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Diegetic Sound

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Here's a very nice article from VideoMaker Magazine on the use of diegetic sound, what exactly it is and where it can be found:




In short, if your characters can hear it, it is considered a diegetic sound.



Here are a few quick highlights from the article:


Diegesis has it’s roots in literature and theater. It’s the difference between telling how a story unfolds or seeing it unfold.

The term diegetic sound comes from film techniques and sound design. Mimesis is the other side of the coin.


Diegetic sounds are those sounds that the on-screen characters experience. Sounds the characters can’t hear are considered non-diegetic.

Sometimes, an audio element serves as both diegetic and non-diegetic, or even transforms from one to the other.

For example, a movie character may initiate the sound but it may then transform to become part of the soundtrack. Soundtracks are a good example of a non digetic sound since the audience is the only one that will hear the music.


Traditional sound effects and Foley are another way to leverage diegetic sound.

Using sound effects as a substitute for real diegetic sound such as laughter, talking, clapping and other realistic sounds can imply a much larger, active environment as well as evoke emotion.


Diegetic sound is simply another tool to help tell your story.

Shifting from diegetic to non-diegetic or vice versa can help draw (and push) the viewer.


Diegetic and non-diegetic sound engages (even toys with) the viewer.

Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Woody Allen used narration as a tool, misleading audiences to think one thing when something else was actually true.

Changing the role of music subtly involve the viewer in the action but care should be taken not to inadvertently pull the viewer out of a scene and separate them from the story.


Questions to ask:

Does the sound draw in the viewer or push them away?

Will the audio sell the scene or just sound like artificially contrived random effects tossed into the mix.

Sound is, after all, at least half of the movie.


(Edited considerably from the original text by VideoMaker Contributing Editor Hal Robertson)

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You may, be interested to know there is a 30 x 15 min series of shows on BBC Radio4 13:45 GMT weekdays, starting next week, which is advertised as being about the history and use of sound through the centuries. It should be available via the www.BBC.co.uk web site as a "listen again' option.


On the subject of diegetic sound, that was one of the good things about the Coen Brothers film "No country for old Men". It was nearly all diegetic sound. Its a while since I saw it but, remember being very struck at the time by the use of sound and the complete absence of music on the soundtrack, except for were the mariachi band serenades him in the street. The car crash near the end made me jump in my seat because it was so unexpected, with no music trying to build the tension.



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Thanks Simon, I'll definitely check out the BBC special if they distro it.


I'll have to watch some movies with a focus on the sound (including 'No country for old Men').



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Thanks Simon, I'll definitely check out the BBC special if they distro it.


I'll have to watch some movies with a focus on the sound (including 'No country for old Men').





The BBC series starts today at 13:45 GMT on Radio Four.



Will be the omnibus edition



Is today's edition.


I'm looking forward to hearing it.





There was a series a few years back about the use of sound in Movies which I found fascinating. Unfortunately I forget his name ( Walter Murch ? ) but the man who did the sound for the Godfather series of films and 'Apocalypse Now' was particularly eloquent on the subject.

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Breezing' in with some song advice for me! I will stay on this subforum for the rest of the night. But might type crazy... because I don't have a scanner for the pictures.



Cmaj Am Fmaj G7


Harmonics - Combination of different but related frequencies which combine to create the tone or voice or distinctive sound an instrument makes.




Lowest frequency is usually dominant giving pitch:


<combined sine-wav image>


Doubling a frequency gives the same note, different octave.


Octaves relate to 'middle C --> 261.63 Hz






Semitone interval = Twelflth Root of T;wo


<image of keyboard, well double keyboard with middle C well U gt it>






<<Pg 2>> Note: Find credits for what you are typing! !! !!! ... ... .. . later :rolleyes:





Chromatic Scale::::



A 440 hz


A#/Bb 466.16 hz


B 493.88 hz


C 523.25 hz


C#/Db 554.37 hz


D 587.33 hz


D#/Eb 622.25 hz


E 659.25 hz


F 698.46 hz


F#/Gb 739.99 hz


G 783.99 hz


G#/Ab 830.61 hz


A 880 hz


doesn't it?





Scale: - Collection of notes selected from the full set of notes in an octave.


Cmaj most common




<Full chord chart drawing 7x15 whoa!>


Pg. 3


Interval Sizes




0 Unison - Consonant


1 Minor Second - Dissonant


2 Second - Dissonant


3 Minor Third - Consonant


4 Major Third - Consonant

5 Perfect Fourth - Dissonant


6 Tritone - Dissonant


7 Perfect Fifth - Consonant


8 Minor Sixth - Dissonant


9 Major Sixth - Consonant


10 Minor Seventh - Dissonant


11 Major Seventh - Dissonant


12 Octave - Consonant


|1| |2| |3|4| |5| |6| |7|




Chord types are defined by their unique formula or spelling


They are a combination of intervals (degrees) measured from the starting note (root note or tonic note)


All major chords correspond to major scales 1,3,5 noted previously.


Triads are 3 note chord types just like the major but using other degrees.


<whopping appendix>


Diminished Chords


Augmented Chords


Major Flat Fifth Chords


Suspended Chords






Natural Minor **********************






Harmonic Minor ************************






Melodic Minor *************************




(Notes indicate that at Ch. 5.1 the student was "clueless")


but wrote:


Any chord made !entirely from scale notes is related to the scale, and is likely to suit the music written in that scale.






and chime in about whatever but Simon gave me good sound advice.






So, movies are 24 fps


tv 30 fps


now meet the MetroKnowm




When does the well....





Alright let's talk measures....


And beats per minute..


90 beats per minute is just exactly how many frames per second?




Well, obviously, 120 beats/min would mean 30 measures per minute at 4 beats per measure, right?


So, one measure is how many seconds? 2?




And then walks in the student...




Well 150 beats per minute would bwe 37pppp.5 measures per minute <if i'm reading this correctly, old file in a folder;)>


Eh Eh Ergo... 1 measure would equal 1.6 seconds and 16 seconds should ...no! must equal 10 measures.



That came from Microsoft DirectMusicProducer (ultra waste of time DX8.1 (4VB!:}))


...except for the last part.

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All right, well, I'll edit this post.


I'm going with a 5 frame per second stick it on the phone... NOW! format. with sound... at 90 bpm



Oh f'n hell 25 seconds is not 20 beats



4/5 beat







4 seconds... 20 frames...


4 seconds... 5 measures?





yes and a quarter note on C to get it started... set the metronome to 5x60x4/5/4 (4 bps, right?) what's that? 60 bpm!!


No, it's 300 frames per minute but who the hell can animate good past 5 seconds?







60 seconds x 5 frames per second <divided by...>


1.25 times 60


beats per minute. (75 :yay: )



Yes, but is that (2...4...6!) 0.8 beats per second?



What happens at 10 fps for slow-mo or speed-up?


Can't just leave that up to the musician, else we'd have to animate around him.

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