Ambient Sound: What Is It And Why Does It Matter In Video Production?

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Ambient Sound, also known as interior sound, is the sound of a specific environment that is captured during video production.

This sound is often used to create atmosphere and provide continuity. It can also be used to help viewers become aware of the surrounding noises, which can help to immerse them in the experience.

In this article, we’ll discuss why ambient sound is important in video production and how it affects the end result.

What is ambient sound

Definition of ambient sound

Ambient sound, also known as background sound or atmosphere, refers to all of the non-dialogue audio sounds you hear in a scene. This includes environmental noises such as wind, birds, rain and traffic, plus other audible elements such as music and crowd chatter. It’s essential in helping to create an immersive experience for the viewer, setting a mood or tone for a scene and providing context.

In video production, ambient sound is frequently recorded along with dialogues on location since it cannot be added afterward with the same level of realism and accuracy. However, due to budget constraints or noise pollution from a busy city street for example that makes recording ambient sound impossible on some shoots — in these instances it’s often possible to use field recordings instead.

There are many types of field recordings ranging from pre-existing library tracks of specific environment sounds such as rainforest ambiance or street noise to custom recordings made by professional producers and editors on site. You can also find high-quality royalty free field recordings online that can be used for movie and television post-production.

Field recordings may not always have the same level of realism as outdoor recording but they are still valuable tools because they allow filmmakers more flexibility in post – so if you need wind blowing through grass for an outdoor scene but couldn’t record it at the time – you can add that sound in during mixdown with a field recording later given you kept high quality audio files during pre-production.

Benefits of ambient sound

Ambient sound is more than just background noise. Recording and utilizing ambient sound in video production can benefit the overall sound design of a film, giving it life, texture, and nuance that can draw viewers into the story and create an unforgettable cinematic experience. Ambient sound adds realism to what would otherwise be a silent scene or infuses tension by providing subtle hints of danger lurking nearby. These sounds can also deepen characters’ atmosphere on screen by lending them societal context within a shared environment, further building identify and believability.

Ambient sound can have an indirect impact as well, complementing musical scores to add extra depth and helping to focus viewers’ attention within a visual-based narrative medium. In addition, the subtleties of ambient sounds allow for easy integration of audio in post-production with minimal adjustments necessary for optimization within the mix. All in all, launching with ambient sound on set is a key step for any video production that wants to create a well-rounded audio landscape tailored to meet its unique needs.


Types of Ambient Sound

Ambient sound refers to the natural sounds that exists in a particular environment. It can add a sense of realism and atmosphere to a scene and can be used to create a natural atmosphere in video production. There are different types of ambient sound that can be used and catered to the specific mood you are looking to create. These include natural sounds, such as birds chirping, wind, and water, as well as manufactured sounds, such as traffic and machinery. Let’s explore some of these sound types in more detail.

Natural sound

Natural sound is any sound that originates from the real world in which we live. It could be an animal call, a wind blowing through trees, or even a person walking on crunchy leaves. These types of ambient sounds capture the reality of a location and add authenticity to your video shoot.

Using natural sounds in your video production helps create atmosphere; combining ambient sounds can be used to evoke certain emotions and moods. For example, adding the sound of a babbling brook may add tranquil and calm to a scene or adding seagulls’ calls may give the viewer a feeling of being at the beach. Adding natural sound also helps create a sense of realism. When it comes to documentary and journalistic work, having realistic atmosphere created by ambient sound is essential for giving the viewer confidence that what they are seeing is reliable and trustworthy.

When using natural audio in your projects remember that if you are using it to help tell a story then you should strive not only to capture basic environmental noise but also look out for opportunities where you might find sonic gems — like folk songs and traditional music — that can indicate something different about the culture within which you are shooting.

Artificial sound

Artificial sound is recorded or pre-recorded audio that is added to a video production to create an effect or evoke emotion. This sound can also be manipulated using computer programs such as EQ and filters to craft a unique audio experience. Artificial sound includes foley effects, soundtracks, and special effects.

Foley: Foley are add salt and pepper of the audio world – quite literally! Think door slams, dog barks, waves crashing – anything you don’t have access to recording at the time of shooting your video. This is done in a studio post-shooting with epic attention to detail–from squeaky wallets to creaking doors!

