Sound Mixing vs Sound Editing

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this special Oscars edition of The Morning Watch, explore the differences between sound mixing and sound editing so you know what each technical category is rewarding when the trophies are handed out on Sunday, March 4. After you learn the differences between each take an in-depth look at what exactly goes into sound mixing vs sound editing in motion pictures.

First up, Academy Originals put together this video with sound designer and editor Walter Murch explaining the differences between sound editing and sound mixing, something that has become less easy to define as digital technology has become more prominent behind the scenes. He describes it like the difference between strategy and tactics. Find out what what means by watching the video.

Walter Murch then specifically discusses the art of sound editing, which includes taking snippets of sounds and applying them to the movie. Pretty much every sound effect you hear on screen, whether it’s the crinkling of paper, footsteps down a hallway, or something as big as an explosion is an individual piece of sound that has been carefully placed to match what’s happening on the screen.

Finally, when talking about sound mixing, Walter Murch compares the soundboard used to an organ in a church, except this organ is a complicated instrument where you have to arrange dialogue, sound effects, the soundtrack and any other audio elements in such a way that they perfectly come together to create the symphony of sound you hear in the final cut of a movie.

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