Vocabulary question

Discussion in 'Sound Design and SFX' started by Fredeke, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Fredeke

    Fredeke Active Member

    Jul 9, 2018
    Hey I've got a question for those of you who work in the British or American movie industry :

    How do you call, in English, a continuous background track in a movie ? You know, like traffic, or bird songs, or crowd rumor, or engine drone - basically anything that is continuous but not music.

    I need the actual technical jargon please.
    (It's for keywording wavs)

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  2. chrisr

    chrisr Active Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    I would refer to that as "Atmos". To qualify: I've worked on a fair amount of tv and film... but I don't consider myself the highest authority on such things... so you may get other answers I suppose. Certainly if you used the term 'atmos' nobody would be looking at you like you were stupid (unless they all waited until my back was turned...?)
  3. OP

    Fredeke Active Member

    Jul 9, 2018
    The same question on gearslutz turned up the same answer, so I guess you both are right :).

    Moreover, in French we say "ambiances" which means ATMOSpheres, so there's that too.
  4. timprebble

    timprebble Sound designer, Composer, Sound library developer

    More common in recent times to say AMBIENCES

    Atmos used to be more common but with Dolby Atmos being so heavily promoted etc ambiences is better in many ways to avoid confusion...

    but I would not list an engine sound or crowd under ambience

    If you were to think of it as predubs on a film:

    Crowd would only go into AMB predub if it was entirely unintelligible. If there is any identifiable language at all it must go into crowds/DX stem as would need to be replaced for International M&E

    engine sounds would usually go to FX predub

    maybe this helps, maybe not ;)
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    Fredeke likes this.

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