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Chapter 5. Recording to Picture > Recording Action Sounds (Foley)

Recording Action Sounds (Foley)

Once the dialog has been conformed from source tapes or created in the studio for narrations/animation, and has been corrected with ADR and proper editing, it is time to record foley sounds. You’ll recall that foley sounds are those made by the people you see onscreen and their direct interactions with the things around them, such as doors, guns, keys and so on. Even the sound of clothing rubbing as the character moves is part of foley.

Using a Foley Stage

Most foley recording takes place in a studio that has a foley stage. Foley stages are usually larger rooms with a very low noise floor and low reverberation times to allow uncolored recording with medium distance miking (3—6 feet). There can be pits in the floor that are filled with different materials, such as dirt, concrete, tile, wood, glass, and just about anything else you can think of. The foley artist can walk, jump, and throw things into the pits in order to create all kinds of sounds. Almost anything can be used to make foley sounds. Much creativity and experimentation goes on in foley sessions in order to create the perfect effect. The choice of objects used to create certain sounds might not be as obvious as you think. A classic example is the recording of footsteps in cornstarch to imitate the sound of walking in snow. Try it yourself. It is amazing how real it sounds. But it is much easier to get a bag of cornstarch into the studio than real snow!


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