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Seenit Academy / Sound & Storytelling - Understand the Basics of Audio!

Sound & Storytelling - Understand the Basics of Audio!

Sound is a crucial part of making any good video. You could have the most beautifully composed shot but if the sound isn’t up to scratch, it probably won’t make the cut as bad audio is not easily forgiven. So today we’re going to talk about the main components of sound in video:

Dialogue

Dialogue is the words spoken by your subject or subjects, whether natural or scripted. If dialogue is important for your video, make sure you capture it as clearly as possible. Some ways to do this would be to use an external microphone we recommend this Rode SmartLav Mic, if you haven’t got one at hand you can use a second phone and keep it out of sight or you can always simply cup your hand around your phone’s speakers like this.

If you’re recording your audio separately then make sure to use a clapperboard in order to make the process of syncing your video and audio in post, a much easier task. Haven’t got a clapper then no worries a simple clap will do.

Voiceover

Voiceover, or VO, is dialogue from a disembodied voice that the audience never sees. It often serves as narration for what is going on onscreen. Again, clear audio is paramount here, especially if it is VO.

Ambient Sound & Sound Effects

Ambient sounds are background sounds such as traffic, wind, birds, construction, you get the drift… that add texture to your video and help make a scene come alive. If something in the background is obviously making sound in your video but you didn’t manage to record it, try adding in sound effects to simulate.

Music & Soundtrack

Music is kind of an expected convention when we watch content. It can serve as an emotional signpost, guiding your viewer to feel or react a certain way to what’s being shown.

If you take the same shot and try applying different music to it, you can begin to see how different atmospheres can be created and tones can be set.

Sometimes a really unexpected track can work to the opposite effect of what you’d expect.

Silence

Silence, if used effectively, can be extremely impactful, whether for dramatic or comedic effect.

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