What does SFX mean

In our case, we'll use this term to mark only sound special effects.

As the definition implies, SFX includes all the sounds viewers may hear during a film: background music, ambient sound, additional effects to create a mood, etc. Let's look closely at Foley techniques (those related to matching sound effects to a picture) we can come across.

Sound effects in video editing

Types of sound effects in films

  • Ambient sounds are usually referred to as "footsteps, movements, and props". That's all we should hear during the scene besides the actual dialogues. For example, if the action occurs in a bar, we'll expect to hear some background slurred talking, clinking of glasses, screaking of bar stools, etc.
  • Background music. Our daily routine is not usually accompanied by non-diegetic music; no one also voices our thoughts (as long as we are not the main characters of The Truman Show). But if the films were so natural, they would be really boring and tedious. So usually, directors do use some sound effects even when they are not a part of the action.
SFX sound effects in movies

Why do we need sound effects

First and foremost, SFX makes a film real, helping to create "volume" and depth. But it can do much more.

Sound effects tell a story, adding context even if the actions don't. They also involve viewers emotionally by creating suspense or tension. Last but not least, they can even shift viewers' mood drastically and set the whole action in a totally different light.

Where to find sound effects for video editing

Professional Foley artists create SFX by themselves in special studios. For short amateur recordings, you can buy SFX in online libraries or even find free ones. There are hundreds of different platforms with various subscriptions and royalties policies.

When you already have all the sounds you need, you can edit them in some audio cutter and then add them to the video with the help of a video editor you prefer.