Production and Use of Sound Effects
Sound effects are artificially created
or enhanced sounds that are used in artistic works
to emphasize or express an action, mood, or feeling.
Sound effects were initially used in radio dramas,
but can be observed more often today in podcasts,
theater, films, and television shows. They are
often synchronized with certain actions, such
as a door's slamming being accompanied by the
appropriate noise. Sound effects may also be used
in the background of a scene to create anticipation
or other emotions.
Unsurprisingly, the most realistic sound effects
tend to be recordings of actual sounds. To create
these sound effects, the actual sounds that are
recorded may also be edited or enhanced; sometimes,
the pitch, intensity, or another aspect of the
sound may be altered using software. Sound effects
may also be created entirely digitally by using
software or sound equipment to recreate the intended
effect. Such sound effects tend to be less realistic.
Both of these kinds of stock sound effects are
widely available and may be found in sound effect
Multiple sound effects may be played at once or
closely together in films and television shows.
This is often done to establish realism, as sounds
are often concurrent in reality. The use of several
subtle sounds such as those of fabric rustling,
light footsteps, and quiet conversation in the
background of a film can make otherwise uncomfortable
and unnaturally quiet scenes convincing and lifelike.
Sounds can also be layered to create a new effect
altogether. This sort of layering of effects is
often done when no existing sound effects fulfill
a producer's needs and none can be easily made.
This practice is especially common in science
fiction movies, which often feature various mythical
creatures, imagined monsters, and futuristic innovations
and infrastructures that call for sounds that
do not currently exist.
The term "Foley effects" refers to the sound effects
recorded live for a specific film and added to
the visual footage post-production. Foley effects
are largely created using various props, many
of which are used in innovative fashions, but
may also include some stock effects. Some reverberation
is added to Foley tracks to make the sounds more
realistic and complete the effects. Foley effects
are often subtle background noises, but may consist
of louder and more immediately noticeable sounds
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS
feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com
audio recording and editing software.