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Ambience

Ever stopped to listen to the hum of an air conditioner, the patter of the rain, the sounds of a stream, the wind in the trees, or just background voices in a classroom? All these types of sound are collectively termed "ambience."

 You might not have even noticed these ambient sounds, because your brain filters them out as insignificant to the activity or situation you're focusing on at a given moment. But in video, leave out the ambience, especially if you're cutting from different scenes in which the background sounds change, and the results will be rather choppy if not annoying.

 Insert and link to a typical ambience (e.g. machine noise) from Microburst Alert footage w/ narration audio, no music. Then add and "mix" in Premiere w/ narration. Just show movies. No need for construction window here.

Edit as follows:

Audio

Narration tape DVE B

00:10:20-00:10:28

KNOWN AS TERMINAL DOPPLER WEATHER RADAR, OR TDWR, THE SYSTEM PROBES THE CLOUDS FOR MICROBURST ACTIVITY

00:10:30-00:10:37

WIND SPEEDS AND REFLECTIVITY, INDICATING THE STRENGTH OF PRECIPITATION, ARE AUTOMATICALLY COMPUTED AND DISPLAYED.

 Video

Field tape #2

02:08:47-02:08:53 (inside the radar dome)

 Field tape # 2 again

02:16:47

(pull back from monitor make it last over the narration on the left)

In the above movie clip, the scene shifts from inside the radar dome to the control center. The machine noise in the first location is both different and louder from that in the second. If we just "cut" the audio, the results can be distracting, especially if the ambience level is quite high relative to that of the narration.

Illustrate with a movie clip having "cut" audio

 It's important to balance the ambience at the transition point between the two shots. This can be accomplished by cross fading the audio from one shot into the other.

 Illustrate with the audio cross faded between the shots

What this means is that whenyou're on location, it's important to record on tape the background sound corresponding to each location, indoors and outside. Back at your desktop editing station, you can digitize this sound and edit it with the video and other audio elements to create a balanced soundtrack for your production.

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