Knowing your way around editing a video can make up such a powerful story. In our The Art Of Creating Foley And Why It Is Essential blog, we mention “the sense of seeing and hearing compliment each other in such a way that makes the experience so powerful and real”. In this article, we will be talking about how to start strong when editing the sound to your video.
We do not like to say that there are rules to anything you would be doing but rather having a set of ways can help you create your own path and achieve powerful results. When you start with a blank auditory space in your video, it might feel overwhelming at first since you may not have a clue where to start. Fear not. For you we will provide the comfort and ease… So let’s begin.
Set Up Your BPM
In your workstation, wherever you are working at, there must be a way to set up the bpm. Turn on the metronome and start the video. Start adjusting the bpm and try to feel the tempo of the video. You might be thinking well this is not music, why do I need to set a tempo for a video? You will know why when you go further but to save you time, let us tell you in advance. Setting the tempo for a video is a great way to establish the “feel” of your video. As you adjust the tempo you will feel the emotion of the video starting to fall into its place. A good starting point to see if this is working is to observe the transitions of the scenes. If the transitions happen when the metronome hits the first beat, you are on the right track. This will also help you to see the points where you can create the tension more easily in your workstation. Musical or not, knowing the tempo of your project will help you reflect the emotions more easily and effectively.
Get Your Ingredients Ready
The “ingredients” refer to your sounds. Just like a chef, having your basic sounds ready beforehand can save you so much time. Depending on what type of video you are editing, your needs will differ. But some common type of sounds are worth mentioning since they are essential for the sound design process and to give your video a more cinematic feeling. Your first and foremost need is the sound of foley. Without foley, your video will lack the auditory base. The diegetic sounds can be created from foley, ambiences, room tones, and so on… The movements of objects, people, animals, the weather, you name it… Any type of sound that can be mutually heard by the audience and the characters behind the screen is considered diegetic. If you established all this, your video is now ready to have a voice.
But those sounds only will not be enough. It can be enough if that is what you aim. But there are some other type of sounds that will make your project sound even more effective. These sounds are mostly considered non-diegetic which means that they are not audible by the characters behind the screen and can only be heard by the audience. They are useful for reflecting and enhancing the emotion of the scene. Risers, drones, transitions, time stretch effects all fall into this category. You can use risers or even create risers to build tension to a certain point. What lies at the end of the tunnel? Who is behind that door? That feeling of mystery can be enhanced with risers. Drones are perfect for reflecting emotions.
Drones are constant tones that give certain or mixed feelings. They can be eerie, mysterious, adventurous, dramatic, blissful. These type of sounds are widely used in video games, films and even theatre for they are perfect for hooking the viewer to the screen. Transitions are quite versatile. They can be simple like sudden impact sounds of objects or they can be fading sounds of the scenes that transition onto each other. They can be made with diegetic or non-diegetic sounds. The purpose is to give the viewer hints to where one scene ends and the other starts. Time stretching can be useful when there is slow or fast motion in the scene.
Think Of All The Layers You Can Use
Deep layering is important for getting a more unique texture of sound. Starting simple is the key to make this possible. When starting from scratch, try to be as simple as possible. Build your base sounds. Don’t think too complicated in the beginning. This will only make you feel overwhelmed and you might feel you are losing your way around the sounds. Watch your video several times and start putting sounds one by one. At first you may think that the sounds are too separate or weak. Don’t worry and keep doing what you are doing. As you put more and more sounds, you will realize that it starts coming together and complimenting each other. Once the simple texture is formed you can now start to add more layers to the sounds. The purpose here to gradually strengthen the texture. By doing this you will always have control over the texture of the sound and relationship between the sounds you choose. You will be surprised when you start realizing how effective it is becoming. We advise you to be patient and not leave the path from simplicity to complexity.
Intuitive Editing Rather Than Experimental Editing
In creative disciplines the power of intuition is not to be taken lightly and will only take you to right path. Don’t just throw in sounds to try working them. Instead when choosing sounds always pay attention to what the sound makes you feel. Does it resonate with you somehow? Trust that it will speak to you and reveal itself when you find it. Trusting your intuition is a great way to reflect your emotions through the scene. You resonate with that sound for a reason. Do not lose contact with your inner wisdom. This is even more helpful if you are just starting out.
Either you are a beginner or you have some knowledge about this topic and you are trying to get new ideas. In any case, these four tips will help you along the way. Try them now and see how you can benefit from them and most importantly, have fun!