What is synchronous sound in film?
Synchronous sound is a critical component of nearly every film. Learn more about sync sound and how filmmakers use it to build strong stories.
Synchronous sound, or sync sound, is audio that lines up precisely with what’s happening on screen. Character dialog, a shot of a river with rushing water sounds, and punching sounds during a fight scene are all examples of synchronous sound.
Filmmakers and production sound mixers use synchronous sound in film to develop narrative and invoke emotions. Here are a few ways you can use sync sound to your advantage in your next film project.
Create a connection.
Imagine two characters arguing. You can hear what they say and see their mouths move simultaneously — it’s synchronized. When sound perfectly matches visuals, it creates connections between:
And synchronous sound doesn’t have to be “live” — audio clips including sound effects can be dubbed in post-production with film editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro to match up with on-screen action.
Support your story.
Now let’s picture a dialog scene with two characters in a restaurant. As they talk, you should hear words. And as they rest their forks on their plates, you should hear faint clanks.
So if you don’t hear forks clanking, and you only hear dialog, the scene feels empty. This is because synchronous sound isn’t limited to just dialog. Sync sound is inclusive of all in-world audio and it’s used to build realistic, dramatic, or emotional environments.