What is Sound Design?
Sound design has to do with the art behind the creation of audio for various productions including film, advertising, television, and music among others. It is a broad field that encompasses a number of skills such as sampling, mixing sound editing, and many more.
Typically, sound design is made up of five elements that are to be used in a production setting:
Ambiance- Also referred to as the background noise, it helps to create the required atmosphere without distracting the focus of the recording.
Foley Sounds- Also known as action sounds, it helps to make things more believable in a scene. For example, the sound of gunshots.
Audio Effects- These are creative sounds that would normally not be existent in the real world. They are created from imagination.
A Voice Over- This is usually the voice of a narrator who is behind the scenes. In the production, they play the voice of a particular actor or a narrator of the story.
Music- Every production includes some music tracks to help carry the mood and story of the production.
The Role of a Sound Designer
A sound designer is responsible to bring together the sounds in production be it a cinema, live theater, radio among others. A sound designer must work hand in hand with the director who is in charge of the overall production product. A sound designer may also opt to specialize in a particular production type. Nonetheless, the work of a sound designer typically involves three major steps:
Recording and Design of the Sound
The first step is usually to obtain the sound that they are going to use for the production. In this case, a sound designer will have three options. They can either record the sound live, create an original sound or use existing ones from a library.
Mixing, Editing, and Implementing the Sound
The sound designer will then move on to deploying the sound to the particular production sound. However, before doing so, they must process it to make it most effective in its application. This process will involve editing, cutting, and mixing until they blend in with the videos.
Addition of Sound Effects
To add more flavor to the original sound mix, a sound designer may choose to add some sound effects.
A sound Designer as Part of the Production Process
The work of a sound designer spans across the production process:
Here, the sound designer will sit down with the director to go over the scripts and determine where sound and music will be needed. The director may have a clear idea of what they want or maybe be open to guidance from the sound designer.
A sound designer is also crucial during production when the sound is to be experimented with. They may be needed to put up any sound equipment for layback. They may also need to work with or train the soundboard operator.
At this stage, the sound designer will now work on refining the audio. This involves making sure that it corresponds to the visuals, dialogue, and every other aspect of the production.