I'm editing dialogue and I'm not sure if I should make cuts for each shot six frames before the shot or not. Or should I after. Does anybody have an opinion on when to cut? Specifically for Dialogue.


There's no hard and fast rule here; anything goes, as long as it makes the cut invisible. Dialogue editing is all about smoothing out the bumps/clicks/noises/etc, so you may have to try a few things to make it work.

I find that 2(ish) frame equal power crossfades work pretty well. If you have a bit of an ambience change (that you can't repair with fill), you may want a longer x fade. Another thing to think of is whether to make the audio cut on the picture cut, or before/after. The former might make the picture cut too jarring, but a picture cut that's jarring by itself might cover up your audio cut. It's all heavily dependent on context, though.

  • Ok. So I was editing and I started splitting the regions up per shot (per scene of course). In other words. I made cuts on every different shot even if the shots didn't contain on screen audio, There was someone being strangled and the picture cuts from multiple POV shots to shots of nature. I'm not sure if it makes a difference that I cut to the nature shots and it seems like some of the POV shots might have been zoomed in and didn't need a new DIAL track but I'm new at this so thats what I did. – Chris Feb 28 '11 at 0:19

I agree with the "anything goes" rule, sometimes you need a long fade and at other times you need a very short fade.

I for instance you are doing a scene with a lot of jump cuts or pov, you may not want any fades at all, or just a very short fade of max 1 frame to take away the click sound. If I am doing a scene with very short cuts, I always let the fade start on the cut, not before. In my experience it feels right that way.

On other occasions you may want to hide the fades, so it can be wise to split the dialogue over several tracks, so you can make different fades for the sound that is ending and the sound that is beginning. For instance you may have some background noise in the first sound, which you may want to fade out slowly, and the incoming sound starts with a bit of dialogue right at the first frame. By putting the two sounds on separate tracks, you have full flexibility on making the fades sound good.

One rule I find you can have about where to place the fades, is that if you start the fade too early before the edit, you kind of draw a bit of attention to the fade. It is easier to hide the fade if you make it on and after the cut than it is to hide it before the cut, unless there is some background noise on the incoming sound, which you need to give a long fade in.

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