Next time you are watching a movie, close your eyes for a moment and concentrate on what you can hear. You will see, that this is quite a lot. That is because the soundtrack with its musical passages and sound scape contributes a large part in how we feel while watching a movie and how we experience the pictures; either peaceful or menacing, happy or sad… Every motion picture has its own sound design.
Once you realized that, you can work on your own movie's soundtrack with a totally different approach and underline the individual scenes with matching music and sounds. This tutorial will show you how to do that.
Create atmosphere with sound effects and music
When you are working with sound effects and want to create a realistic impression, your settings should be geared to reality and its sound. Our everyday life is full of different noises. Thus these noises should not be missing in your movie, for example the sounds of city traffic, a school or the forest. Especially when you are working with different shots in one scene, the atmospheric sound scape can create a frame that holds the individual shots together.
Think about the sounds that belong to certain places and place them underneath the image track. Feel free to use several tracks for more clarity – that's why there are so many of them.
Pay attention to the volume of the individual sound effects and adjust them, if necessary, by moving the rhomb in the middle of the audio track up or down. Loud sounds are displayed bigger than lower ones. Dramatic sounds (honking, bangs, screams etc.) should be louder than atmospheric sounds (rippling water, city traffic, twittering birds). While mixing, try to imagine what you would hear in the respective situation. Which would be the sounds that you would hear right away? Which ones would need more careful listening?
Tip: You can find many film and special effects as well as natural effect sounds at catooh.com. Just enter a keyword into the search mask or look for effects in the category 'Sounds & Fx'.
In addition to noises, music gives you the possibility to underline the mood of a scene even more than by simply using sound effects. It helps you to express certain emotions. Joy, romance, growing discomfort, fear – you can convey all this through music.
Take care that the music is not too loud and drowns the other sounds. Unless you want to do that on purpose to emphasize a scene by leaving out the noises. Such a scene could be a love scene of a couple's first kiss: they have been surrounded by traffic noises but now that they kiss, all you can hear are sticky sweet strings.
Catooh offers you more than 4000 different songs, made especially for films and with many different prevailing moods. You can find these in the category "Songs" under "Film & Emotion" where they are ordered by emotions and genres.
Adjust sounds with Audio FX
Sound effects do not have to limit themselves to noises with which you accompany scenes. In addition, you can work on the individual audio tracks with audio effects to optimize them.
The easiest way to do that is to use the Audio FX presets that are already included in your MAGIX Movie Edit Pro. Open the 'Effects' menu and then click on 'Audio FX'. You will then see an overview of the different effects.
There are presets that help you give your recordings a different ambient sound (room, church, hall), let the sound seem to come from next door (Neighbor's TV) or from a radio (Radio & echo, Amplifier small) or change the sound of a voice (Phone, Megaphone, CB radio). Depending on what suits your movie, you can choose different presets and apply them to your audio tracks by dragging them on the respective part of the sound track. This way you can adjust music and sounds even better to your movie and create a coherent impression.
Remove noise with Audio cleaning
Especially when you are recording sounds yourself without having a professional microphone, mush easily occurs. This could be high hissing, deep humming or disturbing crackling.
MAGIX Movie Edit Pro offers you the possibility to remove these noises by using Audio cleaning. Just right click on an audio track and open 'Audio cleaning'. Depending on the type of the noise, you can now use the DeClipper (helps against crackling noises that are generated by over-modulation; also called „clipping“), the DeNoiser (helps against long lasting humming or hissing) or the DeHisser (helps against „white“ noise that is typically generated by analog tape recordings, microphone pre-amplifiers or analog-digital-converters).
Above that, the Equalizer, the Compressor and Stereo FX offer you many opportunities to work on the sound of your audio recordings.
With the Equalizer, you can highlight or restrain certain frequencies. You could, as an example, highlight the bass frequencies, to intensify the sound of a beating heart, or highlight high frequencies to make an annoying sound even more shrill.
There are also some presets you can choose, such as 'Voice emphasing', 'Noise dumping' or 'Footstep noise absorbing'.
The Compressor helps you change the dynamic range of your audio material. It levels very loud and very low parts and can help to enhance speech clarity. Stereo FX finally helps you to change the volume of the audio track or the stereo width. You can, for example, simulate a car driving from the right to the left, by letting the sound wander from the right channel over both channels to the left one.
For more information about the single possibilities of sound editing with MAGIX Movie Edit Pro, have a look into the handbook. There you can find more details about the use of Audio cleaning and the other audio effects that are included in the program. Just open 'Audio effects' to reach the individual sub-items.
Have fun editing your videos!