Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.



The role of sound in film

Sean Tyler

on 22 September 2014

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Sound

The Use of Sound in Film
3 Main Components

- Dialogue
- Sound effects
- Musical accompaniment
The picture and sound were made synchronous by connecting the two with a belt.
Although the initial novelty of the machine drew attention, the decline of the Kinetoscope business and Dickson's departure from Edison ended any further work on the Kinetophone for 18 years.
The alternative to direct sound and that favoured by mainstream cinema is the use of archived recordings of sound effects or music that can be added afterwards in the studio, or the use if sound effects and music specially created and recorded for the film.
The alternative to recording sound on location is:

- archived recordings of sound effects or music that can be added afterwards in the studio
- sound effects and music specially created and recorded for the film.
Additional Dialogue Redub

When dialogue is overdubbed in the studio it is called ADR.

Q: Why might we need to record ADR?
The Role of the Foley Artist
Foley is the reproduction of everyday sounds for use in filmmaking. These reproduced sounds can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass.
Foley Game:
Guess what sounds the following used to reproduce
Corn flour in a leather pouch
A pair of gloves
A water soaked rusty hinge
A heavy stapler
Coconut shells
Cling Film
Rolled up telephone book
Snow crunch
Bird's wing flap
Controllable creaking sound
Horse's hooves
Crackle of fire
Body punch
This week's practical activity will be focused on using foley sound to bring moving image to life and create drama. The activity is as follows.

Activity 1

1. In Logic Pro use a combination of digital sound recorders to create sound effects (also known as foley) and archive sounds to enhance the impact of the sequence on it's audience.

3. Upload this clip to your YouTube account.

Activity 2:

4. Once you have completed this use Logic Pro to create an original soundtrack for this sequence.
Recording vocals in the studio means the audience are given a highly privileged position in which they are able to hear clearly everything that is being said.
This enhancement of the vocals can amount to a highly artificial experience.

Because we are brought up with these film conventions, and since we are carried forward by the intensity of our desire to follow the story, we accept what is in reality a highly contrived clarity of sound.
Italian horror pioneer Dario Argento's 1977 film 'Suspiria' is often described as a cacophony of colour and sound.

The stylish combination of cinematography and production design, emphasising vivid primary colours, coupled with experimental foley recordings and accompanying score by prog-rock group Goblin, create a disturbing and deliberately unrealistic, nightmarish setting.
Diegetic and Non-Diegetic Sound
“The most exciting moment is the moment when I add the sound... At this moment I tremble”

- Akira Kurosawa
Before sound was introduced in 1926 silent films were accompanied by orchestra, organ or piano.

It filled the silence and gave the viewer a more perceptual experience. Sergei Eisenstein calls it “synchronisation of the senses”.
The first commercial sound release in considered to be 'The Jazz Singer' featuring Al Jolson

There is too much background noise on location.

The shot does not allow for a boom to be on location.
Perceptual Properties

Several aspects of sound as we perceive it are familiar to us from everyday experience and are central to film’s use of sound.



- Film sound constantly manipulates volume. For example a long shot of a busy street is accompanied by loud traffic noises, but when two people meet and start to speak the volume of the traffic begins to drop.

- Loudness can also relate to perceived distance.
- This is the highness or lowness of the sound. This can create a physiological response in the spectator.
- This is the tone of the sound (as opposed to amplitude or frequency). For example the warm tone of a saxophone may be right to accompany a romantic scene, however the noises emitted from the exorcist girl blended screams, animal thrashings and English spoken backwards.
Although sound is an accompaniment to images we also need to recognise it can actively shape how we understand them.
Sound Mixing
Guiding the viewer's attention depends on mixing
Dialogue Overlap
Space: Diegetic Versus Nondiegetic Sound

- within the story (the characters can hear)
- can occur both onscreen and off screen

- outside of the story (the characters cannot hear)

Some films can blur these distinctions to cheat our expectations

- can be used to create a sense of spatial distance and location analogous to the cues for visual depth and volume that we get with visual perspective (a loud sound appears near and a soft sound distant). This can be utilised in the by the surround sound technology that exists in a theatre space.

People beginning to study cinema may express surprise (or annoyance) that films in foreign languages are usuallt shown with subtitled captions translating the dialogue. Why not, some viewers ask, use dubbed versions of the films?

There are several reasons:

Dubbed voices usually have a bland studio sound. Elimination of the original actors’ voices wipes out an important component of the ir performance. (Look at dubbed Orsen Welles performance. Also, there are problems in sychronising the specific lip movements. Dubbing simply destroys an important part of the audio track.
Extensively scrutinise the audio on a clip. Answer the following questions:

1 - What sounds are present - music, speech, noise? How are loudness, pitch and timbre used? Is the mixture sparse or dense? Modulated or abruptly changing?

2 - Is the sound related rhythmicly to the image? If so, how?

3 - Is the sound faithful or unfaithful to it’s percieved source?

4 - Where is the sound coming from? In the storyspace or outside it? Onscreen or offscreen? If offscreen, how is it shaping your response to what you’re see?

5 - When is the sound occuring? Simultaneously with the story action? Before? After?

6 - How are the various sorts of sounds organised across the sequence? What patterns are formed, and how do they reinforce aspects of the film’s overall form?

7 - For each of questions 1 to 6 what purposes are fulfilled and what effects are achieved by the sonic manipulations?
Horror Soundtrack:

- Drone
- Ostinato / (repeating riff / musical pattern)
- Crescendo
- Accelerando
- Dissonance
- Very high pitch/very low pitch
- Semitones
- Trills (alternating between two adjacent notes quickly)
- Note clusters (close, clashing chords)
- Sudden silence
- Sound FX
Full transcript