Ducking Music for Dialogue and SFX in film...


I am about to attempt mixing Music I have finished writing for a short film and am looking some advice. I have created all of the SFX and foley plus have the Dialogue all ready to be mixed. I also have finished writing the Music and just kind of wondering what the best way of mixing all this is? Should I mix all the FX etc and then mix the music into that or should I mix the music first and then add the FX and dialogue etc after. Also, am I right in thinking I need to “duck” the Music to allow the Dialogue to come through and if so, what is the best way of doing this in Cubase Pro 8? Never had to do something like this so always up for a challenge.



This depends on the project you could:

  1. Export 3 stereo tracks: dialogue, sound efx/foley and music
  2. Import the 3 tracks in a new project with the film (48khz - and watch the framerate)
  3. Use volume automation for all three tracks (“ducking”)

Depending on the total number of tracks you could also just create three groups (instead of step 1) and use them for volume automation. That’s the way I do it…and usually I end up with a LOT of tracks.

Some people are using sidechain comp. but I think that it’s better (and faster) to use volume automation for film (commercials/short spots are a sometimes different matter).

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

Ok, I shall try automation and see what it sounds like. I’m also going to give side chaining ago. Thanks for your advice.

Cool! Have fun :slight_smile: