Film Audio

Foley and Sound Effects

What is production sound? Sound recorders focuses on dialogue it can be re recorded in the post production stage called looping or ADR. Recorded on the set.

What is Ambience? Background noise, psychological cue for space where the scene takes place in, you should record at least a minute of sound so you have something to work with.

What are Library effects? Can be prerecorded sound effects or created wild.

What is Foley? Additional audio recordings which is divided into three sections footsteps, cloth (costumes) and props this is done post production.

What is it for? Sound effects.

Why do film makers use sound effects? They can help tell the story, create an illusion, add a mood,give the film an impact etc.

How much of what you hear in a film do you think was recorded ‘for real’ by the camera. It is hard to tell because if its done well enough you won’t be able to notice.

Why is it called Foley? After Jack Foley the man who thought of the whole idea that you should record the sound effects live onto one track.

When did filmmakers first start using Foley effects? In the 1930s

How is it usually recorded? The film is played and then additional audio is recorded on top.

Where did it initially come from in history? Jack Foley created it.

What films are famous for using it? Kingdom of Heaven, Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire, Quantum of Solace, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, just to name a few.

Describe a foley session. It is a recording session where sound effects are added in to a film or tv scene. The foley artist would watch the film and have to recreate the sounds to emphasise certain parts of that scene, making sure that they are in sync. They do this in a special room with the equipment needed for it.

What do you notice about the microphone placement in the 1970s foley session?  Why do you think they placed the mics like that?  I think the microphone placement is placed like that so it is closer to the sound source e.g. close to the floor for footsteps and higher up for sound effects done by hand. They do this for a clearer sound for the recording.

What is ADR? Additional Dialogue Recording, this is the process of re-recording actors or actresses dialogue in a controlled environment durning post production.

Why is it used? So they are able to obtain a clan sound sometimes used to subtly adjust an actors performance in a certain scene. Also to add a new non-sync dialogue to aid the story.

What does ADR stand for? Automated Dialogue Replacement.

Describe an ADR session?  The actor or actress will go into the story and redo their lines of a certain scene so it is able to sync with the wording and lip movement.

What does ADR allow you to do?  Allows you to re record dialogue post production.

What do you need to consider when organising an ADR session?  Make sure the actor knows where and when they need to be, the scene that needs to be re recorded (over dubbed), bring their script with them.

How ‘automatic’ do you think it really is? It isn’t really that automatic as you have to manually add it in.


Audio terminology

Find definitions for the following audio terms, and explain those definitions in a way that you understand. Use these terms when you are talking about audio.

Term Useable Definition
Diagetic They are from noises that are occurring in a scene which hasn’t been edited in, that means sounds like people talking or footsteps
Non Diagetic Sounds that have been added in which can include things such as music, narration as well as sound effects. Often used to add drama to certain moments that would have been silent without it.
Ambience Background sounds which are present in a certain location or scene for example wind, water, birds, crowds etc
Spot (ie: Spotting audio effects)  Placing the effects onto the timeline.
Spotting session When going through a rough cut of a movie project the composer, music editor and director see which type of music may be beneficial throughout that picture. This known as spotting or a spotting session. The music editor normally produces a series of “spotting notes” which becomes a list of cues that later become part of the score.
Dubbing mixer  It is a post production audio engineer who mixes recorded dialogue, sound effects and music to create the final version of a certain soundtrack for the feature film, television program or television advertisement.
Sound designer  Provides the sound for screen action which depends on the films budget. Sound Designers start work at same time as the other Sound Editors.
ADR / “looping” Additional Dialogue Recording, this is the process of re-recording actors or actresses dialogue in a controlled environment durning post production.
Dialogue  A conversation been two or more people as a feature of  book, play or film.
Foley stage  The room where the sounds are created as well as where the equipment is kept.
Foley artist  The people who make the sounds.
Foley Footsteps, Cloth (costumes), Props.
Production sound Recorded on the set.
Post-Production  Work which is done on film or recording after filming or recording that has taken place.
Bleed (microphones)  Sound that is picked up from a microphone from that source other than what is meant to be heard.
On-Axis (Microphones)  When the sound source is directed to the microphone at the right angle.
Underscore  When you hear music playing in the background quietly when someone is talking or a visual scene for example an intro or theme song.
Sting  Short Musical Phrases


Film Clip Listening

Close your eyes, and listen in silence to the sounds in the clip. List the sounds that you can hear, and what sort of sound it is. (Diagetic, Non Diagetic, Ambience, Foley, People, Props etc)

Time Sound Type
00:03 Birds Ambience
0:10 Footsteps  Foley
00:47 Water Splash  Foley
01:00 Wind  Ambience
01:23 Typing  Foley/Ambience
01:57 Crash  Foley
02:12 Birds  Ambience
02:36 Monkeys
02:40 Water Splash  Foley
03:00 Fly  Foley
03:48 Someone Blowing Something  People
03:59 Fly  Foley
04:24 Droplets  Foley
05:06 Loud Crash/Bang  Foley
05:08 Fly is Louder/Faster  Foley
05:23 Sigh  People
05:32 Fly  Foley
05:40 High Pitched Whilsting  People
05:46 Train  Diagetic

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