We sat down with our Audio Engineer Tanner Danielson, better known as Tuna, to learn more about the art of mixing and he delivered. “Let the music dictate the feel of the video,” he said about mixing dialogue with music in episode 1 of Tech Talks with Tuna. 

Finding the Right Music

When mixing dialogue and music, you should first consider what is happening on the screen. Determine whether your scene is calling for soft background music known as underscore, or if the scene needs something upbeat to keep the momentum going. For instance, an action scene may call for louder, upbeat music. On the other hand, a tutorial video will be more effective with underscore music. In these situations, it is important that the dialogue does not clash with the music. 

Finding the right music can be overwhelming, which is why Amphibious Zoo Music has a music supervision team that can assist you in finding high quality music that is perfect for your videos. We’re always happy to help!

The Secret to a Proper Balance 

Once you’ve found the perfect soundtrack for your video, you are ready to begin the mixing process. Proper balancing takes time and practice because it is not always easy to know when the dialogue and music are in proportion with one another. Similar to the role that vocals and lyrics play when mixing music, the most important part of a video is the dialogue. When mixing, the goal is to have the dialogue be upfront and present. Tuna outlines these basic steps to achieving a proper balance:

  1. Start with the music volume level all the way down
  2. Slowly raise the music until parts of the dialogue are lost in the music
  3. This is your cue to bring the music down between 3-4 dB. Viola! You now have a perfect music bed to sit just below your dialogue.
  4. Now it’s your turn. Test it out and let us know your thoughts in the comments section. Good luck!



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