SOUND MIXING

Martial

Member
Sound mixing is a big part of the postproduction process. For amateur videographers, fine tuning their sound design is often an issue on how to balance properly their audio sources.

While there is no one ideal way fitting all cases, there are guidelines you may use in mixing audio:

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A standard audio level is usually comprised between -24db and -6db
You may mix dialogues, music and sound FX as follow:

Dialogues between -18db and -9db

Music between -22db and -18db

Sound FX between -20db and -10db

You may play within those ranges; the trick is to make sure that no one source covers the other.

Also, to give more dimension to your audio, you may pan it with 2 mono tracks instead of a stereo one. Editing each mono track may give you the creative freedom to accentuate your audio following the action on your image and add more drama to your video.
There are times where compromising on the quality of your gears for budget reasons can be acceptable, sound capture is not one of them.

When thinking of a project and imagine the final result, we naturally think of perfecting the photography, find the ideal angle, we think of everything connected to the image yet, sound is often dealt with in post prod, leaving technicians with the responsibility to do magic to salvage an improper sound capture.
Viewers will forgive some imperfections of the image but will not on the sound.
It begins with a great quality microphone. Do not compromise on the mic quality. Quality but also purpose, the right microphone to capture dialogue outside with street noise surrounding, should not be the same than capturing dialogue inside a house of prayers. From wide angle to ultra-directional, you need to choose the right one which often means owning or renting multiple microphones for different situations.
When shooting outside, record some backup ambient sounds, it could be useful in post prod.

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The trick to record the tone of an actor’s voice, which is often important to accentuate the drama, is to place the microphone as close as possible to the actor’s mouth, making sure it is not appearing in the camera frame. That means using the service of a boom operator who has done it before. It may seem to be a detail, but the importance of a veteran boom operator will save you time.

All projects have a budget. In today’s environment, producers must do more with less. Do not budget cuts on sound mixing, we do not always think of its importance, but it could make or break the result of your project. Instead, rather than spend premium on a music provider, talk to the team at MUSIC PARTNER, they will turn your music investment into a source of profit.
 

Oskar Kuusk

Active member
Every point that you made is extremely accurate. I usually put my music at -23 db but I guess it depends on the sound level of the audio.
 

EmilyWilkes

Active member
I had so many troubles with the music and dialogues, it was never a good match. Either one of them was too loud or too silent. I will try your settings, thanks Martial!
 

Martial

Member
I had so many troubles with the music and dialogues, it was never a good match. Either one of them was too loud or too silent. I will try your settings, thanks Martial!
Hi Emily,
Those are guidelines. The right balance in sound comes from trials and errors until you are right where it makes sense. If you play within the guidelines, it will be easier to get there.
 
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