Do you find it normal to hear squealing when a car is driving fast down a dirt road? It's horrible to hear, and it should be horrible to make anyway. So, when it's so obvious that the effect doesn't match the picture, why would an editor do this to himself and to the rest of the world?

Is there something I don't realize about editing that make it difficult to cut this particular effect?

2 Answers 2


More than half of my job is fixing hack audio (we do distribution too). Even then, I only have time to fix the most glaring issues. I've got one example of a Master tape we received three years ago (I think that's how long ago) where the video editor did all the audio...in Adobe Premiere. It was an utter mess...a 20 episode train wreck, which I had to rebuild in a very short time because of a sale of the program.

I swear, no one on this site would believe it. I'll try to get it up on my website this weekend, and let you guys know when I do. It'll be good for a laugh at least. ;)


I've gotten an example from this series up. If you're interested, you can read a little more about the whole ordeal and check out clips on my site www.dynamicinterference.com . I tried posting the the mangled clip here, but it isn't embedding properly.

  • Would be really interested to see that. If I had a (insert coin) for the number ofttimes I was pressed into cutting in screeches when they would play badly. Haha.
    – Kurt Human
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 11:40
  • So time actually is a factor... :D Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 12:42
  • @Justin Huss If you can believe it, I had even less time than we usually get for our work...lol Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 13:07
  • @Shaun Farley I listened to the samples. I don't know why the picture editor made an edit in the audio while it was still the same shot and same sentence from the guy? Why was this? I still can't believe those editing errors. I work with a director who likes to make people say things they didn't actually say (not in a bad way, cutting out ums and things like that) and I have had to perform miracles exactly like what you did. Did you have the original tapes to pull from? How did you reconstruct the words "Sixty percent" and "forty percent" for example? Did you only have that audio in the sample
    – Utopia
    Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 0:27
  • I have no idea what the hell he did or why. Thankfully, pretty much all of the missing audio material for the series was b-roll footage. We did have to ADR one person, it was really short though (a few sentences from an exhibitor at a trade show). We didn't have the source tapes, I would have preferred that I think, but were able to get some very messy omfs. Then it was just an issue of sorting through it all and getting the tracks back into shape. Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 12:00

I'm guessing you're referring to picture editors. Some of the shows I do contain the most horrific sounds within the OMF containing the dialog. They're there as a guide and I nearly always take huge liberties when replacing them with something that works. Never had a complaint yet although there have been a couple of occasions where the director wants that sound and I'd replaced it with what I thought was a better one, hey ho they're paying my rent so can't argue too much ;)

However, some people just have no taste (or clue).

  • @ianjpalmer Unfortunately I'm not lucky enough to have worked in a production yet, I'm talking about finished broadcasted product. I must admit it's not theatrical film but most often TV shows. But still, there must be a sound editor behind it. And these effects go through all the way to broadcast where I hear them. Shocking! I'm not angry, I just wonder what happens in these cases. To be fair, I might be referring to TV shows from the 90's, early 2000... but still. Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 9:35
  • Well, there's some really bad sound people out there too sadly. I don't watch TV at home but when I do hear something, say at a friend's house, I often find sloppy work fairly frequently.
    – ianjpalmer
    Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 11:19
  • 2
    I love it when I pull out the awful guide FX and build up a nice piece of sound design in it's place and the producer watches it through and says, "what happened to that FX? It sounded great in the edit suite!" It's even better when the editor comes to the play through because "they're so close to the show at this point." They've heard it so many times in the edit room that by the time they make it in to hear what I've done, they have a preconceived notion of how its "supposed" to sound. That's why I started muting guide FX from the OMF and put them on another track / playlist. Just in case. Commented Jul 23, 2010 at 13:05

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