17. Mixing the package

A journalist’s job is to bring balance to all sounds recorded on the field, the interview, the voice-over and the additional sounds. An easy mix can be done in the editing room. If it needs more than two audio tracks, the mixing is done in a mixing room after editing. The mixing can exceptionally be done on air by the studio manager when the journalist comments his package during the broadcast. 

Voice-over & mixing : the journalist rereads his voice-over to be more :

  • Precise : change any words that might confuse the viewers. For ex. “some” politicians= ?? politicians = 12 politicians.
  • Concise : delete any useless word.
  • Coherent : check the articulation between the last words in the anchor intro and the opener. 

The journalist rereads his voice-over by making it fit with the editing.

The right tone : choose key images to start each of your comments. This trick forces you to look at the screen when recording and helps starts talking with energy… this way you can avoid reading monotonously and linearly… and avoid losing your viewer as well!

Words of advice from the mixing operator :

  • Drink, sit comfortably, don’t cross your legs, sit straight to breathe well
  • Respect pauses, keep your tone natural, articulate normally, keep an eye on the screen and the other on your script.

When mixing, the journalist must reformulate what he can’t say correctly or isn’t immediately understood by the mixing op. He plays a key part in constructing the package. He makes sure it will be audible. He beings balances to voice volumes, to additional sounds, and to the audio recorded on the field.

The voice-over should notcover the whole package.

A good balance is 70 to 80%.

Let the ambient sound and the situations live.

Carefully use pauses to let the key sequences talk.

Stay silent for one or two seconds before starting your voice-over, and before each new sequence, to make your structure clearer.

The images/voice-over ratio:

JJ Multiplication : the images show and the voice-over adds useful information

Addition : the image and the voice-over say the same thing: delete redundant voice-over

Cancellation : the image and the voice-over are in contradiction. Change one of them to be coherent

LL Alienation : to use a pun, the journalist uses a pretext image. Erase everything.