There are two academy awards for audio recording and producing, which are Sounds Editing and Sound Mixing. The 2013 awards were awarded as follows:
Sound Mixing – Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes for Les Miserables
Sound Editing – This was a tie: Paul N.J. Ottosson for Zero Dark Thirty, and Per Hallberg & Karen Baker Landers for Skyfall.
Now you may be asking what the difference is between these two audio categories. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There is even some question, at times, about whether the academy members themselves understand the difference. It turns out they often do;). But the difference really isn’t as hard as it is sometimes made to seem.
The sound editors are in charge of creating the sounds for the film, including the sound effects and sound design elements.
Once all the audio has been recorded – including the sound effects, sound design, dialogue and music – the sound mixers combine them all and blend them into the film, making all the sound work and play well together.
It’s been described – if this helps – as the difference between a film’s director (the sound editor) and the cinematographer (sound mixer).
So now you can explain it everyone at work if they happen to ask. Think how smart they’ll think you are;).