Sound Mixing for video production

Sound Mixing for your video

Sound is an incredibly powerful tool in filmmaking. Sound can help establish the mood of your video, create rhythm, and invoke emotion from your audience.

What is Sound Mixing?

Sound mixing is taking all the different sound elements in a video and bringing them together. It’s making sure all the audio tracks are playing at the right volume and at the right time. It’s important to pay close attention to your audio levels. Dialogue will usually be between -8 to -6 DB. In most situations you don’t want any source of audio louder than -6 DB. Any audio louder than this will peak and lose quality. Sound effects are usually between -12 DB and -8 DB. Music tracks are around -12 DB. Make sure that your background noise or music tracks are never so loud that it makes the dialogue hard to hear. Each audio track needs to work with the others to create an overall effect.

Sound studio

Dialogue 

Editing dialogue is one of the most common things a sound editor does. Before you start working with the audio, it is good to make sure you have all the media. This is especially important when you are working with multiple cameras or audio sources. Also make sure everything is in sync. The worst thing you can have is dialogue that is out of sync. Now it’s about cutting the dialogue to make sure it flows nicely. Remove any harsh cuts (unless they are intentional), add fades and cross dissolve transitions, and check your audio levels. Depending on your audio you may also need to reduce background noise and any static. Once you have finished editing you should have clean, high quality audio.

Sound editing equipment

Music

Music plays an important role in videos. It can very quickly establish the tone of the video and invoke emotion. Music can also provide a sense of rhythm. This can be done by cutting the video footage to the beat of the music. Music can also affect the pace of a video. By having an uptempo song in your video, this can make the video feel more fast paced.

Sound mixing equipment

Sound Effects 

Sound effects can be used for almost anything, and are a great way to make your video more impactful. For example, you might add a sound effect to your animated logo for your business. This will draw the viewer’s attention to the logo and help them remember your brand. Another way to use sound effects is when the person on camera is explaining something to the audience. Sound effects associated with the subject matter could be used to help the audience understand and get a better sense for what they are talking about.

Editing software

Tips & Tricks

  • Always wear good quality headphones when editing audio
  • When working with multiple sources of audio: sync everything first and then start cutting out what you don’t need
  • Check your levels! Generally speaking, you don’t want your audio peaking any louder than -6 DB. Music tracks are usually around -12 DB.

For more information on sound mixing and post production editing, check out this article.

Person editing audio

Next Steps

Good sound mixing can be the difference between an ok video, and a great video. Keep reading for information about Video Distribution.