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chapter 23 Cutting Sound and Working with Multiple tracks ambience on ambience each time to cut in a different sound effect. This is why good CD and Internet sound effects libraries are useful: the sounds are generally quite pure. If you record your own hard effects, try to find as quiet a location as possible and close-mike the recording. You can always create sound perspective later in the mix (discussed later). 499 ambience Ambience is related to room tone, which is a kind of ambience also. However, in sound cutting terms, ambience is a background effects track that creates a unique sense of space and location. Many films work quite well with just the production ambience recorded in the field, but ambience can be manipulated, as we saw in the previous chapter, to add another layer of narrative meaning or emotional tone. For FearFall, I added a nighttime ambient track with cicadas (Track 5). Initially I was inter- ested in cricket sounds, but after trying few tracks, I found they didn't add anything to Ray's highly agitated psychological state. The cicadas, with their extra annoying buzzing, were a better emotional fit, because their sound seemed to push Ray's anxiety further. In general, this track level remained quite low and worked on a more subliminal level. But you may notice (Figure 23-11) that I dipped the level of the ambient sound just a little bit when Ray is listening hard and imagining what's going on. I wanted at that moment to create a subjective sound space for Ray, who is focusing hard on the sounds next door, mentally filtering out extraneous noises. I was hoping that this would bring the audience slightly further inside his head.