Open for Enrollment
You can also start immediately after joining!
This exclusive course is part of the program:
Photographer to Video in Today’s Gig Economy
Go at your own pace
5 Sessions / 6 hours of work per session
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Video Transcripts
Sound Editing, Photography, Sound Design, Production, Recording Techniques
Open for Enrollment

Sound Essentials

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Go at your own pace
5 Sessions / 6 hours of work per session
Included w/ premium membership ($20/month)
Skill Level
Video Transcripts
Sound Editing, Photography, Sound Design, Production, Recording Techniques
Course Description

As the name suggests, Sound Essentials covers an entirely new dimension that can make or break your video work. The third course in Photographer to Video in Today's Gig Economy explores how sound carries emotion and impacts the depth and tone of your stories. The tools, the terminology and the language of sound production often feel foreign to photographers, but this class will provide a thorough foundation which will get you recording professional sound in no time.


This course is in adaptive mode and is open for enrollment. Learn more about adaptive courses here.

Session 1: The Importance & Emotion of Sound (August 23, 2022)
To understand the importance of sound and how you can use it to set the tone of your video and impact the emotions of your viewer. You’ll learn how and why to choose music to create the right feeling you want in your video. You’ll learn that the choices of music you make can drive the pace of your video and help structure the arc of the story. Good sound doesn’t just mean getting good audio with your interviews. It means thinking about the overall sound of your piece, and using music to unify your story.
11 lessons
1. Introduction
2. Sound is Everywhere
3. Sound Drives Story
4. The Power of Music
5. Music Enhances the Experience
6. Music Informs Character
7. Music Establishes Time and Place
8. Music Can Act as a Unifier
9. The Emotion of Instruments
10. Conclusion
11. Assignment: Creating Emotion with Music
Session 2: Ambient Sound, Soundtracks and Music (August 30, 2022)
Ambient sounds are background sounds and noises that are found and recorded on site. Ambient sounds provide dimension and reality for a piece. They can include sounds of nature like a babbling brook or the quiet sound of falling snow or they can be the sounds of a city like traffic, automobile horns or a noisy subway. They can also be sounds found in the workplace such as a construction site where we hear the sounds of a jackhammer or the sound of hammering nails. Or the sound may make us feel anxious like the dreaded sound of a dentist’s drill. Some sounds can soothe us like a cooing baby or conversely annoy us like a crying baby. And some sounds can affect us in different ways depending on the mood we’re in.
9 lessons
1. Introduction, Ambient and Foley
2. Music Score vs Soundtrack
3. Licensing Music
4. Licensing Pre-Existing Material
5. Licensing Stock or Library
6. Good Housekeeping
7. Working with a Composer
8. Conclusion
9. Assignment: Create a Score
Session 3: Microphones, Mixers and PreAmps (September 6, 2022)
In this session we’ll talk more about audio gear such as types of microphones, recording devices and mixers that you can use to capture quality audio. We’ll also talk about the why’s and reasons behind your choices of gear. You want to determine the overall sound of your video or film, what you want people to hear and why and where you will need to place microphones for dialogue, sounds of nature etc. We’ll talk about the importance of monitoring audio and listening with headphones for sounds or noises that you don’t want to hear. Use your ears as well as your eyes. Listen to the sound of the room or environment you are in.
9 lessons
1. Introduction
2. Audio Basics
3. Microphones
4. Types of Microphones
5. Wireless Systems
6. Monitoring Audio & Preamps
7. Common Audio Mistakes
8. Conclusion
9. Assignment: Capturing Audio with Different Mics
Session 4: Capturing & Syncing Sound (September 13, 2022)
While it’s best to capture your audio and video separately to achieve good quality, there are times when you will have to do a quick man on the street type interview where you will have to capture the audio and video to the same card. Let’s talk first about the ideal method of capturing the audio of your dialogue and that is using the dual system and recording the audio and video to separate cards.
7 lessons
1. Introduction
2. Capturing Audio
3. Microphone Demo
4. Sound Recording Tips
5. Syncing Sound
6. Conclusion
7. Assignment: Dual System Recording and Syncing
Session 5: Project: The Interview (September 20, 2022)
Learn how to get great interview , whether it’s a “man on the street” or a “60 Minutes” style production. You’ll learn how to capture quality audio for your interviews but also how to ask questions that will get meaningful responses that will engage the audience.
11 lessons
1. The Importance of Interview
2. Preparing for Interview
3. Pre-Interview
4. The Location
5. Rapport & Questions with Your Subjects
6. Case Study
7. Avoidances & Considerations
8. Narration, Transcripts, & Additional info
9. Case Study
10. Conclusion
11. Assignment: Choosing the Best Sound for Story
Learning Outcomes

Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.

Instructors And Guests
What You Need to Take This Course


You want a camera that shoots high-quality video (1080p minimum). Ideally, that would be a professional camera that has the capability to plug in an external microphone (shotgun, hot shoe, or recording device):

  • Sony
  • Canon
  • Nikon
  • Fuji
  • etc.

Choose any camera brand you feel comfortable with.


You will need a variety of microphones to test the audio differences. These include:

    • Lavaliere microphone
    • Hand Held microphone
    • Shotgun microphone

    Other pieces of equipment that are important are an audio recorder, a pair of over the ear headphones, windscreens and a mixer.

    Video Editing Software

    There is no specific requirement for video editing software. You can use what works best for your budget or comfort level. Avid and Adobe Premiere Pro are the industry standards but there are a variety of alternatives that can help you achieve your goal.

    Other Options:

    • iMovie
    • Windows Movie Maker
    • Photoshop
    Additional Information

    Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course as a Premium Member does not affirm that the learner has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by School of Visual Arts.

    If a student signs up for the Photographer to Video in Today's Gig Economy program, it is recommended that these courses are taken sequentially.

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