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Navigating Sound Editing: When to Hire

... And When You Can Skip Sound Editors for Your Video Projects
Connor Murdock
Creative Ops

The sound editor is one of those background roles that can really shift the quality of a video. However, deciding whether the goals of a project warrant a sound editor or not can ultimately come down to a few key drivers. Let's dive into when you absolutely need those audio wizards and when you might just skip their magic touch.

When You Absolutely Need a Sound Editor:

Specific Audio Demands:

If your video involves a mix of sounds that need to blend seamlessly, a sound editor is your go-to. They're like the conductors ensuring all your audio notes hit the right tune. Plus, if you're making videos for TV or online platforms, meeting specific sound requirements is key. You don't want any hiccups during delivery!

Narrative-driven Content:

Videos that rely heavily on storytelling, like short films or documentaries, thrive with a sound editor's magic. They sprinkle emotions into your audio, making sure every sound enhances the story.

Sound as a Storyteller:

Sometimes, sound itself is a character in your story. When it's that crucial, having a skilled sound editor or mixer on board is a must. Consider whether sound can achieve a key objective of your brief. For example, “Make the customer feel X, Y, Z emotion” or “Highlight the sound quality of our product.” 

Perfecting Crucial Audio:

Videos like interviews, podcasts, or webinars need crystal-clear audio. Sound editors clean up dialogue, balance levels, and banish unwanted noise, making everything sound crisp.

When You Might Skip the Sound Editor:

Simple Video Content:

For straightforward projects with minimal sound needs—think social media snippets or basic tutorials—fancy sound editing is usually not necessary. Video Editors or content creators usually do a “good enough” job here. 

Tight Budget Projects:

Money matters! Sometimes, hiring a sound editor might pinch the budget. In such cases, revert to simple edits or using pre-made audio templates. 

Personal Content:

Videos meant to be casual or personalized (while still branded) almost do better without complicated sound design or mixes. Skipping the sound editor here helps your message come across as more authentic. 

Wrapping It Up:

Knowing when to enlist a sound editor for your video project is a blend of understanding your project's complexity, audience, delivery needs, budget, and the desired pro-level quality. Taking stock of these factors, understanding your audio needs will help you decide whether to hire or skip the audio editor. Sure, sound editors are audio superheroes, but there are times when your project might be able to achieve your project goals just fine without them. 

Usually, making decisions about what talent you need for your projects (whether that’s internal or freelance talent) takes at least a couple days to iron out. Ever wanted to leverage your data and relationships better to make faster decisions? Basil helps you do just that. 

Try Basil’s software to get real-time insights into your talent and resources, while being able to instantly map project brief goals to talent management. 

About the Author
Connor Murdock
CEO/founder of Basil. 10+ years working in the creative industry as a professional video editor, motion designer, & creative director
Creative Ops

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