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Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 13 of 37

Capturing Room Tone


Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 13 of 37

Capturing Room Tone


Lesson Info

Capturing Room Tone

So let's talk about room tone. You're gonna need it for every location that's being recorded in. Room tone is as important as white balance. Okay, it's nonnegotiable. You will kick yourself time and time again and here's the thing, you can't go back another day and get a room tone, because there's things that may have moved in the room, sound will respond a different way. You won't have all the equipment set up in there in the exact same way, right. There isn't a way to replicate the sound in that room, of that day, of that moment. So you have to get it at that time. So much can change. You know, for all you know, a giant construction thing could be pounding the ground outside of your shoot space, right. You don't know, okay. You don't know when you're gonna be able to get back in the space anyway. So it's nonnegotiable, you have to do it. And I can't tell you have it saved me in this edit. Okay it really did. And then I'm overboard when I say get room tone. Okay two minutes. You end u...

p only ever using a few seconds. Okay you end up using just a smidgen of it. You use the portion that really, really gets you kind of like locked in and dialed in, but then you're just kind of like safe, you're safe. You're just safe, okay. And then that is if you gotta get people out Get em out, get em out. That means like someone fumbling with their shirt. You know like, fidgeting, like get them out. There's no, it's nonnegotiable. Either they quite and don't say anything, don't fidget, stay off their phone , whatever or they get out. Okay, now we did do a little bit of room tone to kinda show you how I did it. So here we go. Before you wrap, before you strike anything, before you move anything, the last most fundamental thing that you're gonna do before you vacate the premise, is to get what's called room tone. Room tone is essential and it's gotta be for at least like a minute 30 seconds, you gotta get a good amount of room tone, cause you don't know what portion of that room tone you're gonna end up using. Now I'll go over what room tone is for later, but generally speaking my rule of thumb is to use the microphone that I recorded the sound from. That way there is no differences in the overall quality of it and then I'ma gonna just let it run. A lot of times what I'll do just to prevent people from messing up the room tone, I'll just start the recording and then I'll walk out with everybody and then we'll go back in. You know so it's just kind of like to be able make sure that we get quality room tone, just for everything that we're going to be doing in the editing room. So again I turn the mic on, put it where your client was, let it record, and then come back a minute later. So you know when we talk about capturing great sound, it's getting the room is really important. So stuff will reflect sound, just like light and it will effect the quality of the sound you are capturing. So in that specific space I was really lucky, cause it was all soft spaces. But if I was in an open room, that was echoey and hard and bouncy, I would have needed to throw down some sound blankets. I would needed to hang up some curtains, so that it would have baffled some of that. Some of the sound reverberation. You wanna get clean, clean audio and if there's an echo in there it's not going to be very pleasing. Okay so remember what I said. Walk into a space and listen to the room. You know a really, really good test. You know, is just gonna do a clap. If you clap if you clap and then it echos, you got a problem. You gotta find a way to cut that down. If you clap and it just kind of trails off like a normal clap would, then that's something you're just in a good space for. Okay and a couple tips for like speaking or getting an interview set up properly is I tend to not like having people speak into a corner, cause what'll end up happening is if they're too close to that corner, it's just gonna bounce back and it's gonna really really effect it. I generally like to have them however, not to have some some baffling on the side, so walls or just something that's gonna help absorb any kind of reverberation. And if you have to set up curtains or whatever it is, typically like on the sides, and in the back, and then as it somewhere behind the camera to kind of capture it as it hits toward and goes forward. You know just common sense type of stuff. You know where, you know if you just listen and you just pay attention, you can really just do a really great job. I also like to put stuff down on the ground. That's gonna help absorb some of the sound waves as well, because in lieu of like hanging stuff from the ceiling it just gives me a nice space to work in that kind of just absorb sound.

