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The Techniques of Sound Designing: Devices and Software

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The Techniques of Sound Designing: Devices and Software

Here’s a killer sound designing technique for sound designers. Get here the details about the devices and the software using for the sound productions.

Film (Movie) is an audio-visual expression. Audio is as important as the visuals. Bad audio can disturb the impact of great visuals. So, while making your film make sure you have decent recordings of dialogues and ambient sounds, which you can later mix to get a great soundtrack for your film.

Sound Designing Devices

The two sound equipment that you’ll need during your shoot are-

  1. Microphone
  2. Recorder
  1. Microphone

There are mainly two types of Microphones used in Film Sound Recording- Shotgun & Lavalier

  1. Shotgun Microphones– Shotgun Mics are highly directional mics which means they’ll pick up sounds in front of them while rejecting sounds from Side and Rear.

These are commonly used to record dialogues and speeches, the mic is pointed towards the speaker and it records the speaker’s voice with very less noise. It is also used to record ambient sounds of the location, which are mixed later with dialogues to add realism to the sound.

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Shot Gun Microphone Image; Purpose- used for sound recording on sets 

They are often used with a blimp and boom pole. The function of a blimp is to reduce wind noises and handling noises. It is especially used in outdoor locations. A boom pole is used to hold the microphone from a distance. A boomman positions himself in such a way that he is out of the frame and then points the microphone often from above (sometimes below) the speaker, keeping in mind the microphone is not visible in the frame.

 

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Image:  Blimp                                                                           Boom Pole  

Some of the popular Shotgun Mics are- SENNHEISER MKH 416 and RODE NTG1.

Watch: The advantages of Using Shot Gun- Sound Designing Equipment

 

ii) Lavalier Mic (or lapel)- Lavalier mics are attached to the body of the speaker by a clip or a paper tape. It is also highly directional and since it is very close to the speaker, it can record crisp quality audio but then sometimes it might sound sterile without any natural reverbs. Often this recording is used as a guide track for Dubbing, when the actors listen to this recording and re-record the dialogues with similar expressions in a studio.

Some popular Lavalier Mics are- SENNHEISER EW-100 and RODE SMARTLAV+

mic-lav1

 

  1. Recorders

In small budget amateur filmmaking, a single system recording is used. In single system recording, the microphone is directly connected with the camera (DSLR cameras have dedicated ports to connect the microphone). The camera records the audio simultaneously with the video. But, the drawback is the recording might have unwanted noise and lack dynamics. It is also not possible to connect multiple microphones to the camera.

For these drawbacks, Double System Recording is used. In this system, the microphone is connected to a dedicated recorder which has ports to connect multiple mics. It also has inbuilt mixers (sometimes a separate mixer is used) which can be manipulated for noise reduction and frequency manipulation.

For small budget films, Portable Handy recorders are very popular. They are small and easy to operate and can also give quality recordings without much expense. Most of the handy recorders have an inbuilt mic which can be used to record if the filming situation permits you to take the mic close enough to the speaker.

Popular Handy recorders- Zoom H6, Tascam DR-44WL and Roland.

Professional Sound Recordists often use sophisticated Recording Devices which have various settings to record high-quality audio with minimal noise.

Popular Devices are- Nagra LB Recorder and Sound Devices 744T Recorder.

 

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Portable Handy recorders 

 

Video: Portable Sound Recorder

Video: Watch Nagra LB Recorder

 


SOFTWARE

After you’ve got decent recordings from the shoot, you might need to edit it and mix it according to your needs. For example, you need a certain dialogue to have some special kind of reverb or you want to mix your dialogues with other sound effects and background music. You can do this in post-production by using Audio Editing Softwares called “DIGITAL AUDIO WORKSTATION (DAW)”.

The most popular DAW used for films by both professional and amateurs is “AVID PRO TOOLS”. It is available for both MAC and PC and has thousands of tools for Sound Editing & Mixing.


Read: Who’re behind the sound designing/ Engineering on sets?


Names of Sound Designing Software

After you’ve got decent recordings from the shoot, you might need to edit it and mix it according to your needs. For example, you need a certain dialogue to have some special kind of reverb or you want to mix your dialogues with other sound effects and background music. You can do this in post-production by using Audio Editing Softwares called “DIGITAL AUDIO WORKSTATION (DAW)”.

The most popular DAW used for films by both professional and amateurs is “AVID PRO TOOLS”. It is available for both MAC and PC and has thousands of tools for Sound Editing & Mixing.

 

 

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Watch: Sound Designing Tutorial by Light Film School

 

 

 

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Dibakar is a keen observer of Music and films. He reads and writes about films and is also interested in composing instrumental Music. He has a knack of researching about anything that interests him. Usual talks of him are mostly about the contemporary cinema and its analysis. Dibakar is a graduate, specialized in the field of computer Application.

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