Foley Art | Episode 6: Indie Film Sound Guide

The Indie Film Sound Guide is a step by step series teaching you all of the basics to achieve better audio for your films. This includes preparation, recording, and mixing. The guide uses a scene shot specifically for the guide, and follows a proper workflow from start to finish. This is everything you will need to know to start recording great sound for your short film!

Foley art is the reproduction of everyday sound effects that we are going to mix back into the film. For the scene we are using, these are things like clothing movement, Frank tapping on the table, coffee cups and saucers clattering, and hats coming on and off.

Without these sound effects, your film will lack a rich cinematic soundscape. It will feel unnaturally quiet and uncomfortable. Foley Art is what separates the men from the boys and women from the girls, and mixing Foley into your film is another step to creating the film look.

If you have been following this guide from the start, you have probably already recorded a bunch of wild takes for your scene. A lot of these will work great. But if there are any which don’t quite sound right, you can always add those elements to the list of sounds you can re-record as Foley.

So how do we go about recording Foley?

Find yourself a quiet room. A small room, preferably with carpets will work best. Hanging up any blankets and clothes to cover up walls will dampen any reverb you might get from the sound bouncing around the room.

Next you’ll need props and materials. In order to record the sound effects, use any objects which will create the noises you need.

With the materials gathered it’s time to imitate the actions in the scene to re-create the sound effects.  As a visual aid, you can export the edit of the scene and put it on a laptop or a phone. Playback the scene and do what the actors do.

Do this with all of the actions you can think of, several times. Like when recording wild takes, mark the track by yelling out what action it is you are re-producing. That way in the mix, you’ll know exactly what the sound is supposed to be.

Get the microphone as close as you can, and try to keep the gain lower than what you set it during the shoot. You will want to record the Foley very clean and with low noise. The sounds may be quieter than dialogue, and it might not hit really loud levels, but don’t worry. Just as long as the recording isn’t noisy and you have the microphone nice and close, this will work just fine.

After recording Foley, you should have everything you need to create a rich cinematic soundscape for your scene. You might have to source some sound effects online, but if you can re-produce them yourself, it’s always the better option.

Anything we didn't cover? Leave us a comment and we'll create a wrap up episode at the end of the guide, answering any questions we missed!

More tips in the video.

The Indie Film Sound Guide is a step by step series teaching you the basics of recording sound on set.

Episodes released weekly:


The Scene:



Minimise Noise:

Gain & Room Tone:

Wild Takes:

Organise & Sync:


Foley Art  Episode 6 Indie Film Sound Guide.jpg
Recording Foley.jpg


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