I am going to shoot an amateur video but have no idea how to create good sound. Here is my problem.

I need to shoot some people who are coming into the direction of the camera. During this process they should emit some sound, so there should be a feeling sound is nearer and nearer. But this is some specific sound which people can't pronounce by themselves. I have a sample of this sound but if I lay it on during editing there won't be an effect of people forthcoming.

I see a couple of ways to solve this problem:

  1. Find a tool which will make different versions of my sample depending on the distance (if there is one) and then add these samples during editing appropriately
  2. Put on actors some audio-playing devices which will play this sound

What is the right way to achieve my goal?

Update. I didn't want to provide a real case as it may sound silly, but this will be a clip inspired by Walking Dead series. So people will play a role of zombie and I want them to make scary zomby sound.

  • 1
    What kind of sound are you talking about? Could you provide a link to an example? – Warrior Bob Apr 16 '12 at 2:21
  • @WarriorBob, I want to know how this problem can be solved in general – Idsa Apr 16 '12 at 5:30
  • Idsa - this question doesn't lend itself well to the general case, as it seems very specific to your needs. I can't think of what you might mean by needing them to produce sounds which people can't produce, so I think @warriorbob's request is relevant. – Rory Alsop Apr 16 '12 at 9:28
  • @DrMayhem I have added an update – Idsa Apr 16 '12 at 9:37

If your actors can't make the correct zombie sounds, the simplest way is to edit these sounds in afterwards - this will give you the flexibility to play with volume levels and balance, and add layered effects (eg vocals, breathing etc) over the top of actual movement noises (shuffling etc) which you could record live.

I don't know if you'd need to get any specific tool - any DAW will let you add multilayer sounds - many will even allow the addition of Doppler effects (just in case you have really fast zombies...) - and ramp up volume levels and ramp down distance effects over time as they get closer etc.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you! Your answer is really usefull for me. Actually DAW is a specific tool for me as previously I was editing in tool like Sony Vegas which I guess have worse sound editing support – Idsa Apr 16 '12 at 9:49

In general, further-away sounds tend to have a bit more of the sound of the environment in them, as well as being delayed slightly (about one millisecond per foot due to the speed of sound). You can model this to some extent with a reverb effect designed to model the space, and with a little bit of high- and low-pass filtering on the dry sound if they are particularly far away. In theory (I've never tried this) you can reduce the effect of the filtering and reverb as the sounds come closer.

In your specific case (thank you for your update), you're looking for sounds spoken by actors, and in particular the sound of a bunch of actors. These people are supposed to sound like zombies, so you may want to accentuate the effect of there being lots of actors - try recording them multiple times, and overlaying the recordings on different tracks. Experiment with panning, stereo effects, and different reverb/EQ settings for the different tracks, as well as a subtle delay effect with different speeds, to get a "voices coming from everywhere" kind of sound.

Now, you've suggested that you might not be recording the actors actually making this sound, and instead relying on a sample that you have. The same advice applies, but it might not sound right on multiple tracks depending on what the sample is. Even with one track though, you can probably still evolve the effects over time to make it sound like it's coming closer.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.