of Sound Effects
By S. Housley
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 libraries.
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 as well.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
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.