Ambience (sound recording)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In filmmaking, ambience (also known as atmosphere, atmos, or background) consists of the sounds of a given location or space. It is the opposite of "silence." This term is often confused with presence.

Every location had distinct and subtle sounds created by its environment. These sound sources can include wildlife,wind, music, rain, running water, thunder, rustling leaves, distant traffic, aircraft and machinery noise, the sound of distant human movement and speech, creaks from thermal contraction, air conditioning and plumbing noises, fan and motor noises, and harmonics of mains power.

Reverberation will further distort these already faint sounds, often beyond recognition, by introducing complex patterns of peaks and nulls in their frequency spectrum, and blurring their temporal characteristics. Finally, sound absorption can cause high frequencies to be rolled off, dulling the sound further.

Ambience is normally recorded in stereo by the sound department during the production stage of filmmaking. It is used to provide a movie location with sonic space and normally occupies a separate track in the sound edit.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ambience (sound recording)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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