Soundtracks: Soundtracks are composed for a particular piece of music for TV/Film production and adds musical flair that’s already been mastered by music engineers. It can accent the visuals nicely or become the center of attention when ramped up during intense moments in a film or show.

Special Effects: Special effects (commonly known as SFX) encompasses any background sounds that may help viewers paint an aural landscape in their head based on what they see visually – rainy scenes, windy days etc. SFX can also hint at emotions as they pick up ambiance around characters or within a scene like uncomfortable breathing which tells viewers how fearful or tense something maybe without words having to be spoken.

How to Capture Ambient Sound

Capturing ambient sound can help bring life to your video production. Ambient sound adds a layer of realism and atmosphere to an otherwise sterile video setting. In this article, we’ll discuss what ambient sound is and how to capture it in your video production. We’ll also discuss the importance of capturing ambient sound and the tools you need to make it happen.

Using a microphone

Capturing ambient sound with a microphone is a popular method used in video production. By placing a microphone close to the source of the ambient sound, such as near actors or musicians, you can capture the sounds they are making as they interact with their environment. This type of recording is known as ‘Direct Recording’ and it allows you to capture every detail including subtle nuances, fluctuations in tone and all the room tonality created by acoustic reflections in the recording space.

You can also record ambient sound further away from your actors or musicians by using an external mic that can be placed even further away from your recording subjects. As the mic is further away from your subjects it will pick up more room resonance creating a bigger reverb effect on your overall soundscape – this approach is called ‘Room Miking’ or ‘Ambience Miking’ and it often creates an interesting background ambience without losing any detail or clarity. You can even place multiple mics around a room to capture multiple perspectives of the same space which often adds extra depth to your recordings.

Using mics for capturing ambient sound is great when you want to capture more detailed audio but it comes with some drawbacks such as noise interference, increased recording costs and difficult set up with multiple mics. When capturing more distant sounds you may also need to use louder microphones which will require higher gain levels which brings with it added noise issues so be mindful of these potential pitfalls before reaching for the microphone!

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Using a recorder

In order to capture ambient sound, you can use a professional audio recorder. While this won’t necessarily be the least expensive option, it will give you the most control and precision when it comes to capturing ambient sound. High-end audio recorders allow for the greatest level of control, allowing for flexibility when editing for the final product.

When using a recorder for capturing ambient sound, be sure to consider these few points:

– Choose an appropriate model with enough inputs and outputs
– Make sure you have enough battery power to last through production
– Decide whether you need additional hardware such as wireless systems
– Ensure that all connections are secure

By following these guidelines and preparation tips, you can feel confident that using a recording device to capture ambient sound is the right approach for your project.

How Ambient Sound Enhances Video Production

Ambient sound can add a certain level of realism to any video production. It serves as a backdrop which helps to frame the story and emphasize certain details that may be overlooked. Ambient sound can also create a mood or atmosphere for the audience which helps to draw them in and create an impactful experience. Let’s explore how ambient sound can be used to enhance a video production.

Enhances the realism of the video

Ambient sound, also known as background noise or environmental sound, is any non-diegetic sound that creates an aural atmosphere. This aural atmosphere enhances the realism of the video and can make the audience feel engaged in the environment depicted in the movie or television show.

From beach waves and rolling thunderstorms to chirping birds and gushing waterfalls, ambient sound creates an immersive experience. It also serves to emphasize other audio elements by adding further depth and texture as well as guiding viewer attention.

Depending on the scene, there are various types of ambience that directors use to their advantage when planning out a performance – from light ambient environments to those that are loud and alive with activity. In addition to natural sounds like wind whooshing through tall trees, other wide variety of sound is available, such as man-made company-wide voices heard at airports or footsteps during shopping hours at a mall.

Whether you’re creating a nature documentary or a lively romcom, using purposeful ambient sound in your film can give your audience an enhanced overall viewing experience. Properly chosen sounds can help establish tone and era, guide attention towards certain areas of interest within the story, blend parts of dialogue together, add realism – all while creating an element of surprise for viewers at just right moments!

Enhances the emotional impact of the video

Ambient sound is a type of audio that adds atmosphere, emotion, and depth to a video production. It’s often created by placing microphones in natural environments near the video subject to capture the naturally occurring sounds around them. These additional elements can help complete the scene and provide an audio backdrop for boosting the emotional impact of the video. Ambient sound serves several purposes:

-Helps fill out background noise: Ambient sound gives life to your video by adding additional noise to your clips. This allows you to add a realistic layer of sound without taking away from the audio from the main subject.

-Adds realism and drama: When working with tight budgets, ambient sound can be used as an effective tool for filling out sets with realistic sounding elements like wind, birdsong or other environmental noise. This will make the visuals more convincing and provide more context for viewers more effectively than added musical cues or stock sounds.

-Provides an emotional connection: Subconsciously, ambient sounds tell viewers that they are experiencing reality within a specific environment whether it’s inside or outside. This provides viewers with an emotional connection with what they’re watching since it feels genuine even if it’s not real life footage or shots from a particular location.

-Leads audience listening cues: Ambient sound are good for helping focus attention on moments in videos that may otherwise go unnoticed by audiences due to poor lighting or bad editing decisions. When done correctly, rather than being distracting, these layers of sound become part of the story itself and guide audiences on which images should be taken in first before progressing further along in watching your video production.

Improves the overall audio quality

Ambient audio provides a layer of sound that affects the overall quality of your video production. It’s often subtle and hard to pinpoint, but adding ambient sound to your audio mix will help give your project a more polished and professional feel. Ambient sound can fill any gaps in the audible track, fleshing out dialogue or creating a backdrop for scenes with little or no dialogue. Additionally, it can help draw attention to specific elements within the scene, setting the emotional tone that helps viewers better connect with characters.

In order to add meaningful ambience to your production, you need to consider things like acoustic conditions and simulate what’s happening within each scene. This could include background music or noises created from musical instruments like drums or strings. Adding natural ambient sounds such as birds chirping or water running could also be appropriate if you’re shooting outdoors. In addition to these sources of audio, Foley sounds like people shuffling their feet or brushing their clothes may be necessary for certain scenes depending on what emotions are expressed by characters on-screen. By layering on different types of ambience in combination with foreground audio elements, it will give life and depth to your production while reinforcing specific narrative themes throughout the project.


After understanding the concept and importance of ambient sound within video production, it can be concluded that ambient sound is an essential part of creating a realistic and immersive experience for the audience. It can elevate the video production to a new level of engagement and provide a more compelling viewing experience. In addition, it can also be used to add subtle elements to the video production that can help the main story and plot.

Summary of ambient sound

The concept of ambient sound is essential to all aspects of video production, from providing context with background dialogue and music to setting the scene with the sounds of nature. Ambient sound can influence the tone and feel of a production, setting it apart from amateur or low-budget productions. By using sound effects and atmospheres, a producer can bring an environment to life and create an immersive experience for viewers.

The truth is that ambient sound can be quite difficult to capture. Using on-board microphones on camera will often capture unwanted noise that may distract from the overall audio mix, such as distant traffic or conversations occurring in adjacent rooms. The ideal way to incorporate strong ambient audio is to record audio separately and then marry it up in post-production with video clips taken on location.

By carefully selecting and mixing appropriate ambiences, a producer can add tremendous value, context and realism to their production — adding dimension that heightens the experience for viewers without ever altering or changing footage itself. Being mindful of how ambient sound impacts your perception as a viewer can also help you strive towards creating professional, high-quality results in your own projects.

Benefits of using ambient sound in video production

Ambient sound in videoProduction can provide a number of benefits, such as creating a more engaging experience for viewers and providing an added level of realism. Ambient sound adds context to scenes, allowing viewers to be quickly lost in an environment or location without taking the time to explain everything that took place prior.

Ambient sound also helps set the tone and mood of a scene. Sounds can evoke an emotional response from viewers that wouldn’t happen without it. For example, howling wind or birds chirping in the background can give your production a calming effect, whereas a quickly played guitar riff adds tension and excitement.

In addition, ambient sound helps your viewer focus on what’s happening in view without missing out on important dialogue or action. By emphasizing certain sounds while letting others take the background, editors can create atmospheres out of thin air by judiciously selecting which noises are more essential than others.

Hi, I'm Kim, a mom and a stop-motion enthusiast with a background in media creation and web development. I've got a huge passion for drawing and animation, and now I'm diving headfirst into the stop-motion world. With my blog, I'm sharing my learnings with you guys.