180 degree rule

Filmic guideline dictating that reciprocating characters in the same scene always need to have the same spatial relationship to each other.


All dialogues that have been recorded in studio once to the image track have been captured

Added value

Expressive or informative value that the sound supplements to the image and vice versa


The spaces denoted by two shots when they are in contact


Effect of remembrance brought by the perception of a sound

Another voice

Audiovisual effect resulting from the visual revelation of the I-voice

Archetypal sound

Sounds that are embedded in the human collective unconscious; carrying a kind of semantic meaning with them


Universally understood character behaviour or elements


Selective remembrance in a dense sonic environment; perceptive or memory deletion of a sound or a group of sound in an audible whole.


Process of instant focus on a particular sound in the audible whole.

Auditory hierarchy

Three levels on which sound commands our attention based on the Gestalt principle of figure and ground

Back voice

Sound perspective of a person heard as if speaking with his back facing the listener.


The quantity of information retained by the spectator, either in the short term or long term memory.


A single sound component can usually be assigned to one source at the time

Character glance

Orientation of the look of a character onscreen; its direction orients the audience to something in the diegesis and enables to build spatial relationships within a scene

Classification of sounds

Natural sounds Water: rain, rivers, oceans and lakes, ice and snow, fountains, faucets, steam Air: wind (leaves, sand, window, etc…), storms and hurrica ...

Clear density

Film sound mixing rule that apply across the colour spectrum to reach a dense but still clear mix.

Close up

Visual display through framing of a small part of the figure of an object, person, etc…

Cocktail party

Perceptual ability with which a listener can focus on a conversation in a busy sonic environment Characteristics: Active focus of the viewer The dens ...


Colours that are used and/or underlined as part of the image track

Common fate

Perceptive effect that dictates that one change in several sounds at the same time will affect the all group. Characteristics: Can be applied to individ ...

Context variables

The factors, aspects and their variables that affect and determine the context of a scene.

Continuity editing

Set of rules and conventions that maintain spatial and temporal continuity, allowing the audience to experience a smooth and concrete physical narration.

Cross cutting

Editing techniques establishing actions occurring at the same time.


Fission of two separate shots.

Cut out

The Cut out effect refers to the sonic difference of ambiance sounds when passing from a place to another. For instance, a person going from a busy café to a qu ...

Dead sound

A dry sound is a sound which is incorporating little or no sound waves reflections.

Debureau effect

The Debureau effect is resulting from the voluntary mutism of a character. It is the spectators’ expectation to hear the sound of his voice.


Effect resulting from a combination of audiovisual effect allowing the spectators to have no focus on the voice.


Sonic dissonance compared to the overall context, unexpected sounds in relation to the context coming into perception.


One’s error in recognition of the locale of a given a sound event.

Depth of field

Distance between the nearest and furthest object that appears reasonably sharp on the image due to the mechanical and optic properties of the lense and sensor of the camera.

Dialogue variables

Type Examples Word choice Sentence structure Rhythm Education High Low Wide vocabulary range Limited vocabulary Precise sy ...


Everything part of the story world; everything that can be seen and heard by the characters themselves.


Sonic occurrence that change the overall sound ambience without affecting memory.

Direct sound

Sound recorded on location, it can be close or back captured.


If using a multispeaker projection, a sound coming from the right speaker will reach the right ear first, creating a temporal delay and sound shadow in the left ear; making us perceive upon hearing that the sound is coming from the right hand side.

Discontinuous editing

Set of rules and conventions that maintain spatial and temporal continuity, allowing the audience to experience a smooth and concrete physical narration.


A dissolve is the result of a shot fading out while another is fading in, this creates a link between the two.


Persistence of a constant sound layer with no apparent change in pitch and intensity.


E.A.S. or Elements of Auditory Settings refer to the punctual sound residing in the ambient sounds.


Construction of the film spatio-temporal continuity

Editing dialectics

Human ability in wielding and extracting meaning from consecutive shots, sequence and ultimately the whole film


Elimination refers to the absence of vocal sound even with visual signal


Use of excessive volume of sound to put the recipient in a state that cannot be controlled cognitively

Establishing sound

Sound that establishes, from the very beginning of a scene, the general character of the surrounding

Extra diegetic

Diegetic space which extend from the regular diegetic space; a common example is found in dream sequences. World = diegetic space Dream = extra diegetic spa ...

Eyeline match

Shot revealing something that a character has seen (offscreen) in the previous shot


Change in the relative degree of darkness and lightness, the amount of contrast and the degree of clarity in a visual image

False eyeline match

Misleading the audience in showing a visual event not related to a previous character glance

Figure and ground

Notion explaining that the perception of similar individual sound becomes a group when three are perceived at the same time


Temporal window within the diegesis that reveal a past event to the spectators


Temporal window within the diegesis that reveal a future event to the spectators

Foley sound

All sounds that have been recorded in studio from a Foley artist


The quality of a sound with a high ratio of direct to reflected sound

Generic sound

Sound that clearly represents a specific, easily recognisable type of sound event, but without salient particularities.

Good continuation

A single sound change in frequency, intensity, location or spectrum is usually smooth and continuous rather than impulsive and abrupt.

