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Sound Editor

Choose and enhance the sounds in movies and TV shows.

What does a Sound Editor do?

Sound editors make sure all audio streams for a recorded production are clear and of high quality. You do this by cleaning up the initial recordings made by a recording engineer or production sound mixer, and making them crystalline sounds that burst with vivacity instead of static. Dialogue, music, and audio effects are all the domain of the sound artist, and you may decide to specialize, becoming, for example, a dialogue editor or foley artist.

Sound editors comb through the live recordings of a project and select which takes and tapes best suit the project’s aims. You then digitally balance and enhance what you have and create any electronic effects needed to complete the recordings. If you’re working on a visual production, you need to match the recordings to their visual counterpart.

For example if your film begins with a voice speaking over the noise of background traffic, you create the background traffic through combining clips of noise drawn from your sound library, synchronize that noise with the pictures of cars going past, and balance the vocal track with the background noise.

All this requires an ability to memorize large amounts of sound clips and piece them together in many different arrangements. It also requires a keen ear with which to decipher when a pitch needs to be adjusted. Your time is spent in the studio rather than chatting with clients, so be prepared to make friends with your equipment.