Film School: Dialogue Audio Editing

'How to Cut Smoother Dialogue Using Room Tone & Ambience' | Film Editing Pro 'How to Cut Smoother Dialogue Using Room Tone & Ambience' | Film Editing Pro

A step-by-step guide to improving the sound of voices in your film.

These are the most common effects used in processing voice recordings in post production. The order in which each of these effects is applied is important, but may also vary depending on factors such as recording quality and desired result.

Equalizer (EQ)

Curtis Judd explains EQ for Dialogue Audio: Make Your Voice Sound Better with an Equalizer:


Even-out the overall volume by making the quiet parts louder, and the loud parts quieter, using a compressor:


The louder “s” sounds in a person’s voice sometimes require their own compression – and, as the name suggests, there is an effect designed just for that (via Wicklemedia):

Room Tone

Film Editing Pro demonstrates Cutting Smoother Dialogue with Room Tone & Ambiance – even if you didn’t manage to record silence on set or location:

And there is a whole world (literally) of sound, and powerful storytelling opportunities, to be found in silence, room tone, and ambient sound:

Automated Dialogue Replacement

Often, dialogue recorded on set isn’t good enough, and will need be re-recorded in post-production – learn why and how:

Normalization and Leveling

Going a step beyond compression, is normalizing the audio:

Another from Curtis Judd on more detailed techniques for leveling dialogue audio:

Further Listening

There’s a bunch more than can be done with compression – here’s a collection of explainers and tutorials on this effect alone:

Vox investigates a trend in modern film and television toward dialogue getting buried in the mix:

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