Room Tone and Handles

Room Tone

You’ll need to provide your sound editor with room tones and audio files with handles. “Room tone” means exactly that, the sound of the room. It’s probably not apparent during shooting, but all rooms have a different sound. It will be obvious when you hear your film in a theatre, on large speakers. Sound editors need (not want!) room tone for each and every scene. It’s used to fix and finesse bad edits, smooth out transitions, and fill holes in a scene. It’s recorded using the exact same microphone setup you just used to shoot your last scene, with no talking, whispering, or movement whatsoever. If you can record 20 seconds of room tone, great!

Include room tone in your Avid/Final Cut Pro session on an extra track. Name it “Sc43 room tone,” or “Sc52A room tone,” etc.


Handles describe the media that’s accessible before or after an edit. Both Avid and Final Cut Pro give you the option of an OMF export, which automatically gives you handles—the picture editor designates the length of the handles.


Audio Handles