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How to Rescue a Video with no Audio

Learn how to add some SFX sparkle to your productions in this example, as we repair an incomplete video of a jeweler’s workshop

Here's a quick comparison of what you can achieve by reading this article. A silent, uninspiring video is enriched and transforms with a few simple SFX additions:

So, we have a video of a skeleton ring being made in a jeweler’s workshop. As you can hear, there’s no audio accompanying the video, so what can we do to turn it into a usable piece of content? Read on to find out how SFX Cellar can save the day.

→ Explore thousands of curated sound effects and add them to your SFX library. Royalty free high quality sounds ready for any platform. Start Free with SFX Cellar.

What’s wrong with the video?

As mentioned above, the video has no audio. It’s not unusual to be faced with a situation like this; the audio file may have been corrupted at some stage of the transfer from memory card to computer, or potentially there were issues with the recording equipment on the day of filming. 

Whatever the issue may have been, it’s clear that the video in its current state is not really a useful piece of content for a small business like a jeweler’s. Posting it on their social media as a promotion tool would look a bit unprofessional, especially as the video was filmed in portrait mode on a mobile phone. Some social media apps have tracks you can apply when publishing, but they're often very simple, copyrighted, or lacking in variety.

How to Rescue a Video with no Audio

We can add background music easily, by using a track from our royalty free music library Music Cellar, but the task of adding sound effects is a little more daunting. The video is made up of short clips of quite specific equipment being used, with lots of hammering and sawing motions that will need to be in sync with the audio. We’re up for the challenge though, so read on to find out how we bring this video to life!

Matching sound effects with video 

The process of lining up these sound effects with the video footage is similar to editing video to the beat of music. Basically, you need to look at the waveform of the audio and cut it so that it matches the right moment in the video. 

The technique for showing the waveform of your track varies between each video editor. In Adobe Premiere Pro, for instance, all you have to do is expand the audio track by dragging the bottom of it down. Transients, or moments of impact, will be visible in the waveform. Therefore if you drag your sounds around in the timeline so that the footage lines up correctly with the transients in the waveform of your music, your video will be “in time” with your sound effects. 

How to Rescue a Video with no Audio

Choosing the right sound effects

Fortunately, SFX Cellar has a large database of sounds from a variety of different sources, so although we won’t find exact sounds from a jeweler’s workshop we’re sure to source alternatives. Let’s go through how we sourced the audio.

Tools SFX 

There are a number of tools being used at different stages in the video, including a saw, a hanmer, a dremel, a blowtorch and a drill. What makes things even more complicated is that some of the same tools are being used on different materials, which means we will need multiple sound effects to achieve any sort of realism.

To find suitable sound effects we first navigated to the Hand Tools category, via the Industrial Sound Effects section of SFX Cellar. Inside, we chose a couple of hand saw sounds that felt right for both the room setting of the jeweller’s workshop and the motion of the saw in the video; “Hand saw in the medium distance cutting wood slowly with a struggle” and “Long Weston hand saw cutting wood fast and brisk”.

Jewellery Workshop (Audio SFX)

Miscellaneous SFX 

As well as the sound effects from the tools being used in the video, we found some other sound effects from various sources that helped us to build out the SFX file for this project. We found the sound of metal shavings dropping on the floor from the Metallic Sound Effects category (Foley Sound Effects parent category), and used “Mechanical button, sharp light click 4” from the Switches and Buttons category (Technology Sound Effects parent category) to add extra realism to the footage of the work being carried out in the jeweler’s.  

End result

Take a look at the finished product below, complete with background music from Music Cellar to add the finishing touch. The song we chose to accompany the video was "Inspirational Infinity Of Space" from the Corporate album. For more information on syncing audio with video in editing software, check out our helpful guide

September 01, 2021
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