Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stop-Motion How-To: The Effect of the Sound Effect

Something you need to seriously consider in the finished product of your animation is sound effects. Some animators may think sound effects are nice but not all that crucial to a finished animation. But in order to bring your animation to life they really are needed.

Sound effects can be just as crucial to telling a story as character voices. For instance, when your puppet sets down an object, the sound effect you choose helps identify what type of object it is. If it's a heavy object, it would probably make a loud clunk, or if it's metal, it would jingle. Portraying that the object is heavy or metal would likely be evident in the animation, but sometimes it's simpler to help the audience know what's going on through a sound effect or two. Our ears help us identify things almost as much as our eyes do.

How do you create these sound effects? Professional studios usually hire a sound-effect team to create custom sounds for the animation. But hiring such a team could get rather pricey, so I would recommend buying a prerecorded soundtrack. There is quite a selection to choose from. The biggest pack of sound effects I've seen is The Sony Pictures Sound Effects Series, which is a box set of 10 CDs with over 2,300 effects in a wide assortment of categories. The downside of the Sound Effects Series is that it costs $300-$400. If you're looking for something a tad cheaper, I highly recommend the 500+ Sound Effects mp3 download, which includes 6 CDs worth of sound effects. As of the date of this post, you can download it from Amazon for $1.99.
If you are using Windows Movie Maker, be aware that since
it limits you to one audio track, you won't be able to add any music along with the sound effects.

Since audios and visuals are the only two senses that can be applied to the motion picture, you should not only use sight to it's full extent but sound too.


Joe R. said...

Great post! I am so glad to find your site. Thanks for all of the great information.

jriggity said...

cool links man...Im gona look into the SFX collections for sure.

Sound effects are POWERFULL!!

gota have them...


Anonymous said...

Sound fx are vital I agree.. we incorporate 2,200 sound fx in to our software called ikitmovie..