Pro Sound Effects Blog

Top 5 Audio Fails to Avoid as a Video Editor

Steer clear of these common audio mistakes often made my video editors working in Adobe Premiere Pro. 

A video editor works closest to the director after principle filming concludes & has the greatest insight into a director's final vision. As a film begins to take shape, it is common for the video editor to being placing key sound effects into the timeline for the sound editors reference. Sometimes, a film's soundscape is the video editor's responsibility entirely. That is why it is important for video editors to be familiar with general film sound concepts and theory to further elevate a film. 

In an exclusive video for Pro Sound Effects, film & television editor Joaquin Elizondo (Narcos: Mexico, The Hot Zone: Anthrax, Dark Winds) discusses the 5 top audio fails beginner video editors make. Joaquin demonstrates good practice on the short film Overtime.


1. Not Having Organized SFX Folders

All of you project elements should be organized in your project window such as your sequences, dailies, score, and your sound effects. to improve your workflow, organize your sound effects into categories, that way you'll know exactly where to look for specific sounds. 

2. Not Setting Proper Audio Levels

On occasion video editors crank up the volume on sound effect clips, overpowering other imperative elements like the dialogue. But volume may also cause a discrepancy in what is happening in the film's environment. An example Joaquin demonstrates is the office ambience which plays through the opening scene of Overtime. The scene is set at the end of the workday, but the ambience is far too busy. However, just by lowering the volume, the ambience can set a more languid mood. You can adjust clip volume in the Audio Panel & adjusting the track on which the sfx clip is located.

3. Wasting Time Looking for SFX

Wasting time on searching for sound effects can throw you off your workflow and interrupt your productivity. Using a tool such as SoundQ can provide you great quality sound effects, and save you precious time as you're reaching a deadline. 

If you’re wondering how/where editors get their high-quality audio files for their video projects, we’ve got you covered. We’re offering 100% free sound effects (no credit card required, ever) that can be applied to any and all your video projects. 

Just download SoundQ here and select the Free Plan.

Here's what you get:

  • Freesound.org Integration: Unlimited in-app cloud access.
  • Search, audition, and drop directly to any project.
  • Organize up to 5,000 local files.
  • Get 5 free downloads from the PSE Cloud Library of over 800,000 sounds.
  • Free forever. No credit card required.

LEARN MORE + DOWNLOAD

4. No Audio Dissolves on SFX

A simple step video editors forget as they're adding sound effects to their project is adding in fades or 'audio dissolves' at the front and back of each clip. Adding a one-frame fade-in and fade-out will prevent unpleasant clips and pops from occurring at each clip cut. Pops & digital clicks can be distracting, jarring, and can pull viewers out of suspense. You don't want to hear cuts happening anywhere, that's why Joaquin reminds us to also include fades in your dialogue and production sound. 

5. Lack of Head/Tail Frames on SFX

Lastly, a mistake video editors make is cutting sound effects too short, leaving no room for adjustments. 


Joaquin Elizondo
Joaquin Elizondo
is a film & television editor based in Los
Angeles California & the founder of Hollywood Editing Mentor.

Follow Joaquin: Website | Facebook | InstagramYouTube | IMDb

 


Footage provided by EditStock