Use Sound Effects To Increase Production Value (ft. Freddie Wong)

Hi there, I´m Freddy Wong,
and I´m excited to share with you some awesome ways to use sound effects
to make your videos even better. Using sound effects can allow you
to take your videos to a whole new level, by transporting your eyes
to another dimension, a dimension of sound. It can also significantly
increase your production value, without spending any more
money on a camera. We probably spend equal,
if not more time doing sound effects and sounds on our videos than
we do on visuals and visual effects. So, I would say, sound effects are
probably one of the most important things that you can do to up the
production value of your video. And also, also the cheapest way, to
up the production value of your videos. Keep in mind,
with any video that you create, that the experience of your show
is 90% sound driven. I mean, take a look
at this shot here. No sound effects. Boring. Now, watch this one! Let´s start by talking about
what are sound effects. Sound effects refer to the things you hear that establish the world of your video. These can be either made by using
various sound libraries, or intentionally recorded and later edited in
to make it feel real. The most exciting thing about sound effects
and sound design is that there are virtually
unlimited possibilites in terms of what you can do. For example, a library sound effect
could be using rain in your background stem. Ah, hear that? To create a mood. Another example could be
adding the sound of a dog. Or food oozing out of a can, which is actually the sound effect
that they used for the T1000, Terminator 2, the one that
passes through the steel bars– that sound of dogfood, coming out of a can,
which is weird, and gross. One of the videos that we´ve done,
that has a boatload of sound design is one called Beach Justice. This one was just shot,
on the roof of a building. Normally that´s a pretty cheap video, But we spend a good two, three days
just on the sound design, and I think, I really think
it adds quite a bit to the video. What we shot, super cheap,
super fast. But what really makes that video stand out, and what makes that video I think
have that sort of professional sheen to it, is the amount of time and work
put into the sound design. Sound design starts with your script,
not with the completion of your video. You should be asking yourself,
where should you put sound effects, and why in the script stage, not when it´s too late. Look at your script and think about how
sound effects can help you convey your story. How can sound effects
increase your production value? Or, how can sound effects simply
fill in the gaps, in areas where you can´t or won´t
spend money? Instead of shooting a big explosion, maybe, this could be a chance for you,
to use a sound cue, off in the distance. So, if you know that you won´t actually
need to create an explosion or if you can´t, legally, create an explosion, you won´t need
to actually spend any time worrying about it because you´ll let the sound
do all the work for you. The sound design and talking
about sound design is something that happens
in every step of the process. It´s no different than talking
about the look of what you´re doing, or, you know, the visual effects. Or, what…or any part of the movie because this is something
you should be thinking about every step of the process. From the script writing stage, you´re
thinking about what will this scene sound like, and maybe there´s a mood
we´re trying to go for sound-wise with that scene
when we´re shooting it. A lot of times you´ll have ideas,
or even if you´re on location, you´ll hear some cool sound somewhere, and we´re like, oh we gotta include this
somehow. Like in the last season of
Video Game High school– there´s a lot of stuff, where there´s
the sound of a train in the distance, and we realized
that that is a cool sound. And it actually worked to sorta fill out,
and sort of liven up the outdoor space. So it wasn´t just the sound of say like,
traffic, blowing by in the background,; it actually had a sense of
an environment, and the world you were sort of
sitting and watching. Once you create your blueprint/plan
for sound design, you will begin collecting sound effects. There are a lot of ways to get sound effects. A lot of us are using online pay libraries
or pay-by-sound bases or purchase the entire library
for a set amount. Additionally there are a bunch of sites out that offer
free-to-use or royalty free sound clips, which are a great way to start
building your own library. The key to searching for sounds though
is to think outside the box. So, for example, if you´re doing
a search for gravel steps, and you don´t think that that sound that you have really works, try expanding your search to include
words like “crunch” or “rock steps”, you know, things like that. If you´re really not finding the sound that you like,
well, that´s on you. It´s time to start recording
your own sound effects. The most fun you can have with sound effects
is actually going out in the field and recording your own sound effects and then manipulating those
sound effects to make them fit your own scene. So now that you´ve made, or found
some cool sound effects, what do you do with them? Organizing your sound effects well will really
help you create a strong soundscape in your video, but there´s a lot of things going on, when you edit this stuff, so you have to know what´s what. A video sound design is comprised
of several layers or stems. This is an organizational tool, used
for separating sound elements, that can easily be manipulated,
in the mixing session. Dialogue, or DIA: this stem can be comprised of ADR, which is
any dialogue you record off screen and any spoken words, by actors. This stem will also include any voiceover
by actors, as well. Effects, or FX stems, and depending on the type of film that you do, the effects tracks will probably be
the most effects that you have. Foley, or FOL, which is a track composed of
recorded info production, sounds or footsteps, close wrestling or any sort of on-screen movement that´s really hard to capture when you´re shooting and it adds
a lot of dimension and life, whenever the action is on screen. Musik, or MX is your music or score tracks, or backgrounds, BG, are usually
one continuous sound, that runs throughout
the duration of the entire scene. A background can be the sound
of a rainstorm outside, or cars blowing by, traffic. The BG , if used effectively, can really
texturize the world of your show. Sound effects done right can sell your world and story in a way that visuals just can´t do. Sound design is actually very important
for what we do, because what we have is our action driven, visual effects driven stuff. So visual effects, sound design is
the most important part of visual effects, because without it, it´s just some thing,
on the screen, there´s no reality to it. Almost every visual effect that we see,
is sold by that sound effect. Anything from the CG Troll monster
in VG Justice 3 to the gunshots and the punches and the fight sounds, that we do a video like Whose plane is it anyway? Once you´ve cut your show, it´s time to
watch everything several times, and jot down notes of what you need,
and at what time code. Then, you can start throwing in sound effects. You need to find the perfect sound right away and I found the best method is just throw down
several similar sound effects, play them one by one, and then see
which one is the most effective. This is a process referred to as
Auditioning those sounds. Once you laid your sound effects and
listen to your track several times to see if the sound is both effective
and believable, I found, a lot of times, just having the right
sound effect in there is way less work than trying to get a sound effect
that doesn´t quite work. And like, try to tweak it, digitally,
to make it sound right. Now you can think about layering multiple sound effects to get your rich and real feel for your sound design. A lot of the sounds you hear in movies are actually made up of a bunch of different sounds instead of just one single sound effect. And that´s why you would say it´s
a layered sound effect. For example in this scene, where Indiana Jones
runs away from the boulder, they didn´t just find one boulder sound effect. There are multiple layers of the boulder sound. There´s a low rumble, there´s a light crunch
of sand underneath it. There´s the driving sound of the boulder itself, a rock itself, rolling after him. All of these things layered together
creates the full feel and sound of the giant rolling boulder. And most importantly, sounds don´t
necessarily have to follow real life if that´s the mood that you´re going for. Sounds can be exaggerated and manipulated for shows. You can get away with creativity when
you´re talking about sound design, especially if you´re working within
the narrative genre. Last up here is going to be mixing your
sound effects with music and score. Now, of course, music can make your audience feel whatever you want them to feel, however too much music, and too loud of music, can completely obliterate all the work
that you just did, creating all this awesome sound design. This is where mixing comes into play. So, lower your sound design,
lower your music– play around with the levels of each of them
so you get your point across comparatively but without having one side
necessarily overpower the other. Without sound effects and the music itself, your show is going to become too one dimensional. Thanks for watching everybody.
This is Freddy Wong. To check out some of my videos, go to Or just click over here
if you wanna check out more videos like this one. Check out the Creator Academy on YouTube,
by clicking here.


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