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Chapter Seven. Sound on the Set > Planning for Professional Sound

Planning for Professional Sound

A soundtrack consists of dialogue, music, and sound effects (which sound editors refer to in shorthand, as D, M, and E). Music and most effects will be added during postproduction, which means your audio goal on the set is to record clean, clear dialogue. Digital video doesn't provide any special tools to help you do this, nor does it include any magic solutions for unscrambling garbled speech or fixing bad dialogue tracks in post. While it's true that sound editors can do amazing things with digital editing systems like ProTools, no amount of expertise will be as effective as capturing good sound in the first place.

If you don't have a quality soundtrack, you don't have a quality project. And if the audience can't understand the dialogue, you won't have much of a story either. Poorly recorded dialogue is probably the single most common mistake made by first-time moviemakers, whether they are working in film or in video.


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