If you work in the music, film or television industry, you are well aware of how important Movie Trailer FX, Sound Design and Sound FX, or Sound Effects, are. These little blips of sound can make all the difference between a joke landing, accenting action and movement, or a moment striking a chord in the audience. Without Trailer FX, Sound Design and Sound Effects, we would be back in the silent film era, and while there are definitely many things to appreciate about those films, we’ve certainly come a long way (when it comes to sound) since then.
Can you think of your favorite movie? Take a moment to imagine all of the Sound Design and Sound Effects were missing. Take “Wonder Woman,” -- a recent superhero feature film which was a smash hit at the box office. Can you imagine the final 30 minutes of that film completely shrouded in silence? No Sound FX and Movie Trailer FX to illustrate the action-packed conclusion? Yeah, neither can we.
Sound FX are found in the sneakiest of places -- they live inside the soundtracks of various media projects and even within everyday objects that we take for granted. For example, are you a parent? Can you imagine your child entertaining themselves with that mini-piano if pushing the keys made no sound effects? It’s hard to think that they would be able to entertain themselves for even half as long as they do without the Sound FX built into their favorite toys.
So when you work in any type of media production, licensing the right Sound Design and Sound FX can mean the difference between your audience loving and hating your final project. If you’ve ever seen the film “It”, you know very well that both the original and the remake are horror films. However, there are online parodies dedicated to swapping production music and sound effects in an effort to show how you can turn horror into comedy, all via the soundtrack!
Let’s take some time and explore many of the ways Movie Trailer FX, Sound Design and Sound FX are integral to the production industry and why it is important to have proper music licensing in place to support your film, TV or other media project.
Trailer FX: How to choose the right Trailer FX
When creating a trailer for your film or television series, you typically have 30-60 seconds to tell people everything you want them to know about your production. For some, this can be more difficult than the entire project itself! Well, maybe that’s exaggerating a bit, but let’s face it, the trailer for a film is incredibly important. If it isn’t enjoyable for the audience, then no one will want to check out the actual full-length production. The Trailer FX you choose can mean the difference between whether or not the film or TV series is viewed in the correct way. As seen in the earlier example of the “It” trailer, it’s clear that just some simple laughter sound effects can change the intent of the trailer from horror to comedy! Likewise the correct Trailer FX and Sound Design can help build suspense, create anticipation, and even accent surprise or shock.
So, how do you know if you are choosing the right Movie Trailer FX and Sound Design for your trailer? First, decide the mood you desire to create with your trailer. This should be simple, and you’ll know it very clearly. If you are creating a trailer for an action suspense film, then you’re likely not going to want light, fluffy, playful Trailer FX. You’ll lean more toward - building risers and hits that create a feeling of action and anticipation! A good way to be sure you are choosing the correct Trailer FX for your production is to see if the trailer evokes emotions and responses within yourself. And when in doubt, be sure to give an early preview screening to a focus group audience. In exchange for free entertainment, ask for feedback about everything from the actors and the production value to the intricacies of the Sound Design.
Various Types of Sound Design
There are many different types of Trailer FX, Sound Design and Sound FX that you may want to license for any given production. The easiest way to classify them is to think of how they work in creating moods or accenting a point. Let’s take a look at several types of Sound Design and Trailer FX that are used in: film, TV and radio.
Risers, Hits, Orchestral Stabs for Movie Trailers
Risers create a feeling of building. They can build to action or build to suspense, but as the name suggests, this type of sound slowly rises and builds in sound elements and pace. In stark contrast to Trailer Riser FX, Trailer Hit FX (Hits) are a instant impacting sound that can be cold and precise or echo and fade away. Trailer Hit FX are typically used to accent a point in the action of a Trailer. It can also be used at the climax of a Trailer Riser to create shock. Orchestral Stabs have more musical overtones being that they are short stabs of orchestral movement that create suspense drama and action
Sound FX Music Licensing for Film
Sound effects are a very important part of any short film or feature film. Some films are almost entirely sound FX, such as “For the Birds” one of many short films by Pixar. This three minute short relies entirely on background music and various sound effects to tell the story. Had the film been entirely silent, then the same message may have never gotten across.
Action films are also very well-known for their sound effects. Explosions are dominant effects in these types of films, but it’s not like the production house is going to create literal explosions over and over again, and capture those sounds. They need to rely on sound effects in order to place that sound over the film footage. While there are some occasions where the explosion sound will be real and entirely in line with the action film, for the most part, these things are created on a much smaller scale for the visual, and then sound FX are used.
Sound FX Music Licensing for TV
A common sound effect in television series that many people take for granted is the laugh track. Situational comedies, or sitcoms, are very well known for using this type of sound effect. Some sitcoms are filmed in front of a live studio audience, but many times, there is a laugh track just dubbed over a TV show during post production. This creates the same effect, and allows for the show to still flow without the laughter affecting the dialogue.
You’ll also notice a lot of sound effects utilized in drama-based television shows. These sound effects often accompany a simple look from one of the actors. A good example of this is the dramatic chipmunk. Although this is meant for comedic purposes, the sound effect that accompanies his movement is very common in dramatic television shows.
Sound FX Music Licensing for Radio
When it comes to radio sound FX, this is likely one of the most important aspects of any production. After all, when it comes to radio, there are no visuals. The radio host and his or her team have to rely 100% on music, sound effects and the conversations they have amongst each other. Many radio shows have particular segments that are utilized in most if not all of their broadcasts. To fully put these segments together, sound FX and background music are often utilized. Both of these types of sound combined are able to create a memory in the audience’s head. It allows the listener of a radio program to know exactly what type of content is likely being played, even without hearing any dialogue. They simply remember these recurring sound effects, or background music choices.
Popular radio programs such as Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, or the Howard Stern show are well-known for their sound FX and background music choices. Segments like the Topic Train, or Phone Tap are always accompanied by the same sound FX. This allows the listener to make (hopefully) a positive association with these segments via the music utilized.
Movie Trailer FX and Sound FX Free Library
Music licensing is a tricky business, especially when there are so many free options available online. It’s easy to just opt to use a sound FX free library. However, the downside of this is that you are limited to sound effects that are free and available to all other production houses out there. This means that the sound FX you choose for your dramatic thriller could also be utilized in a raucous, romantic comedy. This can be a very difficult association for both audiences.
The feelings associated with music and sound FX in film are vital to how the audience perceives the production overall. When one sound effect is used for two different projects, it can confuse the audience. Also, if your production is seen after one that already had those sound effects in it, then the audience may perceive your project differently -- it’s possible that the intentions you have for particular scenes will not be felt because the audience can not get past the similar soundtracks.
Take, for example, the Bad Lip Reading series. This YouTube channel specifically aims to change the meanings of popular TV shows by creating different dubbed soundtracks. They utilize sound effects, and bad lip reading scripts in an effort to create humorous versions of popular shows. This takes one film project and turns it into a completely different one, all with the same film footage
If you use free sound effect loops you could end up sending the same type of confusing message with your film, or television series. Be sure to invest in a solid sound FX library instead of utilizing free sound FX.
Trailer FX, Sound Design and Sound FX audio is something that is very important when it comes to television and film. These effects often tell a grand part of the story, and without them, the main message can easily get lost. If you are ready to invest in sound effects for your film or television production, be sure to reach out to TunEdge Music and we’ll get you set up with the music licensing contract to best fit your needs!