Sound design is a broad term that has various definitions for different parts of the industry. For advertising and most AV production, it typically means the all-encompassing task of managing anything audible to the ear. Tasks can be as minute as ensuring that the volume of a voice over is loud enough, to as complex as composing, recording, and mixing an entire orchestral background track. Some other common duties include recording sound effects to match video (Foley artistry), recording voice tracks (ADR), and removing excess ambient noise from passing cars, wind, etc.
The intention of sound design is to further bring the audience in to the message and the emotion of the piece. True, we use our eyes more than any other sense, and most of the message will be conveyed visually. Studies consistently show that we perceive 70% of our world through our eyes. Our ears come second, however, at around 20%. A sound designer’s job is to complement the video aspect and immerse them completely into that world. Done well, a sound designer can heighten and broaden the scope of the visuals. Think of your favorite dramatic movie scenes here, sans music–or an epic space battle, without sound effects.
A sound designer should also know when to produce an original piece and when to use what’s “already out there”. Why re-record the sound of dripping water when there is a bottomless well (pun intended) of high quality audio clips already available? The same goes for jingle creation and custom music. Having the ability to produce in-house and access to great networks of other artists is key.
Script writing and voice-over production are also among the tasks of a qualified sound designer. A narrated piece needs to strongly convey the same message, tone, and emotions of the visual through the voice of the actor. The actor’s timbre, intonation, timing, and enunciation come together to create a “character”; and that character must fit the piece as a whole, complementing or accentuating the visual. The script and voice-over must always feel natural, even when describing a product or service in great detail. It is not hard to lose an audience with uncharacteristic, forced, and a monotonous dialogue. Likewise, over-acting and “trying too hard” will also cause your audience to walk away.
Do you need help with sound design for your next video or audio project? We have a wealth of artists, an impressive library of special effects, and partnerships with world-class voice-over actors from across the globe. To learn more about our sound design services click here. To speak with someone about your project, or to request pricing, please click here.