Hi everyone!

I'm working on a project in which the interior scenes have 2 different perspectives: 2 men sitting at a table close to the exit door (always shut) and 1 man sitting at the bar listening to their conversation, less closer to the door. I've lay a subtle background for the exterior for start and been playing a bit with its volume automation. I tried first to cut 3 dB whenever the man in the bar appears but this turned out confusing. I'm trying now to use volume background depending on which sensations we want to provoke, growing up as the story moves along.

I wonder how you use to manage this kind of balance with backgrounds!

1 Answer 1


Usually a change in the crowd density/textures, as well as underying tones (such as a fridge compressor type sound up by the bar maybe, and over by the exit play with tones for the fluorescent lights (if thre are any), or sounds evocative of a bathroom offstage. Usually for something like this I'll cut a continuous A side with all of the global tones/sounds carrying the entire length of the scene, then use the bottom of the A side (along with the available B side) to checkerboard the hard POV splits for the specific POV-shifting sounds like crowd wallas and tones. Hopefully that helps answer the question at least as one opinion of how it can be done.

  • Yes, Stavrosound, thank you for your answer. That was the idea I was going to. I'm afraid I didn't start to do it with the right sound. And, the dialogue lines being somewhat short and the transitions between camera angles very short at most of the times, I think the sounds need to be very subtle. I'll have to check John Purcell's and Sonnenschein's books again. :) Feb 23, 2012 at 14:28
  • Sure thing! One trick I like to use when a scene is POV-happy is cut everything for one angle, then do all the POV split off's afterward and make my gain adjustments then. Much quicker, especially on the FX side. If you're open to a suggestion about the dialogue, try to not be "bound" to what the visual is doing since we're in the same room. Backfill blending is one of those more lucid type processes and rarely ever are we following the constraints of what the camera is doing (unless we're doing an obvious hard-cut to a new location or a telephone convo something). Feb 23, 2012 at 19:53
  • These kinds of scenes can more deceivingly simple than they make themselves out to be ;) Feel free to shoot me an email at steve (at) stavrosound.com if you'd like to chat about this some more, always happy to assist. Good luck! Feb 23, 2012 at 19:55
  • Ah, maybe, maybe! Thank you! And your blog seems real interesting, btw. Feb 23, 2012 at 23:16
  • Cool deal, you're more than welcome! Thanks for the compliments on the blog, very gracious of you. More to come on that in the future! Feb 24, 2012 at 1:05

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