Listening to: “Acoustics II” by Minus the Bear

One of the most important tools that an audio engineer has at their disposal is Reverb. Often times, as it relates to Film, audio engineers do their absolute best to record pristine sound while on location. Many times, however, this recorded sound just doesn’t work for the film and thus the need to go into the studio and record cleaner audio is born.

When audio is recorded, the microphone picks up a lot of information that our ears and brain filter out automatically. When we listen to a recording of someone talking, the only thing our brain focuses on is the direct sound. We filter out all of the background noise and reflections. Unfortunately, the microphone doesn’t, and the reflections and background noise impart a very unique sonic signature on the source material, and that sonic signature is almost impossible to duplicate when recording a source in a different environment such as a recording studio.

This is where your reverb makes such a huge difference. Using a good reverb can add enough ambiance to a vocal to make it blend well enough that it doesn’t pull the viewer out of the scene. When it comes to audio, the goal is minimal distraction from the original message.

An option fully worth considering is the convolution reverb. A convolution reverb uses sonic maps of spaces to make the source sound like it was originally recorded somewhere else. Look for a good convolution reverb that lets you map your own spaces. It’s one of the best ways to make your film audio blend and sound natural. I haven’t needed a convolution reverb yet for my post production audio editing, but both Audio Ease Altiverb, and Waves IR-1 come highly recommended.

And that’s what audio is all about: no distractions, full engagement.

Jared Thompson sounding off

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