What are Sound Effects?

Whether it’s a radio commercial or an animated video, sound effects can really help to set the scene. They can be very subtle, like an outdoor atmosphere or very direct and in your face, like a dinosaur roaring. Sound Effects really can make all the difference between a flat, lifeless scene or one that sounds real and authentic.

Why do I need Sound Effects?

Say you have an advert with two people talking about your product.

If you set it in a coffee shop, it immediately makes the conversation more believeable. Just two friends having coffee and discussing a great new product they’ve come accrss. To sell the idea that they’re in a coffee shop, we add an atmosphere sound effect of a coffee shop, drawn from our extensive sound effects library and mix the audio to place the characters in our scene in a realistic and believeable way. It makes it much more authentic than two people talking over silence or music.

What if we don’t have the effect?

For most things, we have an appropriate effect somewhere in our library, but there are exceptions. Take the animation recently posted on our facebook page. It required some very specific effects, namely a telephone being thrown into the pot in a poker game. The video above gives a peek into what is known as foley recording, where we immitate the scene to record the sounds, which we can then add to the soundtrack we’re putting together. Sometimes foley is done with the real objects, or a close approximation, as in our scenario, and sometimes it’s via clever methods that produce a similar sound, such as making thunder sounds with a large sheet of thin metal.

Another example of sound effect use is this recent ad we made for Rochdale Shopping Centre.

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