I supervised the whole post production sound process on National Anthem, so the video breakdown above gives you a good idea of what I do.

In this case, dialogue editing, sound editing and design, foley, ADR recording and editing and final mix.

The video goes through four different scenes and plays the various layers that go into a finished film mix.

National Anthem was mixed in 5.1 surround sound, but the above breakdown is a stereo down-mix of the surround sound.

Some technical terms explained

Production sound:

The sound recorded during shooting, usually just dialogue.

Dialogue editing:

Cleaning up unwanted noise and smoothing out differences between shots to make the dialogue as clear as possible.


Automated Dialogue Replacement; the process of replacing lines that are either too noisy to be used or need changing for performance or story reasons.


Adding human noises like footsteps, clothes and prop movements that either aren’t present in the production sound or don’t convey the right feeling.

Sound effects (aka FX):

Doors slamming, cars passing, dogs barking; these are all sound effects and are recorded, selected and placed to enhance emotion and convey story.

Backgrounds (aka ambiences or atmospheres):

Distant city rumble, wind blowing through trees, the silence of an empty house; backgrounds are the world that your characters live in, they tell us who your characters are and what they’re going through.

Final mix:

The process of blending every element together and deciding what to hear at any given moment. This is the final step to telling your story through sound.