Presence (sound recording)

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In filmmaking and television production presence (or room tone) is the "silence" recorded at a location or space when no dialogue is spoken.[1] This term is often confused with ambience.

Every location has a distinct presence created by the position of the microphone in relation to the space boundaries. A microphone placed in two different locations of the same room will produce two different presences. This is because of the unique spatial relationship between the microphone and boundaries such as walls, ceiling, floor and other objects in the room.[2]

Presence is recorded during the production stage of filmmaking. It is used to help create the film sound track, where presence may be intercut with dialogue to smooth out any sound edit points. The sound track "going dead" would be perceived by the audience not as silence, but as a failure of the sound system.

For this reason presence is normally recorded - like dialogue - in mono, with the microphone in the same position and orientation as the original dialogue recording.[3] In the sound edit, presence occupies the same track as the dialogue to which it applies.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sound for Digital Video by Tomlinson Holman (Focal Press) 2005 (p. 162-164)
  2. ^ http://www.linkwitzlab.com/rooms.htm
  3. ^ Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures by John Purcell (Focal Press) 2007 (p. 148)

See also[edit]