Atmos bed - underneath the scene dialogue - establishes scene location or scenery

  The scene location or scenery is shown by the atmos. EXAMPLES: (REALIST) 'open country', 'street with traffic', 'large factory', 'cathedral'; (NON-REALIST - FANTASY - SCI-FI) 'space-ship - on the captain's deck', 'urban horror like "Blade Runner"'.
 ATMOS is mixed underneath the recorded dialogue from ATMOS SOUND FILES. See SOUND BOX - production sound effects archive
 ATMOS forms a 'bed' (technical term) underneath the scene dialogue. and
 ATMOS in INTERIOR scenes (REALIST) is ROOM TONE - the air that defines the location of a scene.
 NEUTRAL (no ATMOS at all - only dialogue) is rarely the best choice.
 PRODUCTION EXAMPLE - INTERIOR. LOCATION: STUDENT DINING HALL. JUKE BOX FAR IN BACKGROUND. STUDENTS EATING LUNCH - 'The Canterbury Vampires 6.1-3

CHECK UP ON THESE

Acoustic - the way sound behaves in a particular environment

'Mise-en-scène' - representation of the play scene, locations, spaces and perspectives

Signposting - technique for establishing the location at the beginning of a scene

OB - recording outside the studio

WHAT ATMOS DOES

 Every scene needs background sound effects - ATMOS - to create the sound picture. Even a quiet conversation in the middle of the night.
 ATMOS opens out the sound picture and creates an outer frame for the dialogue and action.
 ATMOS creates mood and rhythm. It helps motivate the characters' actions.
 Creative use of FXs and silences - Silences - different sorts
 

ATMOS - TECHNICAL

ATMOS under DIALOGUE: establish at top - bring down under dialogue - nudge up occasionally

 Location and atmos FXs need to be used sparingly throughout the rest of the scene.
RULE: Get a new pair of ears to listen to your postproduction work
  (1) Establish this 'bed' of sound effects to let the audience know where the scene is taking place.
  (2) You BRING DOWN the ATMOS under the dialogue.
  (3) DURING THE DIALOGUE, you nudge it up the ATMOS occasionally. Just nudge it up at bit, and then down again. Do this at suitable places in the dialogue that you choose carefully. See example in 'The Canterbury Vampires' 6.3

 

The art of radio drama is miniaturist, intimate. It's NUDGING skills!

 PROBLEMS - LOGIC PROBLEMS - ATTRACTING THE WRONG ATTENTION - SLOPPY MIX - PRE-PRODUCTION - PRODUCTION - POSTPRODUCTION

 
 
 

RADIO DRAMA TECHNIQUES OF REALISM

Signposting - further definition

Signposting - more - Signposting and establishing location

Analysing radio drama

Standard production

'Mise-en-scène' - representation of the play scene, locations, spaces and perspectives

SOUND CENTRE - FIXED SOUND CENTRE - the centre of the sound picture remains fixed in the same place + MOVING SOUND CENTRE - 'we go with'

See POST-PRODUCTION - Once a scene has been established, reduce the SFXs (on the RADIO SOAP SITE)

To Analysing radio drama
To Radio Drama Theory Lesson Plan

 

 

 

 

This site is 'Radio Drama - directing, acting, technical, learning & teaching, researching, styles, genres'. See INDEX to navigate also.  Complete curriculum of scripts, techniques (acting & directing & post-production & genre styles), advice, sound files - effects and atmoses (with no copyright and so free to use), detailed script commentaries, etc.

TECHNIQUES - FULL RANGE OF RADIO DRAMA TECHNIQUES ON THESE SITES

Academic material on this site is Creative Commons License Alan Beck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Learn about radio drama on this site along with my book - Beck, Alan, Radio Acting, London: A & C Black ISBN 0-7136-4631-4 Available on Amazon. CLICK HERE.

To the WELCOME PAGE for Alan Beck's sites. See more of Alan Beck's work.

Disclaimer

Any opinions expressed in this site are the personal opinions of the owner of the site. IF YOU HAVE COMMENTS, PLEASE EMAIL TO : radio@savoyhill.co.uk

 

More on atmos and further information concerning scene
Secure SFTP anywhere, FREE Go FTP Program