January 10, 2015

sound design tips
The latest part in my mini series about sound design is the nuts and bolts of sound – we’re getting a bit technical, going over some of the tools that filmmakers can use for sound.


So if you’ve seen the my other videos about sound design (embedded below the main video) then you should have an appreciation for the importance of sound design. Plus you’ll have seen what it takes to recreate a sound-heavy scene from a hollywood film, learning what the pros are doing by recreating their work!

This week’s video is the ‘tips’ instalment, where we dive into the more technical side.

Check out this week’s dslr guide:



As I mentioned in the main episode, I watch a draft of each film I make along side every song in this playlist, as reference music. There’s a fairly diverse range of what i’d consider ‘cinematic’ songs that fit a range of moods but are somewhat universal. A lot of them are from TV adverts! By watching an early edit of your film with all of these songs, it really opens up ideas in terms of the mood / genre of the song but also the timings. I then will write something very similar to the reference song, or find something of the same mood in a royalty free music library. I highly recommend this approach over just finding a song that you like, or picking a random genre / style that you think will fit.  Trying a range of music has given me ideas that I frankly would never have come up with until I heard it for the first time.



This video has the audio editing tip that i’ve been using lately for interviews and DSLRguide episodes. It’s one of those insider quick tips that I wouldn’t have thought would work so effectively! Check it out:

There was one basic audio effect that I didn’t mention in the video – Compression. This is referring to volume compression, where the loudest parts of an audio track are made quieter and therefore the quiet parts louder.  I’ve found a video that should give you all the basics to get you started with compression:


This next video has at least two big takeaways:

  • His creativity with finding sounds in the strangest places
  • The technical knowledge and experimentation involved with making the classic lightsaber sound!

Animated films are a perfect way to study sound design – you know they are totally working from scratch.  It’s amazing to see the way they combined lots of organic and digital sounds, all with the purpose of bringing the characters and locations to life.



Super nice light in these winter evenings

A photo posted by Simon Cade (@cadevisuals) on

Simon Cade

Filmmaker, and host of DSLRguide. Since I was making my first film age 11, I have always been fascinated by the way films are produced, and the effect it can have on the audience.