A few important things to remember when Adding Sound to Stop Motion are covered in this post.
A basic sound setup for adding sound to stop motion animation should include at least a microphone and a headset or speakers and some audio editing software. More about the software later.
Tips when using a microphone.
A good voiceover recording doesn’t require expensive equipment or a well designed recording studio, nor does it require a tremendous amount of experience or “know how” to achieve a good
result. A little common sense and effort, and a critical ear can work wonders. It is worth noting however that not all stop motion software is designed to allow you add sound easily. So be careful in selecting your software.
Use a good quality microphone when recording your voice such as the Yeti range. Ensure that you test levels a few times by recording a test dialogue. Don’t place the microphone too close to your mouth in order to avoid sound distortion in the recording. Explosions of air bursting from the mouth, the lips and tongue can sound wet, and “sss” sounds can overwhelm a recording.
The other thing to watch out for is “Reflections”. If you are speaking in to your microphone while close to a hard surface such as a wall you will get reflected sound from that surface. These reflections degrade the sound quality. To avoid this try using a few cushions or carpet as a surface that you are facing. This will reduce reflections and improve sound quality.
Tips for using a headset to record your voiceovers.
Again a reasonably good quality recording for your stop motion animation voiceover can be achieved with a headset as long as the quality of the headset is good. Using a cheap (tacky) headset will almost certainly result in a thin crackly voiceover recording. So if you have a good headset then follow all the rules mentioned in the tips for using a microphone mentioned above and you will get good results with a bit of trial an error.
Sound Editing Software
A basic sound editing software package when will prove invaluable when either adding sound to stop motion animation or editing the sounds you already have recorded. There are some very good free sound editing packages out there for beginners such as WavePad or Audacity.(free) This article will refer to WavePad ( $29.99 ) predominantly but Audacity and others have very similar features and functions.
Wavepad was created by NCH Software. It is described by them as..(and we agree 🙂 )
“This sound editing software is a full featured professional audio editor for Windows or Mac OS X. It lets you make and edit music, voice and other audio recordings. When editing audio files you can cut, copy and paste parts of recordings and, if required, add effects like echo, amplification and noise reduction. WavePad works as a wav editor or mp3 editor but it also supports a number of other file formats including vox, gsm, real audio, au, aif, flac, ogg and more.
The program is designed to be a very easy and intuitive to use for audio editing. Within minutes you will be able to open or record an audio file and edit it. But if you take time to explore the other features you will find many powerful tools for editing audio designed with the professional sound engineer in mind.