Class Description


  • Confidently make a movie from start to finish
  • Expand your photography skills to motion pictures
  • Tackle pre-production and post-production essentials
  • Capture video and audio expertly
  • Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition


Photography and videography have several things in common -- but what about factors like audio and telling a story using video editing? In this filmmaking class designed for photographers, learn how to use the DSLR or mirrorless camera that you already have to capture high-end videos. In this start-to-finish course, you'll master everything from planning to post-production. The goal of the class is to teach anyone how to create a video from start to finish.

Dive into video production from the planning and pre-production phase, where you'll learn how to choose an idea, scope out locations, research the client, and more. Jump into video gear -- and what's really necessary on a low-budget -- and learn the essential filmmaking tips for recording. Discover how to capture excellent audio and tackle those B-Roll shots.

But this filmmaking course doesn't just teach you how to use editing software -- you'll learn the editing process, start to finish, from storyboarding to exporting. Work in Adobe Premiere Pro to perfect your footage and Adobe Audition to fine-tune that audio. Tweak color in DaVinci Resolve. Add soundtracks, titles, and keyframes. Then, finalize and export your project.


  • Photographers eager to add motion pictures to their repertoire
  • Beginner filmmakers
  • Self-taught filmmakers ready for additional insight

SOFTWARE USED: Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve


Previously a photographer, Victor Ha is now a filmmaker. His experience working with both stills and motion pictures helps him guide other photographers through the same process, from photo to video. He's known for his straightforward, practical teaching style that's easy to follow along with.


  1. Class Introduction

    In the first lesson, meet your instructor and learn what to expect during the class. Know what's up ahead by pinpointing the goals for this class at each production stage.

  2. Putting Ideas Into Motion

    Start the filmmaking process with an idea. Learn how to flesh out ideas and turn them into successful projects.

  3. Client Profiles

    Video projects come in many different forms, from cinemagraphs and short films to commercials and features. A client profile is a type of video telling a story about a person or business. Learn what's involved in this simple video type as an easy format to get started with.

  4. Choosing Your Subject

    Video projects start with a subject -- but just how do you choose? In this lesson, Victor discusses how to narrow down your ideas to choose the best one.

  5. Scouting Locations

    Part of the planning process is scouting out different locations, an essential part of pre-production. Learn what to look for when scouting out different locations and how to spot good camera angles. Then, work with that information as you prep for shooting.

  6. Researching the Client

    Understanding the client -- and what they are looking for in a video -- sets the stage for a successful video project. Learn how to research your client and the essential pre-production questions to ask.

  7. Choosing Equipment

    You don't need an elaborate amount of gear to shoot video -- Victor goes through the essentials for video, and how that list may change for different products.

  8. Waveforms and Scopes

    Waveform monitors show a visual of the video's exposure. Using waveforms along with vectorscopes can help you get the best results in camera as you shoot. While confusing at first, these tools offer big advantages on set.

  9. Shooting Strategy

    Build a strategy to organize those thoughts from pre-production and create a shooting schedule for the project. Incorporate these factors into a shooting strategy for success.

  10. Interview: Setting Up for Success

    The interview is an essential style for filmmaking. In this lesson, learn how to set up an interview for the best results, including audio suggestions and pitfalls to avoid.

  11. Prepping for the Interview

    Before you head into the interview, have a list of questions -- and practice asking them. Master the essentials for interview prep, including research.

  12. Capturing Audio

    Video and audio go hand-in-hand. Gain tips for capturing the best audio for your video, from dual system sound and setting levels to working with audio gear.

  13. Capturing Room Tone

    By recording the ambient noise in the room, unwanted background noise is easier to edit out. Learn how to capture the room tone and tricks to create better audio by adjusting the room.

  14. Audio Q&A

    Audio is scary stuff -- learn from the most frequently asked questions from students like you.

  15. B-Roll: 3 to 1 ratio

    B-Roll is supporting footage for your video, helping to add interest and fill gaps. In this lesson, learn why B-Roll is important -- and how much you need to shoot.

