Adding sound effects to videos for business marketing can take your final product to the next level. In this post, we review the benefits of sound effects in corporate films and offer expert tips to get the most from your audio.
We also provide advice about planning for audio before your shoot and in post-production. We share suggestions for how you can avoid mistakes in both phases and instead use clever audio to soar above your competition.
There are three subcategories of audio
We often use the term “sound effects” interchangeably with “audio,” when in fact, they’re related — but not equal. Audio refers to all the sound you use in your video, including:
- Sound effects — Sounds recorded during your shoot or added after for atmosphere and other reasons (see more below).
- Music —Includes soundtracks and incidental music, such as street musicians playing in the background while you conduct an interview.
- Voices — Scripted narration, interview conversations, background chatter, etc.
We’ll be talking about all three of these below.
Audio editing is a vital part of both pre-production and post-production
One of the biggest mistakes we see companies make with their fledgling marketing videos
is leaving all the audio to the end as an afterthought, whether that’s music, talking, or special effects. As you’ll read in the next sections, audio can make or break your video, so you want to give it the proper consideration. How do you do that?
- Plan all aspects of audio in advance of shooting, just like you storyboard action sequences for the camera or write a script for educational material.
- Choose your location and timing at your location carefully to avoid noise that will distract from or overwhelm your audio.
- Use the best microphones (or booms with a professional audio crew) that your budget will allow.
- Decide where in your video you want to add any sound effects, such as funny noises for humor or music to build the vibe you want.
- Figure out what audio will be recorded at your shoot (and synced with your video later in post-production) and what will be added afterwards.
- Make sure you have the rights to any copyrighted music or sounds you use.
- Allow time in post-production to thoroughly integrate your audio.
Audio can create ambience
You can use audio to set the scene in your video beyond simply having people talk.
Whether you include people arguing in the background, busy city street noises, tranquil birds and crickets, or futuristic space sound effects, your audience will be more immersed in your world with the right audio.
Even if your shooting location doesn’t provide your desired sounds organically, you can add them in post-production.
In commercial films, this is often part of what’s called foley editing, where things like footsteps, slamming doors, and ringing phones are incorporated independently for better clarity so they won’t get lost in the rest of a scene.
Sound heightens the emotional impact
Audio for video production is great for generating the mood you want to evoke with your film. Think about a thriller or horror film you’ve seen.
How did the audio — creaking floors or ominous music, for instance — set the tone and up the tension in key scenes? What is your intention with your video, and how might your music or sound effects help you achieve that emotional impact?
Sound effects can smooth transitions and cover empty spots
One of the benefits of sound effects in videos is that they can help you move from one scene to another or fill in where you have a flat scene or too much silence.
Depending on your video, you may want something funny or you may need more conventional sounds. A little music riff is also good for a transition, which is something you’ll notice on lots of television shows. Think of this audio like language that says “and then…” or “but you won’t believe what happened next!”
Audio is one piece of the puzzle
As incredible as music and sound effects are at making your video special, remember that they are only one aspect of the entire production, which includes your filmed footage, captioning, and the like. Some people will end up watching your video with the sound off, so you can’t use it as a crutch and skimp on the rest of your production.
It’s a bit like making a taco buffet. Some people will just eat the filling and the tortilla; others will add hot sauce, vegetables, or sour cream. You want your tacos to taste equally delicious no matter what sides your viewers select.
Shootsta Pro can help you merge audio with punchy visuals for standout videos
Sound effects for video production (or a soundtrack) can get pretty complicated if you’re trying to make a sophisticated film.
When you add in all the other elements of post-production, like subtitles or syncing dialogue with the video, you may quickly find yourself out of your depth. That’s why many companies turn to Shootsta Pro for help.
Shootsta Pro is a cloud-based subscription service that can turn around your post-production phase in as little as 24 hours. We use professional editors local to your area, and you can be as involved as you want in the process.
It’s highly cost-effective and gives you a truly polished product in the end — one that you can be proud to put your company name on.
It’s a happy medium between getting bogged down with DIY post-production and outsourcing it completely, where you might not get the chance to give the input you want.