The Impact of Audio: Sound Design, Music & Audio Branding - Melodie
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The Impact of Audio: Sound Design, Music & Audio Branding

What is Sound Design?

Sound design is a term commonly used in the content production and live performance spaces – from film, television, advertising, radio, podcasts and gaming through to the realms of live performance, theatre, art installations and much more.

While the term ‘sound designer’ can simply refer to a person employed to create a soundscape from existing sound effects (and little more), sound design is also used as a broader term encompassing the locating, creating, manipulating and blending of audio elements from location sound recordings and foley through to radically tweaking sound libraries, musical elements, and even dialogue and associated ADR. It is the creation of a unique soundtrack.

In the best case, there is the time and budget for this to take place as an experimental process alongside production all the way from pre-production through to the end of post.

Sound, and often the absence of sound, can be an incredibly powerful tool.

The Power of Sound

Experienced editors & directors, astute producers and clever creatives all have one thing in common, they understand the role a soundtrack plays in the success of their productions.

Whilst the wrong soundtrack can ruin a great production, the right soundtrack more than just enhances the vision, it adds depth & emotion and can be a key contributor in good storytelling.

Great soundtracks give the audience subtle clues about plot, help to identify and develop characters, set the pace, build tension, indicate a location, heighten or diminish realism, set the mood, and profoundly change the way an audience feels about something or someone.

With the encouragement and support of a creative team that truly understands its importance and role, sound design can shape the picture as much as script, performances and design.

Jingles & Audio Branding

Like sound design, music can be an incredibly powerful emotional influencer and storytelling tool.

Jingles, sound logos and idents, are simple, instantly attractive and infinitely adaptable forms of audio branding that have been successfully selling products and reinforcing brands since the start of commercial radio in the US in the early 1920s.

With the advent of television, the ability to mix sound, music and language with images, colour and movement created an even more powerful memory bond.

With significantly less time to evoke a feeling than say in feature films or television programs, these short, catchy, musical numbers rely on simple, often repetitive melodies or ‘hooks’ that are designed quite intentionally to get stuck in your head and be placed on repeat. This involuntarily memory response is why people sometimes refer to the hooks inside jingles as ‘ear-worms’.

A memorable jingle can work wonders for business, re-energise dull products, re-establish dying brands, or simply introduce new products and services to new markets.

If perhaps not dancing around the room with a remote in your hand, how many times have you caught yourself humming the tune to a piece of advertising music? You get the idea!

These are just a few examples of the incredible impact audio will have on your production. It’s always worth spending time in pre-production defining a plan (and a budget) for your soundtrack.

As they say, the soundtrack is 50% of the film.

Evan Buist

Supporting an international roster of composers & representing an extensive catalogue of quality, independent production music. Previously an engineer, sound designer and composer with brands like Paramount Pictures, Fox Sports & National Geographic Channels.