  16. Planning for B-Roll

    B-Roll should help tell your story -- so what should you capture, especially when the scene doesn't seem so interesting? Find out how to plan for B-Roll and ideas for the most interesting shots.

  17. 5 Rules to Capturing B-roll

    Use these guidelines to capture better B-Roll for your project, from gear tips to determining what's important.

  18. Using B-Roll to Shape an Edit

    B-Roll is secondary footage -- learn how to tackle video editing with B-Roll in mind. Then, jump into editing with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.

  19. Introduction to Footage Review

    After recording, you may have hours of footage -- how do you decide what goes in and what stays out? Make footage review less daunting by tackling your fears first.

  20. Asset Management

    Organizing footage saves time and helps you get a jump start on that edit -- but the organization doesn't have to be elaborate. Learn how to manage the assets for your film project.

  21. Edit Setup

    Before you edit, preparing helps get the film project off on the right foot. Learn how to prep for editing, from working on audio first to identifying mistakes.

  22. Edit Audio in Adobe Audition

    Victor suggests photographers edit audio first to get the aspect that we're least familiar with out of the way. Build an understanding of audio editing and skills for using Adobe Audition, including eliminating that room noise.

  23. Syncing Your Footage

    Set up for a successful edit by creating "goal posts" and allowing enough time to reach each one. Start working on the edit by laying out the timeline and syncing footage.

  24. Conceptual Storyboarding

    Building a storyboard guides the edit and helps you tell a story, without meandering away from what's important. Create a successful story -- and learn why Victor creates his later in the process -- by working with a storyboard.

  25. Editing Choices

    Video editing is full of choices -- but you can always change your mind. Learn how to get over hurdles and make the best choices for your filmmaking project.

  26. Selecting a Soundtrack

    Soundtracks give your edits a tempo -- but what song should you choose? Victor talks about choosing neutral soundtracks, avoiding songs you already know, understanding copyright, and everything you need to know about soundtracks.

  27. Building the Rough Cut

    Start turning that storyboard into an actual edit by building the rough cut. Learn how to shrink down long footage, decide what to cut and what to trim, and start organizing footage.

  28. Refining the Story

    Take that rough cut and turn it into something less rough. Start moving footage around to match that storyboard. Victor explains the "meat and potatoes of editing" -- going through footage, listening, cutting, and repeating that same process again.

  29. Adding B-Roll

    With the shape of the video in place, work in footage from the second camera and B-Roll footage to fix continuity issues or simply add more interest. Develop not just an understanding of the editing software, but a workflow for editing your film project.

  30. Rough Cut to Final Cut

    Move from that rough cut to the final cut with an overview of the last stretch of the editing process, including mastering transitions, color edits, and polishing that timeline.

  31. Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

    Create color-graded videos inside DaVinci Resolve. Learn how to use the software, import and export, and color grade your project.

  32. Three-Way Color Corrector in DaVinci Resolve

    A three-way color corrector allows you to fine-tune RGB values. Walk through the basic color correcting process to correct issues like color cast.

  33. Export from DaVinci Resolve to Adobe Premiere Pro

    With the color correction finished, be sure to export your file properly for a seamless transition back into Premiere Pro.

  34. Add a Title in Adobe Premiere Pro

    Adding text and titles in Premiere Pro is simple. Learn how to add text frames to your video project without leaving Premiere Pro.

  35. Export Project from Adobe Premiere Pro

    Once your edit is finished, it's time to deliver. Learn how to export your project from Premiere Pro.

  36. Adding a Keyframe

    Keyframes are simply markers in the video that signify the start and the end of a change. In this lesson, Victor uses keyframes to adjust the audio of only a small portion of the video.

  37. Creating Multiple Projects from Your Edit

    With the main project done, what else can you build from your material? In this lesson, Victor discusses additional options to add to smaller supplemental projects to your main work.


Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video