Conforming Music and Sound Effects

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The Music Telegraph
Text 2021-09-20


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Conforming Music and Sound Effects 


Just as the dialog is essential to convey a message in post-production, music also plays a key role. It can set the mood for a scene and bring out a certain emotion, which the viewer can identify with. On any given session, the music can arrive at the post house in many forms and on many formats, ranging from completely mixed tracks on a time coded digital device to unmixed multitrack music recorded as wild sound. 


Sound effects (also known as SFX) can play an important role too. They can intensify the viewer's reaction to a scene, send a message about impending action not yet seen, or simply represent the real sounds associated with an image on screen.


Sound effects can be subdiveded into two categories — Hard effects and Ambiences:


'Hard effects' are all those sounds that are precisely timed to the action on the screen. They are generally considered to be short in duration. Things like on-screen gunshots, bottle clinks, door slams, etc. are all considered hard effects. They must be closely synchronized to the image or the result is unconvincing at best. 


One the other hand, effects like room-tone, party noises, ocean waves, rain, street noise, etc. come under the heading of 'Ambiences'. These sounds are not connected to any specific action on the screen. Therefore, they do not have to be precisely located (they are considered wild sounds).  






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