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3 Top Sound Design Tips and Tricks You Should Know

3 Top Sound Design Tips and Tricks You Should Know

17 Jul, 2018  /  by admin

The use of sound in the context of any great performance enhances the message you are conveying to your audience and further draws their attention toward the production. The field of sound design can be incredibly fascinating once you understand some of the mechanisms behind the fact that our own minds can play tricks on us. Top sound designers understand these principles and use it to their advantage all the time to “hack” our bodies’ hearing systems and recreate more powerful, moving, emotional sounds. These exciting sounds can further enrich our experiences while watching any great live production.   

Utilize the Ear’s Acoustic Reflex to Recreate Loud Noises

When confronted with high-intensity stimulus, the muscles in our ears react in a distinctive manner that our brains automatically interpret as coming from a very loud, sustained noise source. However, this high-intensity stimulus that influences our brains to react this way doesn’t have to be deafeningly loud or damaging to our ears. There are specific types of sounds one can utilize to stimulate this ear reflex response. For explosion sounds, booms, impacts and similar effects, you can make these noises appear very loud by shutting down the sound after an initial transient (or a high amplitude, short-duration sound). This sound technique is commonly used in fight scenes in movies and towards the beginning of popular dance music. 

Experiment with Different Tools and Find Sounds in Atypical Ways

Many of the most iconic Hollywood sounds such as the noise of lightsabers clashing or the use of Wolverine’s claws weren’t created with the use of musical instruments. The famous sound of lightsabers was created from a broken wired microphone picking up sound from a television set combined with a hum from an old movie projector. When looking to create a unique, original sound look outside the traditional spectrum of instruments and sound effects. Look around at the ordinary tools and equipment around you, you might make a remarkable discovery. Experimenting with items in your kitchen might be a good place to start.

Layer Simple Sounds to Recreate a Richer, More Complex Professional Sound

Layering sounds lies at the foundation of recreating professional sounds in all types of applications. Physiologically, our ears have difficulty interpreting where one sound ends and another begins. Using some psychoacoustic “deception” to your advantage can be incredibly powerful. You can layer simple sounds together across an array of frequency ranges to achieve an effect similar to musical chords and create a deep, rich, textured sound. To layer effectively, ensure that each sound has contrasting frequencies from the other, with their own unique dynamics or timbre. These powerful sounds can be created via the combination of a wide variety of instruments.

Set the Stage and Captivate Your Audience with Top-Quality Equipment from SSRC

The quality of your stage performances relies upon the quality of the equipment you use. To recreate a powerful, captivating experience for your audience, look no further than SSRC for your unique theatrical and stage equipment needs. We are a leading manufacturing company for schools, performing arts centers, and universities alike. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our excellent customer service team today to learn more about how we can best service your individual needs.