Sound cues notify us that an event or action is happening or about to happen. The microwave’s beep indicates our lunch is ready, the washing machine’s tune informs us that we can hang our clothes, and the bump sound we listen to while parking tells us we should take a deep breath.
Sound effects (SFX) and foley—sound effects that imitate everyday, natural sounds—also contribute to how immersed the viewer is in our story. A study by the Empirical Musicology Review on the influence of sound design on videos found that nearly all people that watched a video with music and sound effects felt more immersion and suspense than those who watched soundless videos.
You can apply the following six tips to make your video more realistic and memorable with sound effects.
1. Limit the number of sound effects you add
Viewers can lose track of what’s happening if too many sound effects are playing simultaneously. You should add a few well-selected sound effects so that viewers can listen to each audio clip and keep track of your scenes’ events.
A good practice to avoid overusing sound effects is to never play more than one at a time. This limitation helps you emphasize one action or event without overwhelming the viewer with conflicting sounds.
As you create more videos, you can experiment with overlapping sound effects. Unique effects that viewers can only associate with your brand help you stand out from competitors.
2. Use sound effects to humanize your brand
Humanizing your brand means communicating with customers as you would to a friend—using casual language and referencing elements of pop culture.
You can use sound effects to add relatable sounds to show leads that you understand them, build a more profound bond with prospects, and raise their likeliness to pick your brand over one they don’t trust.
CEO of Taco Bell, Mark King, appeared as a talking potato to announce the return of potatoes to the Taco Bell menu. The video uses sound effects like a chime and a DJ airhorn, reminiscent of video game montages, to strengthen the youthful and personal vibe of the video.
You can check your audience research documents to discover the sound effects that prospects and customers recognize. If you can’t access this data, type words related to your customers’ interests on Reddit or forums to find communities filled with your target audience.
By scouting these communities, you can add sounds from pop culture that you can later drag and drop into Vyond’s timeline to make your video more relatable.
3. Use sound effects to evoke emotions
Sound can influence viewers to feel specific emotions.
A sad tune like Chopin’s Prelude in B minor paired with a thunder sound effect can cause viewers to feel sad or even sob, depending on what’s happening on screen. In contrast, play an upbeat tune with the sound of drums and fireworks, and you’ll transmit excitement to the viewer.
You can discuss the emotions your video should transmit with colleagues before adding a sound effect. You can base the decisions on the feelings you want people to associate with your brand, how you want viewers to feel after watching your video, or the emotions you are trying to recreate during a scene. Then, pick a sound effect from Vyond’s Sound Effect library that helps you emphasize a feeling.
4. Vary your audio levels
You can use background music, ambient tracks, and sound effects to create scenes that intrigue viewers and establish a mood as long as each track’s audio level varies. When audio levels vary, viewers can distinguish one clip from another and follow your video’s events.
There are three types of audio clips: background music, ambiance tracks, and sound effects.
Background music is an audio clip that plays throughout most of the video. These clips are typically the quieter ones, as their goal is to set the overall mood of the scene.
Ambiance tracks are short audio clips that set the scene for areas, like birds at a park or airplanes landing at an airport. You can set them at a higher volume than background music to highlight sounds that only happen at a specific location.
Finally, set sound effects or foley sounds as the loudest clips to ensure viewers hear them despite their short length.
You can balance audio levels in Vyond by right-clicking on an audio clip from the timeline, choosing Settings, and then increasing or reducing a clip’s volume.
5. Duplicate repeated sound effects
It’s common to reuse one or two sound effects across the video, like those used to emphasize transitions. You can duplicate these effects in your multimedia timeline so that you save time. Instead of spending minutes sourcing sound effect libraries, you use them to animate or refine your story.
You can duplicate repetitive sound effects in Vyond by right-clicking the audio clip in the timeline, copying it, and pasting it at the second where you want it to play. For a more precise placement method, paste the clip and then drag and drop it across the timeline.
6. Attach a sound effect to your brand
When you repetitively play a sound effect as branding elements show on the screen, you prime viewers to associate that sound with your brand. As a result of the connection, viewers will recall your brand quicker, even when listening to a similar sound.
Scott Winstead, a blended learning expert, says, “When you popped in Sonic the Hedgehog, the first screen that comes up is the SEGA logo with a short jingle singing the word SEGA real quick. Then you move on to the game title screen. Subtle and to the point. And some 20 years later, I still can hear it in my head.”
You can attach a sound effect when your logo appears on the screen or when you mention what your brand does. For example, it can be a swoosh, whip, whoosh, or jingle sound. Once you choose them, add them to every video you produce so that viewers can associate your brand with visual and sound cues.
Enhance your video with animation sound effects
You can use sound effects to create engaging videos that evoke evident emotions and communicate a clear message.
With Vyond Studio’s intuitive animation tools, you can add sound effects from your favorite licensed, royalty-free sound effects marketplaces or choose between more than 300 built-in ones inside Vyond’s library—without the need for attribution. You can also pair these effects with 154 background tunes and edit each clip’s audio levels to ensure your scenes achieve the mood you want without overwhelming viewers with many indistinguishable sounds.
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