Login / Register
 
"Ambience" vs "Ambiance"
New Reply
Subscribe
thefunkybeat
Thread Starter
#1
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 
thefunkybeat's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 62

Thread Starter
thefunkybeat is offline
"Ambience" vs "Ambiance"

Ok, so I teach audio post production at an audio / music school and my coworker keeps referring to the background sound effects in each scene as "ambiance" (pronounced "om-bee-onts") in front of the students. I keep correcting him and our students who are emulating him and telling them that that the correct word is "ambience" (pronounced "am-bee-ints").

It's become a real pet peev of mine because I know some of these kids will graduate from this school and go out in the industry and talk to a pro about "ambiance" and they will get laughed at.

Who's with me? ... right?
__________________
www.hipaudio.com
#2
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #2
Gear nut
 
dsteinwedel's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 122

dsteinwedel is offline
Technically you're right. And yes, I would laugh at a newbie who walked in and talked about "om-bee-onts," but that's simply because I love giving someone a good rib. Really I think you're splitting hairs.

Ambiance--The total 'mood' or 'feeling' of a room or space. Created by architecture, layout, lighting, furnishings, sound, and music.

Ambiences--Background sounds as used in sound for film. Can definitely be used along with the other disciplines to create Ambiance.

I use/hear the term BGs (bee-gees) or Backgrounds more than anything else.

-Dave
#3
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #3
Gear maniac
 
Dallas Taylor's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 187

Send a message via Skype™ to Dallas Taylor
Dallas Taylor is offline
It's kind of like the Dialog // Dialogue debate
#4
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #4
Gear interested
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 6

TrevHop is offline
dsteinwedel is right. The most common terms are Backgrounds or Bgs. If this is between Ambiance and Ambience... Ambience is the winner in terms of sound effects. I did, however, try an "Ambiance" search in soundminer and and a lot of good background beds did come up. So it would be worth mentioning. Though it's not the correct term, it's still smart to use it in sound effects searches to find some extra gems.

-trev
#5
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #5
Gear maniac
 
bizzle's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 197

bizzle is offline
Thats why I just put "Ambi" in my searches... Mostly I like to say BG's, or backgrounds if you aren't into the whole brevity thing.
#6
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: The Heart of Screenland
Posts: 2,068

ggegan is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas Taylor View Post
It's kind of like the Dialog // Dialogue debate
I kept going back and forth on that spelling until I finally just said screw it and now I use DX. I'm lazy. DX, MX, FX, BG, FO. Works great for ICON scribble strips.
__________________
Gary Gegan
#7
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #7
Gear interested
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 6

TrevHop is offline
Good point bizzle
#8
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #8
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: DC
Posts: 271

rhumphries is offline
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary Ambiance is a variation of Ambience, though Ambience has its root in the french word Ambiance. So there is an argument for both sides.

-R
#9
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
soundboy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 896

soundboy is offline
+1 for BG, FX, DX, MX...The only problem I've had was confusing MX with MIX. I now use Comp Mix to avoid that.
__________________
Charles Dayton, CAS MPSE
Twisted Avocado Post Audio
Partial credits:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0206743/
ruy
#10
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #10
ruy
Gear maniac
 
ruy's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: NY/DF

ruy is offline
+1 for BG, FX, DX, MX
#11
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,505

Etch-A-Sketch is online now
in keeping with the two letter abbrev.'s, what would you use for ADR or PFX? AX and PX? Or AD? Or AR? or PF?

One thing I've been doing lately too, is telling the editors to use lower case for the type and upper case for the group. Works great on the scribble strips. So it looks like "fxA 1, fxA 2, fxB 1, etc". I think I noticed someone else up here doing that too, maybe charles?

And I hate it when the editors label stuff M and ST for mono and stereo... Like I care! I can see if it's mono or stereo just by looking! Whoever has been pushing that labeling trend needs to stop. I actually make it a point now to make sure they don't do that. If it's in PT keep it as a stereo track...if it's going to a console, do mono tracks and just label them L and R. Trying to decipher "FX ST A1 L" in the protools track name or on a scribble strip is next to imposslble at first glance!!!! LOL On a control 24 you just see "FXSTA1FXSTA1FXSTA2FXSTA2FXSTA3FXSTA3". Aarrrrrgggghhhh!!! When I've worked on a Euphonix I noticed a similar thing. All the track label "strips" are really close to each other so the same problem can happen. At least on the ICON they are separated a little. But on the cheaper control surfaces it's just one long LCD panel and all the letters run into each other... It drives me crazy, can ya tell?! LOL Sorry for the rant...
__________________
Derek Jones
Audio Engineer - Producer - Composer
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/derek-jones/8/986/9b9



"We were working on Raiders [of the Lost Ark]. He [Ben Burt] told me that the sound source for opening the lid of the ark in the last reel was within 20'. I couldn't figure it out. It turned out to be lifting the back off the toilet above the water chamber, and slowing it down." -Tomlinson Holman
#12
8th May 2009
Old 8th May 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: The Heart of Screenland
Posts: 2,068

ggegan is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
in keeping with the two letter abbrev.'s, what would you use for ADR or PFX? AX and PX? Or AD? Or AR? or PF?

