Explain "room tone" at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 21st, 2006, 04:15 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Houston/Austin
Posts: 394
Explain "room tone"

Can someone explain "room tone". Why do I need to record it? It what situation would I use it in editing?
Adam Bray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 21st, 2006, 04:33 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,053
"Room tone" is a generic term for environmental sounds when no one is talking and nothing specific is taking place (footsteps, phone ringing, gun shots, etc.).

You want to get some of this ambience to cover up "holes" left in your sound track if you end up having to edit out unwanted noises or dialogue.

Every situation always has some sort of environmental sound. At the beach it'll be waves. At the airport, it would be airplanes. On the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise it'll be whirring and soft pinging noises....
__________________
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
Dean Sensui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 21st, 2006, 09:04 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Traditionally, room tone is captured at the end of the shooting sequence on a set. All the actors and crew are asked to remain in place, and "Room Tone" is announced. Everyone remains quiet untill thirty to sixty seconds of tone is captured. The reason for the people to remain on set is because the presence of their bodies can alter the quality of the tone itself. (Room acoustics change when the room has fifteen people in it, as opposed to one)

Some sound guys like to capture 'up front', before shooting, just so they don't have to ask people to hang around after shooting.

(And no, I don't think they ask A list stars to hang around, but you get the point. Keep some bodies present.)

There's a funny scene at the end of the movie "Living in Oblivion". It's a quirky Indy film about a quirky Indy director (Steve Buscemi) that's shooting a quirky Indy film... At the end of the shooting sequence, they call for room tone. Everyone stands there quietly (mostly) and they fantasize about how they are going to get awards for the film. Funny film, I recommend it.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 21st, 2006, 10:49 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 817
Adam,

The bigger question, of course, is why do you want to capture room tone...

When you are editing there will always be times that you want to get rid of the audio. Like maybe we have a close-up of a characters face as they are looking at someone else talking. In post you want to use that shot, but not with someone talking. So you lay it down on the timeline and take away the audio. Now you have a big gaping hole in the audio that sounds like a dropout.

So.... you take your handy recorded room tone and drop that audio down on the timeline below the visual that you just did and boom... no audio gaps.
__________________
Barry Gribble
Integral Arts, IMDB
Barry Gribble is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:51 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network