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Thread: Making sound effects blend naturally into a scenes audio track.

  1. Default Making sound effects blend naturally into a scenes audio track.

    Hi all I have a question about sound effects added in post production.

    In a lot of films I have seen that have a lot of sound added after (punches, kicks, footsteps etc.) they seem to blend seamlessly into the scene as if they were actually made there and I'm wondering about some of the techniques that could be used to achieve this.

    I'm fairly new to the filmmaking experience although I am a music studio engineer by trade, but I realise (especially now) that it gives me little advantage in this field.

    Is it more to do with having a good room tone recorded on location to pad everything out or could the room tone be used to make a convolution reverb setting that the fx could be passed through to give them that natural environment feel? I've tried standard reverbs on fx over some some test footage and it helps but it still very much has the 'pasted on top' feel.

    Thanks any info will help!

  2. #2


    Having the room sound helps, Also the timing and volume balance have some importance. The amount of reverb needed would be tiny to adjust from a 20" room to a 30" foot room. The best way to do Foley if you haven't got a Hollywood studio is to record the silent room then record the punch, footstep, bang etc. in the same room as the original footage was shot in or as close as you can. This is especially true for out door sounds. Record them out side.

    Take a look at THIS, all the sounds where recorded after the shoot and put on in post production because I was filming from outside the window. Even I can do it so it sounds real, if I've got the right sounds to begin with.

    The final tip is get things to sound as good as you can then hide it all in the background music.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Default

    Thanks so much for the advice and I really enjoyed your video! I like having examples as well as explanations and that hit the nail on the head!

    I guess it's just practice as mixing a band and blending sounds for film are light years apart from each other in terms of craft. I guess the good part is that I compose and record my own background music so I can taylor it if need be.

    So much fun though!

    Thanks once again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Smalltown, Queensland


    That's a nice piece MB, you have a great voice for narration too.

    I'm surprised that a sound engineer by trade is struggling with incidental film sound. I thought the whole concept of music sound engineering was to have multiple layers of sounds that sit in the mix?

    I'm a pretty hopeless sound engineer myself, so I guess I'll be no worse off when I start to do Foley.

    I will presume that quality of microphone is going to help a lot, for example having the mic recording at a distance from the sound will create some room ambiance, as opposed to directing the mic directly at the sound which would make it too up front. A very sensitive mic would therefore work best?

  5. Default

    It's the same ballpark yes but it's a completely different sport. There are sound engineers that struggle when recording bands of a different genre of what they are used to so a completely different field can be a bit mind boggling in terms of what to compress, accent or bring forward to make something sound more powerful.

    Like I say I'm brand new to the world of film making and don't get me wrong, being an engineer has it's advantages straight off the bat when it comes to actual recording since I won't need to hire someone with gear or bone up on input gain levels or mic types, but any kind of mixing or balancing takes practice.

    Just a final question, how many of you do your actual sound mixing and editing in whatever you use (Vegas, final cut etc.?)

    I find the audio editor in sony vegas to be very cumbersome and I would much rather import a rough video into something like cubase or pro-tools and edit the sound there as there are far more options and a much better workflow layout.

    Then again you don't get the advantage of frame by frame editing and snapping to accurately place samples........well you do but it's not very good as it goes on seconds and not frames.

    Thanks again for all the replys!

  6. #6


    I usually use Vegas for my sound, it actually comes from an audio recording heritage before it was developed into a video editor. I'm not saying it's the best thing to use for the audio side of things it has most of the tools I need and it's what I'm use to, just like cubase is probably what you are use to.

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