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LIGHT, CAMERA, SOUND. PART 3-SOUND

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One of the most defective areas in Nigerian productions is in the area of sound. Most of the productions are lacking in sound quality. In this regard, there is need to have trained and experienced sound effect editors and sound mixers. Crashes, footsteps, coughs, weather effects, clapping . . . these are just a few examples of different sound effects that get reworked in post-production stages of television and film. Sound effects editors are sound editors who specialize in editing sound effects. Sound effects refer to the sounds, other than dialogue, that objects or people make, coupled with the sounds that occur naturally in the background. Some sounds that are injected into a production may not even sound like the real thing. Sometimes it does not matter provided the sound effect works within the creative framework of the production. Sound effects editors work with sounds and events happening on or off screen. Operate audio equipment to record and edit music, dialog and sound effects for films, videos, radio and television. Use control board to coordinate and balance pre-recorded sound effects with movies or TV shows. They have to create the desired effect - for example the footsteps of a killer, coming down the hallway are an off-screen event intended to create suspense. We cannot see this killer, but we are conscious of his or her footsteps. The sound editor is also responsible for background ambience - off-screen activity that the audience may never see, such as a passing siren, party sounds, animals, a rain storm, etc. Editors most often build sound effects tracks from scratch. They focus on selected sounds to create tension, atmosphere and emotion. Sound effects editors must be patient, because they will spend long hours in the studio. They must have good ear for sound, pitch and tone and have the ability to pay close attention to details. They should also enjoy using electronic equipment to perform tasks requiring precision. They must love producing sound effects and be able to create interesting sounds, and have a solid understanding of the film editing process. Sound effects editors may be required to work extremely long hours in a studio or on a film set. They also work indoors in soundproof, windowless studios. Formal training is very specialized and not many schools offer such programs. Most sound effects editors acquire a working knowledge of today's computer-based recording technologies, such as digital mixing and random access editing, and adapt quickly to many different recording formats and devices by learning on the job or taking related training courses. Closely associated with sound for television, film and related media is a sound mixer. A Sound Mixer must have the ability to scrutinize sounds and adjust, create or re-create them. Sound mixers make their living by the ability to create, scrutinize, critique, modify, shape, control, the details and sound quality of music and audio sound. They operate equipment to mix and edit sound, music and videotape to produce soundtrack for motion pictures, television and radio programs, videos, music recordings and live events. Sound mixers are involved in the process of re-recording multiple reels of track to produce one final soundtrack, which includes all dialogue, looped dialogue (ADR), music, sound effects, and narration for each reel of picture. During this process, the sound mixer can adjust the volume and equalization of the sound units on the individual reels in relation to each other, as well as produce effects such as fade-ins, fade-outs, and cross fades. Sound mixers may operate equipment designed to produce special effects, such as the illusions of a bolt of lightning or a police siren. Accordingly, they can add echoes, delays, speed up or slow down tempos and fine-tune voices. It is the sound engineer who manipulates sound to produce the desired effect. Most sound recordings are produced using digital audio recording systems enabling them to record hundreds of tracks for sessions or on hard disc based computers and samplers. The sound mixer then takes each of these separate recordings and mixes them together to form a polished sound. The same happens in film during the post-production stage. Sound mixers become skilled by learning on the job or taking related training courses. They must keep updated with new technological and digital advances. Recording techniques are increasingly computerized and digitized, which allows allow sound mixers to work at a faster and more efficient pace. Sound mixers must be patient because they will spend long hours in the studio. They must have good ear for musical sound, pitch and tone and have the ability to pay close attention to details.
 

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