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Adding natural and environmental sound

From: Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer

Video: Adding natural and environmental sound

When editing a documentary, you are often working with footage that was not shot with the quality or the consistency of audio as its highest priority. Unless the material was shot with a dedicated sound recorder in the field, the sound from any non-interview shots were most likely just recorded with the onboard camera mic. Interviews of course are probably recorded with more care, and with a lavalier or a directional handheld mic. Now, sometimes rather than cutting in a lot of disparate audio from individual shots, you may want to find some blanket, natural, or environmental sound and use that instead.

Adding natural and environmental sound

When editing a documentary, you are often working with footage that was not shot with the quality or the consistency of audio as its highest priority. Unless the material was shot with a dedicated sound recorder in the field, the sound from any non-interview shots were most likely just recorded with the onboard camera mic. Interviews of course are probably recorded with more care, and with a lavalier or a directional handheld mic. Now, sometimes rather than cutting in a lot of disparate audio from individual shots, you may want to find some blanket, natural, or environmental sound and use that instead.

All right, so here I have my intro, and it's the radio edit plus my B-roll, so it's coming along. It's almost maybe at the rough cut stage. But we need some audio here. It's totally quiet when this starts out. (BD Dautch: There's definitely a movement happening. It's not just here, it's worldwide.) And the birds you hear there were actually squawking in the background of his interview.

So, we also need to find something that goes with that as well, knowing that, that was one of the challenges they had at the interview. All right. Just so you know, the audio that was recorded with this, just a lot of different stuff. I mean there was like loud squawking crows in back of this shot, and something that was very different here, and then this one was very, very quiet. So I mean, we need something that kind of just is a background blanket audio bed underneath everything. So, I'm just going to climb into some of my B-roll so that I can try to create this, and I might not even have to go to a sound library.

So, I am going to go into B-roll, and then I am going to go to that Farm Bin, Farm Orchards, and I am showing tracks. If you need to show tracks, so you can see which ones contain audio, you can just right-click up here, choose Columns, and then just make sure that Tracks is selected so that you have that information. All right, so I probably don't want to pick anything where people are walking or carrying things or unloading, that's probably going to have some clicks and footsteps and things that I'm not really going to want.

If I want just some background environmental sound, I am going to choose something like Field mountain in background. That sounds like a good candidate. I am going to go ahead and play this. (video playing) All right, well, there was definitely some clicking, like some camera noise right around here, but that's not to say I can't use any of this. I can just put an in and an out around the part that I do want to use.

(video playing) Okay, and it's not the best, but at least I'll have it in my library, and I can always get rid of it later if I find something better. But I have some sound started in this natural and environmental sound bin. I am just going to drag this over, and I am just going to call this Quiet farm presence distant birds.

Okay, then we'll just try one more. Go ahead and get my flowers here. (video playing) Okay, so I'm starting to hear some like crunching and footsteps right here.

I'll just mark an in and an out around that area there. It's about 21 seconds of okay, and that sound, again, this is going to be very, very low-level audio underneath my principal video. So it doesn't have to be perfect, just something that kind of gives it that presence. This is much more chirpy, a little bit more immediate presence, so I am just going to say Field presence with chirps. So let's go ahead and close this up, and we have a bin started.

We can go ahead and just make sure that you are patching your audio down to A2 and A3, or if you want to, let's see, Command+U to add an audio track if you want your that sound to be on A3 and A4. Just patch appropriately. I think I am going to have mine on A2 and A3 for now, and I need to basically get it probably right before the farmers market because I'll have a different type of ambience at the farmers market.

So I am going to just mark an in and an out around this area, and I am going to go ahead and try my Field presence with chirps. I just need to turn off my video, and I'll overwrite, so press B. And now we should have some presence underneath our B-roll here, and I'll probably need to lower it just a little bit, but at least we have something. (BD Dautch: There's definitely a movement happening. It's not just here, it's worldwide, and it's a renaissance, and many people now are aware that getting it directly from the producer is the way to go.) Okay, so again, I'll probably need to come in there with the Audio Mixer.

I might need to keyframe when he starts talking and just sort of lower that just a little bit. But we have some blanket natural sound underneath our principal video at least to start with, and we can continue on, find some other stuff, and really kind of just build a patchwork of audio throughout our piece, and we might not even have to go to an audio library at all.

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This video is part of

Image for Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer
Documentary Editing with Avid Media Composer

39 video lessons · 3942 viewers

Ashley Kennedy
Author

 
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  1. 6m 12s
    1. Welcome
      1m 36s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 36s
  2. 10m 49s
    1. Interpreting a creative brief to establish goals
      3m 3s
    2. Examining project assets
      3m 43s
    3. Defining the project approach
      4m 3s
  3. 11m 52s
    1. Understanding the documentary postproduction process
      2m 15s
    2. Focusing on the preparatory phase
      3m 33s
    3. Focusing on the rough cut phase
      3m 27s
    4. Focusing on the picture lock workflow
      2m 37s
  4. 36m 51s
    1. Beginning a project
      10m 28s
    2. Screening and assigning qualitative information to clips
      7m 3s
    3. Looking for stock footage using the Avid Marketplace
      4m 27s
    4. Marrying high-quality audio with video
      4m 54s
    5. Using the Find tool and PhraseFind to search the audio in a clip
      5m 58s
    6. Understanding transcoding
      4m 1s
  5. 14m 11s
    1. Preparing a script for script integration
      4m 17s
    2. Syncing a script using ScriptSync
      5m 9s
    3. Manually syncing a script
      4m 45s
  6. 59m 56s
    1. An overview of the rough cut process
      3m 38s
    2. Making the paper edit
      3m 9s
    3. Using a two-column script
      3m 33s
    4. Assembling the radio edit
      7m 15s
    5. Building scenes with B-roll
      9m 30s
    6. Editing process footage
      6m 29s
    7. Using montage and parallel editing to manipulate time and ideas
      8m 20s
    8. Adding natural and environmental sound
      6m 11s
    9. Correcting audio
      6m 22s
    10. Putting it all together: Completing the assembly edit
      5m 29s
  7. 32m 52s
    1. Dealing with multiple formats in a project
      5m 2s
    2. Adding movement to static images
      6m 6s
    3. Stabilizing shaky footage
      3m 23s
    4. Changing and fixing portions of the video frame
      8m 7s
    5. Compressing and expanding time in video and audio
      5m 23s
    6. Repairing jump cuts using the FluidMorph plug-in
      4m 51s
  8. 22m 25s
    1. Getting feedback, making adjustments, and receiving approval
      3m 16s
    2. Creating multiple titles and lower thirds
      5m 39s
    3. Understanding the finishing process
      5m 46s
    4. Delivering the project
      7m 44s
  9. 1m 28s
    1. Next steps
      1m 28s

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