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A well-timed, quality sound effect in a video can be the difference between a good video and a BOOM-WHAMMY-KABLAM video. In other words, sound effects are that little extra oomph that take a video production to the next level.

You may not realize it at first, but, without a soundtrack or sound effects, video sounds flat and empty. Sound brings video alive. It’s that extra element that fills out the atmosphere and helps the audience experience the video; rather than just watch it.

However, just as there is a right time to use a sound effects; there is a wrong time. Director of Photography & SFX expert, Ed Boe explains that if you misuse or overuse sound effects the audio can get “too cluttered with the narration and music.” As the old adage goes, “less is more.” We can only listen to so many things at once, using sound effects on top of narration and music can create a cacophony and tune out your audience.

At SolidLine, we utilize sound effects and sound effect smarts. When a video seems empty or lacking, we turn to sound effects to add that extra dimension to the production. Boe’s process is simple: watches the final version of the video, makes note of where sound effects are necessary, finds the right sounds, adds them and makes amendments as needed. Whether the sound makes the graphics move and flow better and/or the transitions smoother, we take care to identify the right moment and the right sound.

Pro Tip: One of our favorite sources for sound effects is freesound.org. Packed with free, downloadable sound effects, freesound is fully searchable and allows anyone to upload useful sound effects they’ve mixed or found elsewhere.  It truly is an invaluable tool for finding that perfect sound.

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freesound.org in action