Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Sound Explosion ... learning from the experts!

After completing our Manaiakalani Film Festival movie last term, today we had the opportunity to visit an expert in the field of editing sound!

Ben Sinclair works at Images & Sound in Auckland and we were welcomed into one of the sound studios today while he demonstrated some of the techniques he uses to create a soundtrack of television/movie quality.  

"The soundtrack can influence the mood of the entire movie"

Ben demonstrating some of the sound effects he is able to add

Some of the take away messages from today's session for me were:

  • Include an ambient backtrack such as traffic noise to fill 'holes' in your sound
  • Film pieces of ambience (eg in the school playground) to use as a backtrack for your movie
  • Add sound effects such as footprints, bird noise or rustling of leaves to make your movie appear more authentic
  • Capture just the music and effects, removing the voice from your soundtrack to enable voice overs in a different language
  • When recording voice, have the microphone above the actor/actress pointing downwards towards their mouth to remove the 'ppppp' effect - use of a filter can also assist with this
  • Aim for a 75% voice level in order to balance out your sound so no one speaker sounds much louder than the rest
  • Never underestimate the importance of getting good vocal sounds when filming - the better the quality of the original track the more you are able to do with it in the editing phase

We also had the opportunity to experience the sound proof recording room - despite being right next to a motorway with cars rushing by, all you could hear was a slight hum of the air conditioner.

Inside the recording studio

We were also lucky enough to be shown two of the visual editing studios, where colours and effects can be added and manipulated as part of the editing process.  Once again, the importance of capturing raw footage of the best quality was emphasised to enable these editing experts the best chance of making the final cut look the best it can be.

Yes!  That is my movie that Ben is listening too - oh for more editing time!

I'm definitely inspired to explore further following the tips and ideas I picked up today ... I wonder if I can convince Michelle to again let me lose on this terms PENN movie??  Watch this space!


  1. Great notes from today Karen. It certainly was cool to get tips from the experts!

  2. We were very privileged. Thanks for capturing and sharing this Karen. I look forward to penn this term :)