One thing I've been doing lately too, is telling the editors to use lower case for the type and upper case for the group. Works great on the scribble strips. So it looks like "fxA 1, fxA 2, fxB 1, etc". I think I noticed someone else up here doing that too, maybe charles?

And I hate it when the editors label stuff M and ST for mono and stereo... Like I care! I can see if it's mono or stereo just by looking! Whoever has been pushing that labeling trend needs to stop. I actually make it a point now to make sure they don't do that. If it's in PT keep it as a stereo track...if it's going to a console, do mono tracks and just label them L and R. Trying to decipher "FX ST A1 L" in the protools track name or on a scribble strip is next to imposslble at first glance!!!! LOL On a control 24 you just see "FXSTA1FXSTA1FXSTA2FXSTA2FXSTA3FXSTA3". Aarrrrrgggghhhh!!! When I've worked on a Euphonix I noticed a similar thing. All the track label "strips" are really close to each other so the same problem can happen. At least on the ICON they are separated a little. But on the cheaper control surfaces it's just one long LCD panel and all the letters run into each other... It drives me crazy, can ya tell?! LOL Sorry for the rant...
I actually keep it even simpler.

FX whether mono or stereo are A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, etc.

BGs are a1, a2, a3, b1, b2, b3, c1, c2, c3, etc.

Foley tracks are fs1, fs2, fs3, pr1, pr2, pr3, etc. or sometimes just numbers.

That eliminates all unnecessary info so I can quickly identify the track at a glance. I also color code the tracks and regions of each food group.
#13
9th May 2009
Old 9th May 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,505

Etch-A-Sketch is online now
Even better!!! I'll have to give that a try next time... Thanks!
#14
9th May 2009
Old 9th May 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 
jahtao's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: London, UK

jahtao is offline
Atmos / atmoses anyone?
#15
9th May 2009
Old 9th May 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Etch-A-Sketch's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,505

Etch-A-Sketch is online now
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahtao View Post
Atmos / atmoses anyone?
I usually just put them in with the backgrounds.
#16
9th May 2009
Old 9th May 2009
  #16
Lives for gear
 
soundboy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 896

soundboy is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
I actually keep it even simpler.

FX whether mono or stereo are A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, etc.

BGs are a1, a2, a3, b1, b2, b3, c1, c2, c3, etc.

Foley tracks are fs1, fs2, fs3, pr1, pr2, pr3, etc. or sometimes just numbers.

That eliminates all unnecessary info so I can quickly identify the track at a glance. I also color code the tracks and regions of each food group.


For me, yellow for DX, Red MX, purple FX, green ADR, orange BGs.

On the OT, I've always called them BGs. Even when I was doing theatrical sound design.
#17
9th May 2009
Old 9th May 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: The Heart of Screenland
Posts: 2,068

ggegan is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundboy View Post
For me, yellow for DX, Red MX, purple FX, green ADR, orange BGs.

On the OT, I've always called them BGs. Even when I was doing theatrical sound design.
Color coding is really great. I personally don't use yellow or other light colors for audio tracks because it is too hard for me to see the waveforms, but then I'm getting older and my eyes aren't what they used to be.

I do the color coding by food groups. For audio tracks I usually go with blue for Afx, red for Bfx, green for Cfx, magenta for Dfx, and then start the sequence over again for Efx, etc. I do the same for BGs. Foley FS are blue and Props are red. I use a disabled audio track set to minimum track height as a visual separator, which comes up grey, so it's really easy to distinguish. I save the lighter, brighter colors for VCAs and Auxes because they don't have regions and waveforms.

The thing that really helps me keep track of things visually is using Memory Locations to specify visibility and track height, but not location. I select the tracks I want, do a "show selected" command, change the track height to the optimum size to display everything without scrolling and then save those parameters in a Memory Location (without a specified location). Then I can call up all FX, or all BGs, or all Foley to both the ICON and the monitor by typing ".1." or ".2." or ".3.". I generally use ".0." to show all tracks at the smallest track height. If I have a ton of FX and BG food groups I'll organize things so that each marker displays as many food groups as will just fill the screen.

At the facility where I work, the ICON D-Controls have 96 faders, so I reserve 16 faders as custom faders showing the VCAs and reverb returns. That way they are always on the surface on those specific faders when I call up the the memory locations to the other of the faders in my section.

