Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What is a Sound Designer?

          As you watch your favorite movie and are swept away by what is happening on screen, there are things that you may notice like music and sound effects that bring the movie to an emotional level. The part of this that I am going to talk about is the sound effects, which are created by someone called a sound designer. A sound designer can be used for more than movies; they can also be used for plays, video games, and or any other type of multimedia.
         So what exactly does a sound designer do? A sound designer creates ambient sounds such as wind and rain or effects like doors closing, computer sounds, or cars driving by. They may also create loud explosions, a creaking floor, or water running. The reason why they do this is because the sounds that they record on set or that are really happening are very quiet or not recorded properly on a film set.
          A sound designer has several options when creating sounds. They can use a sound library, which are prerecorded sounds that are either created for sale to the public or made for a private library. These sounds usually contain things that normal people can’t create. An example of this might be an explosion. Another option is to create your own recordings by going out and creating the sounds yourself. Sometimes larger companies will provide something called a foley stage. These are specifically built areas inside of a recording studio that have different items that create sound. Some examples might be cement, grass, dirt, sand, and or rocks. These items could be used to create sounds of people walking on different surfaces. 
          The first step is to watch the movie you are going to create sounds for and decide what sounds you want to replace or create. Once you do this you can either search your sound library or go out and create your own sound. Once you add the sound effect to the movie you can do things like add equalization or compression to help make the effect sound like what is happening on screen. Sometimes these sound effects you add don’t sound like what is happening or even sound natural. One way to help make these effects blend in is to combine several prerecorded effects together to create just the right sound.
             Sound designers create sounds to go along with visual representation. The job itself can be exciting and fun. I hope this introduction to what a sound designer does helps you understand what the basic functions are.

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