Adventures In Audio
Make the dialog stand out from the background

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

Thursday November 21, 2019
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There's more to audio than music and a lot can be learned from what went wrong and what went right in other areas of sound, such as speech, sound effects, and film and TV soundtracks.

There's more to audio than music and a lot can be learned from what went wrong and what went right in other areas of sound, such as speech, sound effects, and film and TV soundtracks.

Here we have a scene set in a propellor-driven plane, which can be very noisy inside.

So how should the sound mixer balance the levels of the dialog and the plane noise in the background?

Of course the dialog should be completely intelligible - every word should be audible above the background.

But if the background would have been loud in real life, then it should be loud in the drama. There's a careful balance to be struck.

This episode of Bad Audio Diary contains an example that some might think bad, but you might think... Well watch the video and decide for yourself.

The video contains commentary about a scene from The Crown Season 3 Episode 3 in which a conversation takes place between UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson and his personal and political secretary Marcia Williams, on board a noisy propellor-drive plane in 1966.

Learn more about the Audio Masterclass Music Production and Sound Engineering Course at www.audiomasterclass.com

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