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NEW Libertaria Chronicles Expanded Edition at AMAZON

Low Budget Film and Video EASY Tips: Sound and Dialogue

Professional tips for creating convincing sound in your low budget film or video. 

Sound can make or break your film. If you cannot afford good sound equipment with trained professionals on the set, dub it in later. Most consumer cameras do not allow for good sound recording. While dubbing in post production is a tedious process, it is well worth the time in regard to upping the overall quality of your film.

Dubbing in the dialogue involves taking the original shot and replacing dialogue with rerecorded dialogue in a better sound environment. Sometimes this is done for films that are done in several languages like an anime or a film shot at a foreign location. A good actor has to be able to not only sync up the dialogue correctly with the film, but also be able to emote convincingly without the added benefit of the set and possibly the other actors being present. When dubbing in a different language, issues of translation may also play a part, and deciding how closely the foreign dialogue will match the original actor's performance. Simple dubbing can be done with a microphone, a mixer, and even a consumer friendly program like Garageband. Final Cut Studio has a much higher capability of handling dubbing.

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Recreating a multi textured sound environment helps the sound become more convincing. For instance, adding room noise, like the sound of the coffee mixer, quiet conversation of the crowd, or street noise, will help recreate the original environment.

Foley sound is the art of creating sound effects from scratch. A professional Foley sound artist can make any sound using a variety of items you can purchase at the local store. Footsteps, rustling leaves, waves, or even the wind can be recreated. Although you may be tempted to use prerecorded loops available on the internet, realize that at the least, thousands of others have used these same sound effects. As a music professional, nothing annoys me more than hearing the same baby cry in a movie as the one I heard on a soda commercial or a You Tube video. Make the extra effort and create all of your sounds from scratch. You will learn more, and your film will be all the better for it.

If you do opt to use the sound recorded on set, then be sure that you minimize extraneous noise, such as recording near an airport or train station, using a blender while important dialogue is being spoken, or even accidently placing a mic right next to a humming fridge. While some noise can be removed in post production by your sound engineer, some sounds will be all but impossible to extract. While many consumer cameras do have an option for recording sound, the best bet is to get a camera with a mic input, then go with a higher quality wireless if you want to keep the dialogue.


With over fifteen years experience in music, film, and the arts, Sabrina Pena Young can provide you with the insight you need to develop your creative dreams into a reality. 

Contact Sabrina Pena Young Today:

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