Categories Menu

Posted by on Mar 3, 2014 | 2 comments

The Voice In…


Michel Chion is a well known voice in film sound theory. A lot of people have heard of, and possibly read, his book Audio Vision. For some reason, The Voice in Cinema is a little less popular. This post isn’t really meant to be about Michel Chion or his books though. We’re focusing on the idea of “voice” this month, and it’s hard to come up with a header image that is relevant. ;)

I know some of you may be thinking, “Wait a minute. You just did “dialog” in January.” Well, we don’t consider “voice” and “dialog” to be interchangeable. Voice is something different, and more ethereal, than dialog. Dialog carries the raw data, and it’s the voice that gives it expression and emotion. The topic is far broader than simply “metadata for dialog” though; obviously, that’s not to say we are discouraging the discussion of characterization in sound design. That is a perfectly relevant idea for this month. There’s also the issue of defining the sonic voice of a piece, managing and melding the voice of many different artists on a project (directors, editors, sound designers, etc.), or the desire to give sound designers a voice that is equal in weight to the rest of our collaborators. The opportunities for discussion this month are many. So let’s get started!

As always, Designing Sound encourages guest contributions from the community. If you would like to contribute to this month’s theme, next month’s (“broken”) or touch on an important off-topic post, contact shaun [at] designingsound {dot} org, or use our contact form.


  1. I’m really pleased to see that a american website speak about this great french theorist who is Micheal Chion (i’m french too). He’s two book “audiovision” and “the voice in cinema” are two great book how I would advise to every one who wants to make sound in cinema. He’s books are very theoritical but he’s approch of cinema is really based on the evolution of sound technologies since the begining of sound and all the big changes that changed the film industry.

    Great job Designing Sound

    • I’m a big fan of Chion’s work, William. He also has a compendium that was published over here recently (finally) called Film: A Sound Art. I know it’s available in France (obviously), but can’t remember the native title. It’s a collection of shorter writings and essays.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *