9 Tips for Optimising the Use of Sound Effects in Your Videos

Gone are the days of canned sound that cheapens great content. Curious to know how Foley works? Read these tips for optimizing use of sound effects in videos.

What exactly is a sound effect? Well, as regards video features - a sound effect is anything audio-related that’s recorded to be used in the footage you’ve filmed. Think about things like the sound of a glass being dropped on a hard floor, a door slamming, howling wind - or even something like a gunshot.

When making films, additional sound effects are essential to make decently shot footage look ever more professional. One of the most common ways of doing this is to use sound effect editing (sometimes called Foley) and there are online libraries these days from which you can license

royalty-free stock sound effects.

What do sound effects do?

They put your audience at the very heart of the action and make them feel exactly what’s happening on screen. It means they can immerse themselves in what’s going on around them. Good sound effects have the ability to make a film come alive and feel like an immersive experience for the watcher.

Think about a scenario in an action film. You might have the leading character involved in a shootout with the token bad guy. When looking at sound effects you’ll need to think about all the realistic sounds that these people might make during their shoot-out, whether that’s gun noise or shouts and screams.

Sound effects add realism and mean you’re fully immersed in the action. When they're used properly, they bring a naturalistic feel to a film and create an authentic atmosphere that draws the viewer in.

Effects like this are important, especially for scenes that are not always easy to film - another example would be a car crash. In real life, it would be messy and not at all glossy or slick, however, sound effects on film can end up making something like this look and sound impactful.

How can I find sound effects to use in a video?

These days, good-quality sound effects are a lot easier to come by than they used to be. Gone are the days of trying to make and record them yourself.

Many free and fee-paying outlets will allow you to license sounds for use in film and video; many of them are of a very high standard.

Don’t think that using stock sound effects is cheating - many top Hollywood studios use them to great effect and you wouldn’t notice unless you’d been told. It’s all about elevating your content.

Let’s now take a look at some top tips for optimizing the use of sound effects in your videos.

9 tips for using sound effects in your videos

When you’re putting together your next video, here are some pointers to consider as you edit and add in layers of sound.

1. Fading sounds work very well

If you’re going to introduce sounds that involve weather sounds (for instance, falling rain or gales) one of the best ways of doing this is to fade them in and out gradually. It helps make a film look and sound more natural.

2. Use transcript mode when editing and adding in sounds

Some stock sound providers have an in-built tool that allows their users to edit using a transcript mode. This means that your video can be displayed as if it were a book - making it easier to edit and see how sounds will fit in seamlessly. A great tip is to work on a separate screen while you do this and have another screen open with the video in normal mode so you can view it as a ‘regular’ filmgoer would too and continue to make edits as you go.

3. Use sound to add emotion to your video

Sound effects can also be used to highlight how someone is feeling. Imagine a lead character in your film or video has a heart attack or collapses. The noise that’s going on around them could be replaced by the sound of a beating heart fading in and out to provide meaningful context and add drama.

4. Don't be afraid to have fun and experiment

Have fun and experiment with sounds - sometimes this is the best way to see if something will work or not. If you license a sound, you can edit it further by adding your own layers of sound to it - making it shorter, louder, or even echoey.

5. Don’t overuse sound effects

They’re an essential part of a film, but if you use too many it can spoil how they enhance your footage. Occasionally this can take away from the message you’re trying to deliver and the impact you want our film to have. Only use them when necessary and in a meaningful way.

6. Choose the right sound effects for the mood of your video

It stands to reason to only use suitable sound effects for the moment you’re capturing. If you’re editing a scene that features a couple rowing - there’s no point adding in a clown car sound. The effects have got to fit the mood and the context. Light-hearted sounds can ruin a serious moment, and vice versa.

7. Key moment highlights are best when using sound effects

Sound effects are at their very best when they’re highlighting important moments and points in a film and to keep a viewer engaged. Therefore, keep this at the front of your mind when you’re choosing a particular enhancement.

A well-placed sound effect can make a scene stand out. A sound effect added in randomly can break a carefully set mood.

8. Monitor the volume of your sound effects

When adding in sound effects make sure you’re careful to monitor their volume. A quiet scene needs a quiet, harmonising sound effect, not something that makes a viewer jump out of their skin. You don’t want the sounds to be too loud, or so quiet that people are straining to hear!

9. Always choose the best quality you can

Whatever budget you have, choose the best sound effects you can. Remember that the ear is more sensitive to quality than the eye. Good sound effects, chosen carefully and of a high quality will enhance a film. Tinny, low-resolution sounds will cheapen an otherwise well-put-together film or video.

This content was first published by KISS PR Brand Story. Read here >> 9 Tips for Optimising the Use of Sound Effects in Your Videos

Source: Story.KISSPR.com
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