Good audio is critical for video success. Sound engages the audience and delivers information. Audio post-production might look like a fancy word for many, but it refers to audio processing done after the shoot. Here are some audio post-production tips to achieve the finest audio quality for your videos.
According to experts like SPG Studios, editing is a crucial stage in audio post-production. It is divided into two parts – Editing Speech and Music.
1) Editing Speech
Many people feel they can speak so well that all emotions and information can be delivered in one take. People not belonging to the movie industry don’t know a vast number of voiceovers are done for a specific dialog, and only the best takes are chosen and combined in the final reel. You need to remove any lip-smacking sounds, breaths, or distracting clicks from the final audio stream.
- Edit Pitch of the voice
The altering voice pitch can lead to a dramatic or comedy effect. There are several sound processors available to change the voice pitch convincingly.
- Replace Dialogue
Many times the on-screen dialogue does not seem right or does not fit into the context. Professional studios use automatic dialog replacement in such scenarios where the original actor or a replacement actor re-records the dialogue.
The music you choose for the video should go well with the voice over recording and video footage. You need to work on the audio track to ensure it has an intro, middle, and outro elements. Always choose a more extended version of the track, as you will have the freedom to make the best edit.
Music is used to conjure feelings like excitement, tranquility, love, fear, anticipation, and nostalgia.
3) Control Dynamics
Manually controlling the sound levels can be a challenging task. Hence, professional studios use a compressor, which is like a tiny device with good sound reflexes. The compressor will match one sound to another and adjust their levels. For example, it will level out syllables and individual words in a sentence to give urgency and up-front quality to the audio clip. Most television advertisers use this trick to make their ad sound like it will jump out of the television screen.
4) Reduce Noise
In most cases, unwanted noise makes your sound less effective. It may be a hum from the air-conditioner, buzz from a bad cable, or hiss from an audio mixer. There are no ways to eliminate noise, but there are different ways to clean the soundtrack of unwanted noises.
Read also: 7 Tips for a Perfect Audio-Visual Experience
Mixing is the 2nd critical stage in video production. To make the video look professional, the audio track needs to be cleaned up and cut to fit. Wherever the dialog has been recorded, you need to sync it with video. The mixing stage includes matching natural speech levels, setting music, and adding audio effects.
- Matching Levels
The soundtrack is crowded with big sounds, whispers, and everything in between. It is a challenge to get a consistent level audio signal. In audio post-production, you have to manually level the soundtrack that includes reducing the level of loud ones and increasing the level of quiet sounds.
When you match levels, it is not only about the volume but also sound frequencies. For example, mid-high sound frequencies will overshadow the voice over. The listeners should hear all sound effects clearly, and that magic is achieved by matching levels.
- Add Audio Effects
Sound effects add punch to the video, mainly if it contains lots of action. They are easy to add, and you have lots of options available.
- Add Ambient Sound
Ambient sound refers to random noises that give the location its personality. Your ears play an important role in convincing your brain about the visuals you are seeing. For example, the roar of a cheering crowd will give the mind an impression of looking at a stadium, or the sound of a bustling restaurant would give you an image of a busy or crowded place.
According to experts at SPG Studios, it is the last stage of audio post-production. It is also known as a stereo mix, where you work upon the final audio track to make it sound better. The mastering process involves several other audio processing tasks like applying compression, adding broad equalization, and limiting.
To sum up, many video producers invest their maximum time in capturing high-quality video footage and ignore the importance of audio in the final product. Remember, your audience might forgive you for the blurry video but not for choppy or unclear sound. The audio post-production tips listed in the post help you create a good video with clear audio that successfully delivers the message.