What is sound post-production?

audio postproduction

The first thing to know during the whole process of an audiovisual product is that every position, every department and every job is important and indispensable for a product to be successful. Many people work to show us ideas and create entertainment for us. 

Why do we emphasize this? Because when we get to audio postproduction, which is almost one of the final steps, we will have to be aware of the hard work behind us and also gladly take responsibility for what we receive and how the work of others depends on the work of some.

To begin with, when we talk about creating an audiovisual product we are talking about three fundamental stages. Pre-production, production and post-production. In pre-production we find the creators of the idea, writers, scriptwriters, producers, who from that moment on start to move forward in search of locations, scenarios, among other things. 

The casting is also in this stage, which is the selection of the actors who will play each role. This is also where the team meets, to give the concept of how the product will look, how it will be shown and very importantly, among many other things, how it will sound.

Once this first part, which I must mention, is completed, it is much more complex than the previous paragraph, but where I am only outlining a short explanation to get to the point that interests us, the production begins. 

What happens in this step? This is when everything is ready and the recording of the product being developed begins. This is where actors, directors, photographers, art directors, producers of all kinds, sound engineers, etc. 

To materialize what was proposed in the pre-production. The connection between these two stages is vital, since from the conceptual meetings that took place before, the actions of how the light will be, what fabrics and colors should be used, how the camera should be placed and, very importantly, how the sound should be captured and what should be recorded additionally for post-production.

Once the production is finished, the material that was recorded or filmed, enters the postproduction. As a parenthesis, many times production and audio postproduction are simultaneous, because once the material leaves the camera, it immediately enters the editing rooms.

The postproduction world is divided in two, offline or online. When the scenes arrive at the editing rooms, they have to be digitized and chosen according to a format called script, which is basically a report that indicates the scenes chosen from the recording and the detailed information of each shot. 

After this comes the editors, who are the people who tell the story by assembling one shot with another and one scene with another. When the episode is approved in court, we say that the offline stage is over and the online stage begins, to which we, the audio post-producers, belong.

In the online stage we find the video effects department, the color department, who give the look of the series and the sound postproduction department.

To get here, it is important that we realize the whole process behind us until we receive the material we are going to work with. In this department we find many different and specialized positions that make our series or film the creative sound work we want. 

This is when, taking into account the concept that was developed from pre-production, we in each of our roles, start to give sound form to the product.

In the audio postproduction there are the voice editors, who are in charge of cleaning, leveling, equalizing and working with precision all the voices of each scene. They are also in charge of doing the necessary dubbing if something was not right from the recording. 

There are the specialists in sound effects that are in charge of giving life with a unique realism to each universe. 

They create sound environments, they enhance the relevant sounds to give more realism to each shot, they create spectacular sounds to make each viewer shudder.