—reasons, motivations, morals, and other contextual help—are intentionally vague in order to leave room for interpretation. This will enable you to be very creative with the soundtrack, though you will be asked to include dialog, natural sounds, sound effects, and music. A voiceover is optional. You'll need to download a version of this clip to edit for yourself, which can be found here:

Let's discuss the audio elements that need to be added to the scene. Maybe you can already tell what they are!

  • Recording Shot List
  • Dialog: You'll want to add some kind of dialog when the main character picks up the phone. Recording dialog is the same as recording voiceover except you may want to allow for more room tone in the voice by stepping further back from the mic and speaking louder. If you have an extra phone, you may even be able to craft the "voice on the other end."
  • Natural sounds: Since there is no sync sound, it is up to you to recreate the sound of the environments our character passes through. That includes recording room tone, street noise, and park noise, among other sounds.
  • Remember to record more than you think you'll need in case certain random noises occur (though you may wish to include some random noises).
  • Sound effects: There are several opportunities for sound effects throughout the movie. You'll want to record each one separately, in a space that has as little outside room noise as possible.
  • Music: If done tastefully, music can really enhance the mood of a scene, as we saw in the lecture. You can either have music running throughout, or place music at specific moments. Be careful about keeping music playing the whole time. Music should either follow the ups and downs of the movie or be so unobtrusive that it blends into the background.
  • Music placed in strategic spots should essentially outline a specific segment of your movie. This means that when the mood changes, or a new element is introduced, the music should change too, either by transitioning to some new music or fading out altogether. Also, it's best to avoid lyrics unless you are really trying to use them to express the emotions of the character and there is a long section of your movie with no dialog.
  • Voiceover (optional): Finally, you may decide to include a narration over the storyline, either from the perspective of the main character, or from a third-person perspective.
  • Remember the basic rules for recording a voiceover: Adjust your levels accurately before recording, stay about one foot from the mic, and speak clearly.
  • Once you've assembled your audio clips, it's time to add them to your soundtrack.
  • Adding transitions is often necessary to blend between very different sounding clips. This is done the same way you do it with video.


Created with images by vitavalka - "audio equipment edit" • Biblioteca Rector Machado y Nuñez - ""O microphone applicado aos pparelhos avisadores que assignalavam a passagem dos avioes durante a Grande Guerra. 1.Typo francez. 2. Typo allemao." • Mezenmir - "dictaphone microphone portable"

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