Sometimes our location is quiet and has a dead acoustic, but don’t assume that the room has no sound, or that room tone from such a space won’t be useful. Often, in areas of exposed dialogue, room tone can be obvious even if it’s not very invasive. This is often increased by additional post production processing such as EQ and compression. So if possible, always record room tone. 

We typically use room tone to even out and fill gaps in the audio mix on dialogue tracks once the dialogue edits have been made. You might wonder why we don’t simply copy around sections in between existing dialogue. This can certainly work and shouldn’t be ruled out if the gaps are nice and clean without any unwanted noises. However, in reality, audio post production is simpler and quicker if you have a consistent prerecorded room tone track. What’s more, the job at the production stage is to think ahead and be covered for various requirements later on. 

Finally, if you have to pass your production audio to someone else to finish off, having proper room tone tracks will make their job considerably easier. This will make your results better and you more popular.

Learn more about working with audio for video via our blog and YouTube channel.