To understand the goals of the rough sound edit, it is critical to understand the goals of the picture edit because they must proceed in tandem. They should help to clarify the narrative, and they should support the emotional character of the scene.
The deployment of particular types of sound can help the audience maintain a sense of time and place and can clarify the movement from place to place. It is useful to use special sounds as motifs for particular characters. Sound should help create and maintain a sense of realism throughout the film. The sound should support a particular dramatic core idea, just as the images should.
Music decisions are not made during the rough sound edit, but decisions regarding the use of dialogue and sound effects are. The goal of the rough edit should be to build up the tracks as much as possible, using a flexible number of tracks so that there is adequate opportunity to balance them for maximum dramatic effect during the sound mix.
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