Oscars 2016: Sound

There are two categories for Sound at the Academy Awards: Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

Confusing, isn’t it?

The best way to explain the difference is, as sound editor and mixer Erik Aadaahl says, is to compare them to composers and conductors.

The editors are like composers, creating the sounds, while the mixers are like conductors, taking the raw sounds and figuring out the best way to use and balance them.

Sound Editing (often called Sound Design) has been recognized since the 1960s, although for several years in the 1970s the Academy didn’t award any movies. Sound Editing is pretty much what it, er, sounds like: the noises, dialogue and sound effects that you hear in a film.

Previous winners of Best Sound Editing include Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Aliens, RoboCop, Jurassic Park, Speed, Saving Private Ryan, Inception, and American Sniper.

This year’s nominees:

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mark Mangini and David White

The Martian

Oliver Tarney

The Revenant

Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender


Alan Robert Murray

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Matthew Wood and David Acord

Sound Mixing is the older of the two categories, and recognizes the work done for the complete sound mix of the film (i.e., the sound editing as well as the rerecording, music mix).

This year’s nominees:Previous winners include The Bells of Saint Mary’s, All About Eve, The Sound Barrier, West Side Story, Lawrence of Arabia, My Fair Lady, Patton, Jaws, Star Wars, Amadeus, Glory, Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Whiplash. 

Bridge of Spies

Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, and Drew Kunin

Mad Max: Fury Road

Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, and Ben Osmo

The Martian

Paul Massey, Mark Taylor, and Mac Ruth

The Revenant

Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Randy Thom, and Chris Duesterdiek

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, and Stuart Wilson


One thought on “Oscars 2016: Sound

  1. I know I am a bit of an old grump, but where sound is concerned, I am in the ‘less is more’ camp.
    One film that springs to mind where sound was really well done- and appropriate- is ‘Apocalypse Now.’
    Cheers, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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