Group music

Music that is used in particular events coordinating the emotions of a group of people (ex: marching, rites, war, etc…).


Tiring of the auditory nerves that result in a loss of awareness of a particular sound


Perceptive effect linked to the irresistible visual focus of a sound source by the person experiencing a sound.


Non diegetic voice of the narrator, usually dead, etc…


Sound consciously reproduced considering a reference

Impact sound

Impulsive sound usually expected through visuals or context.

Impossible space

A space that is deemed impossible to exist in the diegetic space of the film


Space of one shot included in the space of another


Sound occurrence that modifies the event and the behaviour of its participants.


Sound or group of sound inside a protected space that create a feeling of contextual violation when perceived.

Jump cut

Visual cut that omits the temporal continuity of a sequence for the narrative content.

Law of closure

Perceptive phenomenon that joint two separate entities (ex: lines lying along the same trajectory).

Law of Similarity

Perceptive phenomenon that groups the same entities or events even with considerable break in time.

Listening modes

Conscious act of focusing on sound. There are three types, semantic, causal and reduced.

Live sound

All sounds that incorporate enough room reflections and colouration.

Long shot

Displays a large area in which only important elements are visible.


Materialising sound indices: all little details in sound occurrence that will make the event appear more real in the cinematic world


Mental spatialisation of a sonic event onscreen independent of its sonic location in the cinema space


Sound completely or partially covered by another.


Visual shape that covers the screen disabling the sense of vision to the audience

Medium close up

Displays small parts of the figure of an object, person, etc… in case of a human being, usually from the head to the shoulders.

Medium long shot

Displays the full figure of an object, person, etc… and its setting for the action.

Mobile framing

Displays areas that change all framing elements; It refreshes the onscreen-offscreen space temporally, it reveals space.


Sequence of sound and images that omit temporal continuity, often put together symbolically.

Multimodal perception

Perception that incorporates several sensorial inputs; in the case of cinema, sight and hearing mainly.


Methods of narrative exposition, how time and space are dealt with in the larger film structure.

Narrative cueing

Any types of information helping the audience to orient to the setting, character and/or narrative events providing a particular point of view

Narrative schema

Describes how an audience collects a series of episode into a focused causal chain.


Space implied by the physical limitation of the screen, the rest of the diegetic world.

On the air

Sound transmitted by Tvs, radios, etc in film space with no subject to the natural law of sound propagation.


Spectator willingness to fill in or ignore some information to maintain a particular spatial and/or temporal context.


Two shots that are not adjacent but connected by an itinerary.


Tone and rhythm used by a person when speaking.


Semantic confirmation of the reference of a sonic ocurrence.

Real sound

Sound capture that includes the attributes of the space in which it is recorded.

Rendered sound

Sound used in order to emphasize emotions conveyed by the event on screen.


Sound that produces an attitude of rejection in its listener.


Room shape, dimensions and surfaces that gives emphasis to certain frequencies


Reflections of the sound emission on the surfaces of the surrounding space.

Room tone

Raw atmosphere sound of a room, including electrical hums, traffic background, weather sound, etc…


Sound of the needle added to the music in vinyls

Semi sync

A characteristic of sound that is apparently synchronised with the onscreen actions of secondary importance.

Shot-reverse shot

Features of the continuity editing method that exposes a character looking at another, and then, the opposite when the action permits

Six cognitive dimensions

Inherently linked with the narrative schema, it explains how the audience participates in the reconstruction of meaning in film.

Sound advance

Introduction of a sound before the image to which it is associated.

Sound design

Overall sonic components and their conceptual arrangement as part of the film narrative.

Sound distance

The amount of loudness and high frequencies remaining in the emitting sound that allows the listener to perceive its distance.

Sound hermeneutics

Notion that encompasses the question and answer that the audience might ask of a sound occurrence.

Sound imagery

Parallels to the figures of speech that semantic and/or rendered sound can have.

Sound movement

The alteration of distance and directionality that provides us enough information to detect its movement.

Sound object

Sound constructed from one or more elements to create a full filmic impact.

Sound scale

Apparent size attributed to an object, character or event by the characteristics of the sound they make.


Characteristic types of sound heard in a given environment at a given time.

Spatial signature

Testimony provided by every sound to the spatial circumstances of its production.

Static framing

Displays an area that does not change; all framing elements stays the same.


Narrative elements presented from the perceptual perspective of a character.

Subjective openness

Kind of trance that can be experienced by music listeners, lowering the threshold of belief required to open to the diegetic world.


Extreme case of null extension, suppression of sounds that are naturally expected in a scene.


Perception that a certain sound belongs to the visual experience.


Selective listening with which the listener is able to valorise one element over others.

Territory sound

Overall sounds produced by the diegetic world, usually perceived as background sound.

Theatrical speech

Speech having the purpose to inform spectators and affect other characters on dramatic and psychological levels.


Revelation of information to the viewer through text onscreen


Unidentifiable Sound Object: sound that cannot be identified by the listener.


Difficulty or impossibility in the identification of a sound source.

Voice personality

Formant attributes of the voice that can provide identification of a character type.


Alternative version of a fade.


Incorporation of a post production sound into the physical diegetic world.