The importance of audio engineering and mixing on a video production can easily be overlooked. This oft-overlooked element of your creation is powerful and can be as important to your brand as a logo or tagline, and as important as the video content itself.
Music or sound is often tied to an emotion that can transport us in time or propel us along a new journey. The right sounds can set the mood for your production or help your video teach, transform, or inspire your audience. Think about the roar of a Harley or the tinkle of ice in a perfect crystal cocktail. Just a couple of short sounds and the audience is transported.
Finding the perfect music to marry with your video is an art. And picking those few notes that work, at just the right time and the right level, is what sound engineering is all about. It may be only those few perfect notes or an entire symphony.
When thinking about the soundtrack of your production, there is much more to think about than music. The voiceovers must be perfect, the ambient sound managed and sometimes brought forward to star in your production, and any music perfectly timed and applied. There is never just one take! Excellent editing skills and the best editing technology are essential.
When it comes to sound on your video, audio clarity is critical. You may not notice perfect audio clarity, but you will undoubtedly notice poor audio clarity. It has ruined many a production. While the technical aspects of audio engineering and mixing are very complex and exacting, it’s the art of mixing and working with the producer to get the perfect sound that will fulfill the creative vision, and that sets good audio engineering apart.
Every production company does not have sophisticated audio engineering and mixing capability. When deciding on a production partner, ask about these capabilities, and meet the team. Quality sound can make or break your project.
A top agency like C&I Studios will be proud of their audio engineering team and will be happy to showcase some of their work or share behind the scenes videos with you.
What Is A Sound or Audio Engineer
Audio engineers, also known as sound engineering technicians, work on software and equipment that records, mixes, or reproduces music, sounds, voices, and sound effects. They record the actors, athletes, or other sounds of video production to create one cohesive final soundtrack that helps deliver audio quality the message or story a video sets out to tell.
What is sound editing?
Sound editing is collecting the sounds that are needed for any video production. The editor is a creative, who will select and compile any sounds and sound effects required, to prepare them for audio mixing and mastering. Their job is to deliver high-quality audio based on sound video editing.
There are several techniques for audio editing, depending upon the sophistication and tools available to the editor. These techniques are burning the audio onto a disk, copying it to a drive, or fading.
Some terms you’ll hear in a sound studio that describe the audio process include adjusting gain, which refers to the sound level and keyframing levels, which applies to secondary audio, which is often music. Editing will address background noise or ambient sound. Even though the unexpected is planned for, there are always surprises like a plane overhead or an air conditioning unit that kicks in at an inconvenient time. So an editor will “de-noise” the audio.
You’ll also hear about crossfades. This is the sound equivalent of video fade-ins and fade-outs and is usually just a few frames long. Finally, you’ll hear about panning, which means panning the audio along with the video creating a natural feeling of movement with the action and building suspense or interest in the action.
What is Audio Mixing and Mastering
Audio production is an essential part of the overall video production process in which all the individual elements create the cohesive whole of a video that transforms or moves the audience and fulfills the client’s creative vision. Mixing and mastering are two equally crucial basic core audio production functions. People often confuse the two elements as the difference can be subtle. It is possible to have a good mix and a poor master and vice versa.
Mixing takes place before mastering and involves adjusting various tracks to produce an audio file. That file is then mastered, which makes sure all of the sounds are polished and work together.
The audio mixer is often on the set and will process the sound in post-production. They may use multiple mics, creating several layers of audio that can then be split.
What audio equipment does an audio engineer use?
An audio engineer will perform various functions like recording, editing, mixing, and mastering. Studios are mostly digital these days. He will rely upon several tools to do this. He will need microphones, good headphones, a console or mixing board, computers, and various software packages. A sophisticated studio will have an array of equipment beyond the basics to allow them to be more efficient, nuanced and professional
Can a mastering engineer correct a poor quality mix on a song or audio track?
A good video production company will focus on getting it right from the start. That’s why you’ll see multiple takes on the set, even though the variance seems to be so subtle. Multiple takes allow both the video editor and the audio editor to find the best possible takes for the final product.
A mastering engineer can “fix” certain things. He will likely “hear” things in a studio that were missed on set. Mastering can improve the sound quality of an audio track, and put the emphasis on or off certain parts of the audio. They can also address tonal imbalances. They may notice pops or other unwanted noise, The mastering engineer will use the tools they have to work around any problems, but it’s always desirable for these “fixes” to be minimal and that you get it right from the start.
What is the difference between audio engineering and acoustic engineering?
An important distinction between an audio engineer and an acoustic engineer is that while they are both involved in creating good sound, specifically music, an audio engineer will deal with all aspects of audio. In contrast, sound designers focus on the specific job of designing sound for films, games, or Television.
What training do audio engineers have?
Audio engineers working on the creative side of the business, such as with films and music, come from a mix of backgrounds. They may train in audio, fine arts, music, broadcasting, or electrical engineering. Many colleges offer education in audio engineering and sound recording. On-the-job training is essential, and many audio engineers have not formal training.
Audio engineers do also work in research and development. They will usually have a degree in acoustics, physics, engineering, or computer science. They could work in consulting, or with an audio company like the producer of headphones and other equipment. Research and academic positions are also potential career tracks for people with this training,