I'm pretty sure the Memory Location trick works for Pro Controls and Control 24s, but there won't be any custom faders. However, you can use Memory Locations creatively to deal with them as well.
#18
9th May 2009
Old 9th May 2009
  #18
Gear maniac
 
bizzle's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 197

bizzle is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
I'm pretty sure the Memory Location trick works for Pro Controls and Control 24s, but there won't be any custom faders. However, you can use Memory Locations creatively to deal with them as well.
Totally, also with the c|24 and others there is a masters button that brings up VCA's on first press and Master Faders on second (or vice versa, I forget). Its really easy, I don't find that I miss the custom faders on smaller controllers. As a matter of fact, I prefer plugin control on them, coupled with ProTools 8's ability to create custom plugin control surface maps. Personally, I tend to use the groups/show & hide more for what you are describing and I use the memory locations a lot along the time line. I have tried to use the custom window layouts for this, but that technique didn't stick for me. There are so many different ways to work, I am always doing it a little different each time anyway..
#19
9th May 2009
Old 9th May 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 
soundboy's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 896

soundboy is offline
And I thought I was smart using the "scroll to" function for my Procontrol! Great tips!!!!
#20
11th May 2009
Old 11th May 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 
monomer's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,547

monomer is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunkybeat View Post
Ok, so I teach audio post production at an audio / music school and my coworker keeps referring to the background sound effects in each scene as "ambiance" (pronounced "om-bee-onts") in front of the students. I keep correcting him and our students who are emulating him and telling them that that the correct word is "ambience" (pronounced "am-bee-ints").

It's become a real pet peev of mine because I know some of these kids will graduate from this school and go out in the industry and talk to a pro about "ambiance" and they will get laughed at.

Who's with me? ... right?
poteyto - potato
#21
13th May 2009
Old 13th May 2009
  #21
Gear Head
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 42

Red Dog is offline
It's important to take note that while ambience and ambiance each have their own respective definitions, and technically each word refers to something explicitly different than the other, one can actually describe the other.

For example, as dsteinwedel pointed out:

- Ambiance refers to "The total 'mood' or 'feeling' of a room or space. Created by architecture, layout, lighting, furnishings, sound, and music."
- Ambience refers to "Background sounds as used in sound for film. Can definitely be used along with the other disciplines to create Ambiance."

So perhaps this other instructor understands the difference, and he may be actually referring to the ambiance of the ambience. Ambient sounds most certainly provide ambiance.

This goes further than a simple spelling difference, as some other here have pointed out. The root word may stem from the place, and it may traditionally be a variation of itself, but it has taken on a new understanding.

Think of it this way: "ambiance" is to qualitative, as "ambience" is to quantitative.

Ambiance is descriptive, ambience is the physical presence of a space, which in turn can be described as ambiance.



Alright class, we'll finish up our philosophical discussion of linguistics and semantics for today. Don't forget to do your homework!!
#22
13th May 2009
Old 13th May 2009
  #22
Lives for experience
 
minister's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2004
Location: minneapolis, mn
Posts: 2,284
My Recordings/Credits

minister is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
I....The root word may stem from the place, and it may traditionally be a variation of itself, but it has taken on a new understanding.

Think of it this way: "ambiance" is to qualitative, as "ambience" is to quantitative.

Ambiance is descriptive, ambience is the physical presence of a space, which in turn can be described as ambiance.



Alright class, we'll finish up our philosophical discussion of linguistics and semantics for today. Don't forget to do your homework!!
It comes from the Latin ambire which means "to go around", ambi- around + ire to go.

How is "ambience" quantitative? Counted by what denomination?

To me, "Ambiance" is mood-inducing; "Ambience" is the general background sound which may or may not affect "mood".
#23
13th May 2009
Old 13th May 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 
ggegan's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: The Heart of Screenland
Posts: 2,068

ggegan is offline
I can't remember ever doing either an Ambience Predub or an Ambiance Predub. I've only done BG Predubs.

If I hear someone talking about ambiences my immediate impression is that they either don't often work in Hollywood or else they just graduated from a film school with teachers who never worked in Hollywood. Neither impression is a value judgement. Using non-standard Hollywood terminology doesn't mean they aren't competent professionals, but is does raise a bit of a warning flag to me. I will generally assume that I should avoid using Hollywood shorthand when communicating with them and that I may have to ask for clarification more often when they speak to me about the mix.

This brings to mind some directors and picture editors I have worked with, mostly relative newcomers, who will ask for the BGs to be lowered when they are really talking about the Group. Other times they will refer to the "Foleys" when they really mean any sound effect that isn't a BG. I also often hear Music cues referred to as ambiences (actually more often than BGs).

I don't discount their input, and I try to keep track of the context in order to guess what they mean, but sometimes you guess wrong. In general it just causes misunderstandings and confusion, plus you wind up spending too much time talking about things when a simple 3 or 4 word sentence using more conventional Hollywood terminology would say it all very clearly and concisely.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
thethrillfactor / So much gear, so little time!
71
thecementmachine / Work In Progress / Advice Requested / Show & Tell / Artist Showcase / Mix-Offs
1
spiderdragon / So much gear, so little time!
11

Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.