Improving Your Film with Sound Design – Episode 7: Behind the Scenes of “Coming Home”

Improving Your Film with Sound Design – Episode 7: Behind the Scenes of “Coming Home”

December 8, 2019 6 By Kailee Schamberger


So we’re up to the final edit of the
film, but now let’s work some real magic by adding sound effects. Hey everyone, Camber here
showing you how to use your camera to make good film so if you’re new,
consider subscribing. And this is Episode 7 in the behind the scenes look into my short
film “Coming Home” where we’re gonna be covering audio and how to really make
your film stand out. And the things specifically we’ll be looking at is how
to capture the best sound while filming as well as voiceovers, different types of
sound effects, and then blending all that together to make a very dynamic video.
And if you haven’t seen the film yet, go to my other page Camber Films, check out
“Coming Home,” and come back here and then see the behind the scenes. With that,
let’s head over to the computer. Sound is just as important, if not more important
than your video quality because you can have a great video, but if you have bad
sound then people are just gonna not watch it. But on the other hand, if you have a really good quality audio tracks with
lots of sound effects, it’s more immersive for your audience and they’re
going to be more engaged with your video. And the first step to doing that is
trying to capture the best audio possible in your film while you’re
filming. So you can see for this scene I had a mic on top of the camera to
capture audio of the kids as they’re running out, and then I also had this mic
overhead the couch, which is a better mic to capture all the audio of them talking
once they got to that point. And here’s how it sounds in the film. Again here in this scene you can see I have the same mic. I always have it on top of the
camera whenever possible, but then I had that overhead mic here. And I could have
gotten it a lot closer to their heads. I don’t know why I didn’t in this case, but
it still captured really good audio. The whole time you can hear that here. But when something goes wrong on
set; there’s noises you can’t get out or mics aren’t in good enough places, then
that’s where you start getting into voiceovers. So I’m gonna show some examples here
like in this one that we looked at, the audio for her was fine right here cause of
this mic, but my son walking around in here is really distant. Just didn’t sound
very good so we did some dubbing over. And right here I just had this mic set
up to a recorder, I had some earphones so I could listen to how the lines went and
then told him what he need to do. And the idea with these is just to get multiple takes saying it in different inflections. And kids
I’ve noticed do really well matching almost exactly what you say so if you
know what you want, you can say it that way. Then they’ll probably be able to
match you. But this is how that ended up sounding the film. So another example. I just had my mic set up here on the camera like normal, and then I also
had the second mic set up on this little tripod to get good sound, but it ended up not working out. But we did the same type of thing here. So I got his part and then I had to work with
her to say her part cause they’re both sitting there in the scene together. There’s funny stuff that happens sometimes,
but it’s a good time. But then looking at that scene. And if you look closely, you can see it
doesn’t match up with her mouth. But when someone’s watching this for the first
time, they’re not looking for that type of stuff and you just see her head
turning and talking and it looks like she’s saying what was actually said. So
it works out; you just got a judge for yourself how much you can dub over and
where it’ll work out. So next up is sound effects, and there’s multiple ways of
going about this. You can record them for yourself with your own devices and that
can be pretty time-consuming depending on how big your project is or you can
get an online service. Like I have Audio Blocks, and I did use quite a bit from
that. But I did make some of my own for this. For example when the kids were
gonna be running down the hall saying that I’m home, I wanted to get their footsteps. And also here I was having them yelling “Daddy’s
coming home” like they’re gonna do in the video. Then I was also out getting
sound effects of walking on gravel, grass, different things we had in
the video. And you can feel kind of dorky doing this sometimes, but it works really
well because it’s the exact sounds you needed. I was looking for some footsteps
with boots and couldn’t really find something I liked so I went out and made
my own. And that’s what I did for my process in this. I would check to see
what sound effects they had that I liked so that would be less work for me.
Recording my own, and if I didn’t find something I liked I would go out and try to make
my own and again here I wanted to have some ambient sounds because a lot of the
video was outside and that way I could just overlay some of this to have some good
audio tracks of wind and leaves and that type of thing. Ambient sounds are good to have.
So let’s go back over to the project now. And you can see all the sound effects I
have here. Everything is in red is what I’ve added to the project and all the
blue is mostly audio from the camera or what I got from the other microphones while we were filming. So just taking a look at this you can easily see how much
