An often overlooked element to video editing is great sound design. Using the right music and sound effects can be just as important (if not more at times) to making a video that effectively connects with your viewer. While it can sometimes feel like a daunting task to get it right, we’ve got you covered with 5 tips to make the sound design process easier (and more fun)!
1. Alter Pitch and Speed
Extend the use of your sound library by creating brand new sounds with the elements you already have! Using music or sound effects, try changing the speed and/ or pitch of the sound element. You can turn an upbeat score into a mellow tune. Make a cheerful sound effect eerie. You can even play with layering the same sounds at different pitches for some wild outcomes!
2. Use Ambient Noise For Atmosphere
Give your project sonic texture with ambient noise. Editing outdoor footage? Add sound effects of birds chirping or a gentle breeze to accentuate the setting. Creating a vintage text graphic? Use an old film camera sound effect to give the sense that you’re watching the video on film. Your video can almost always use a little bit of ambient noise for added vividness.
3. Create Cohesion with Transitional SFX
When editing narrative projects, you can sometimes run into awkward moments when changing scenes. Adding the right transitional music cues can smooth out the switch between one scene and the new establishing shot that follows. Vintage sitcoms are a great example to refer to when you need inspiration. We’d highly recommend The Mary Tyler Moore Show!
4. Accentuate motion with SFX (Punctuate)
Whether you’re editing footage, or just animating a title graphic, you can bring movement to life with sound effects that accentuate movement. Objects hitting a surface, whooshing across the screen, or even a close up of eyes blinking can be given more impact in your video with sound effects that punctuate that motion. This is a great trick to make a video more comedic or intense.
5. Score Before Adding Visual Elements
Before adding a single piece of footage to your timeline, try choosing which score you’ll use for your project first. You can get a sense of the mood you’re creating, and where you’ll want to cut clips to the beat.
While deserving careful attention, sound design doesn’t have to be intimidating to do it well. Most importantly, trust your instincts, and don’t lose sight of the vision you’ set out to create! Enjoy your next project!