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Interesting observation on dialogue timing

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Peter Groom
Interesting observation on dialogue timing
on Jul 25, 2012 at 3:27:01 pm


Today I was doing a couple of hours dialogue and VO editing and thought I'd share an observation I made some years ago, but it came up again today.

Its all about the length of gaps that the brain places (and expects to hear) when speaking and denoting a comma, a full stop, and a new paragraph timing. A para gap is double that of a full stop , which is its self double that of a comma.
BUT the interesting thing is that we often breathe in these gaps and breathing makes sound of its own. If you listen to the natural timing with a breath in place, but then remove the breath leaving exactly the same length of gap, it now sounds un naturally long.

I always think its fascinating how much information our brain captures way beyond the basic information in the words themselves!!

Not terribly technical but interesting all the same I thought.

Post Production Dubbing Mixer

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Steve Kownacki
Re: Interesting observation on dialogue timing
on Jul 25, 2012 at 5:07:43 pm

So your brain really processes the gap between unique sounds then in perception of timing. The gap after the last sound to the sound of the breath. Makes sense.

But if you take out the breath and trim the gap accordingly, do you still have the emotional/organic feel of the track as when you hear the actual breath? I think for most of my corp VOs I take them out as most are pretty direct reads.

Neat observation.


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Ty Ford
Re: Interesting observation on dialogue timing
on Jul 25, 2012 at 7:06:35 pm

Peter, Steve,

Yes, I teach this to people when giving VO training because these days, so many producers want the talent to record themselves to save studio fees. I'm against that generally, but there are many things I don't believe in that happen anyway.

Yes, the breath is part of the sound. We sometimes take it out and when we do, the space seems huge. Depending oh how the breath is taken, I sometimes take the center of the breath out because it's the loudest. That seems to suffice. If it sounds wrong, I use room tone to replace the breath entirely.


Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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