stuff is added. It looks like it’s kind of overwhelming at first, but the way I
did this was I went through every scene and listened to it with no audio at all.
I took a piece of paper and wrote down the sounds I think I would hear from
what’s going on and then just started one scene at a time going through adding
those clips until it sounded just right. First off with this scene, if I was just
to play it for you with what I got out of the camera this is what it would look
like. Or sound like. So nothing really wrong with that; it’s just not very
immersive. And then I have a bunch of extra sound effects that I added like
this running water. So it’s a more intense sound. I found some
squeaking sounds so it’s just, you can really hear that the water is turning
off. And then I recorded extra sounds of just rubbing a towel on my hands. So you can see that just it adds a lot
more. You can control each sound individually. Instead of just having one
recording with all these different sounds. I have one recording for the
water, one for the squeaky faucet, one for the towel, and I can adjust all the
levels accordingly just so that each one kind of has its own sound space. Again
here, this was all filmed on the ground but you still hear noise from the
airplane. And you can’t really hear anything else from what we filmed so I
went through, looked at all these different things, and then started adding
in sounds. And I left the airplane sound in there and was able to control it how I
wanted. So I’m going to turn that off and turn the other sounds on so you can go
through and hear these different things. So I did a curtain right there. Footsteps. And even that rail my hand hits, it made
a sound. Here we can hear the rail, and then again my hand’s sliding off the rail.
More footsteps as we walk over there, and then here I have a sound of the cup
being set down. And here’s some examples of the sounds I used for that with the
coffee. So I have here, this is dishware sounds. And so you hear that is a saucer
being dragged across the table, and then underneath that I found this mailbox
sound. So just another little squeak and you put those together and just those
things it just makes it so much better once you put them all together, and you
hear it, you just think, “Oh, wow. That sounds a whole lot better.” And then
have the coffee being poured. And then again, I have another hinge
sound and mailbox shutting for when this gets closed, and then you put all these
things together and it just makes the whole thing a more immersive experience. And I’m not gonna lie, this can be a very
painful process and really boring, and it’s really one of my least favorite
parts of the filming process. Especially when you’re doing all the work yourself.
But once you start getting these things together, it just really makes a huge
difference. And then again here you can also use sound effects to help with your
transitions in editing. For example if I just played this next clip how it was
filmed, it would sound like this. Which is fine. We still had that nice
transition with the door opening and the other door opening. However, what I did
was recorded a couple more times of them saying “Daddy’s coming home” and layered
them so it sounded like they were coming from far away and slowly fading in so
that as we’re moving from about here, you start to hear their voices fading in as
well as footsteps. And this how it sounds. So you can see that just it really adds
a lot. It helps pull you into what’s about to happen and then makes that
scene of them coming out the other side of the door make even more sense. And as
I was going through this part, this can be pretty time-consuming, but what I did
was go through frame by frame and watch when each of their feet would hit the
ground and then trying to line up these different footsteps with that. So I’m
sure no one would be looking that closely to see if they match, but for me
that’s just that extra work really makes it sound good. And the same thing here in
this next part you can hear the voice is starting to lead up for an audio transition
again to the next scene. And to me that really helps when you have a little
fade in of the audio to help draw you in the next scene, especially when you’re
going back and forth between these two settings like I did in this film. And
once you get everything in, all your sound effects you want, then you have the
process of editing that because you’re not done yet. So you go in, listen to it,
see what you want to change, if you need to change any sounds, and then get some
time off, go back, listen again, adjust levels to blend everything together. And
it really does take a long time to get it down just how you want it, but once
you do, this sound adds such a huge amount to your video.
It’ll sound so much better. It’ll be so much more immersive, and the extra time
you take will really make a difference in making your film stand out because
sound is one of the things that a lot of people ignore, but is one of the most
important parts. And that’s my process for capturing audio for a film. First off
trying to get the best audio possible while filming, and then voice overs, sound
effects, and blending everything together to try to make a really dynamic video. In
the next episode we’re going to be covering color grading and how to put
those finishing touches on the film to make it look really nice. So stay tuned
for that, and this video was helpful, go ahead and help me out by leaving a like.
Subscribe if you haven’t, and I’ll see you soon!