What is a video sound?
In very simple words, the sound is a video for ears. Video sound doesn't just emphasize the plot and adorn it. Audio tracks may change the whole meaning of the visual, create an atmosphere of joy or suspense with the same shooting, and give additional info.
Actually, even silent movies were never really silent: a hired pianist used to play music during the performance, helping the audience get into the right mood and understand what was going on on the screen.
By the way, a funny coincidence: the first movie with sound was The Jazz Singer (1927). Even the title of the movie is closely connected with music.
Types of sound in visuals
There are three main types of sounds in films, social media posts, and any other visuals.
- Voices or vocals. Those could be both characters' dialogues and a narrator's voiceover. That's the main way to pass new information.
- Music. It may be diegetic, in other words, embedded in the plot and heard by the characters (for example, a concert which they attend or a radio), or incidental, background, heard only by viewers. Dramatic music in the background is often used to create the needed mood and let the audience know that the situation is worse/more serious/tragic than we may think based on footage.
- Sound effects. Every sound that doesn't qualify for the first two categories. Sound effects increase the viewers' engagement and make the story "real". Usually, they are made by foley artists, but for smaller projects, like audio posts or vlogs, you can do it by yourself with the help of online video editing tools.
How to use sound effectively
Even if it seems that sound in films or recordings is of secondary importance, you couldn't be more wrong! A low-quality voiceover and extraneous noises can ruin even the impeccable visual.
Here are several good practices to follow:
- Use good audio equipment. This way, you'll get clear sound without noise.
- Soundproof the recording room, turn off the A/C, and shut all the windows. You don't want street honks on your recording, do you?
- Give the highest priority to synchronization. Even if the gap between the sound and lips doesn't exceed a tiny snip of a second, it still irritates like grit in a shoe.
- Add captions. Yes, audio is essential, but it's not appropriate everywhere. If someone wants to watch your video in a public place with the sound off, they should have such an option.
- Choose the right editing tools. This topic deserves detailed observation.
How to add audio to your video
If you are a professional foley or voiceover artist, investing in expensive software for professional sound design or an audio studio might be better. But amateurs, vloggers, and beginners may avail of free apps and online services.
Here are some tools that will work right in your browser or your phone:
Add music to video. Open the tool in a browser, upload a visual, then add an audio track and match them. You can adjust the volume of both the initial video's audio and the added one and perform some basic editing, such as trimming the audio file or changing its format.
Add audio to video. It is the same tool as the previous one but as an iOS app. However, you can record your own voice on top of any video.
Cut audio. This online tool helps you trim any audio, and additionally, you can extract the sound from any video using the same tool.
Merge audio. This online service is perfect for merging several audio files in one track.
Mute video. As the very name implies, this site can make your video silent.
Video editor. It's the most complex tool of all those mentioned above. Here, you can create elaborate video projects that combine various types of visuals and audio files.
How does video sound impact a story?
It can emphasize the visual's mood or change it completely. The most romantic shooting with a dramatic soundtrack will look sinister, while a horror movie with cheery music will be hilarious.
What are the main types of sound?
Voices, music, and sound effects.
What was the first movie with sound?
In 1927, Warner Bros. Pictures produced an American musical drama, "The Jazz Singer".
Sound and video are inseparable. It's even difficult to say which part is more important: they complement and enrich each other. Music is a powerful instrument, and, used wisely, it may turn your shootage into a real masterpiece.