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Digital Video Hacks by Joshua Paul

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Chapter 5. Audio

Hacks 51–60

Audio is often an afterthought in video production, even though it’s a vital part of it. There is something very special about audio and its effect on human emotion. Music, sound effects, and even the clarity of dialogue, will all have an effect on your audience. Whether you’re shooting your child’s first birthday or the next epic movie, you should always pay attention to your audio’s characteristics. No one wants to watch a video and constantly have to ask, “What’d she say?”

Mobile Audio Booth

You’ve probably got a perfectly good sound booth at your house, and you don’t even know it.

Recording clear dialogue can often be a significant challenge. Outdoor shoots battle unwanted noise from wind [Hack #52] , aircraft, traffic, and more, while indoor shots often have to contend with interference from room echoes, central air systems, computer fans, and electrical hum [Hack #56] . When these factors are combined with a limited audio toolset, capturing clear, understandable on-set dialogue that will hold up over a background music score becomes a nearly impossible task.

Even the most expensive professional productions have to contend with some of these challenges. Often the solution is to hold an Additional Dialogue Recording (ADR) session in a recording studio after a shoot, where the actor or actress records their lines in a noise-free, echo-free sound booth. Another advantage to ADR is that the performer can focus solely on their delivery of the dialogue, ...

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