Music and Sound in Video Production: Why They Matter

February 26th 2023 By Zak Bedaida 2 minute read

In the world of video production, sound is often the unsung hero (excuse the pun).

While the visuals grab the viewer’s attention, the audio sets the tone, creates mood and brings the story to life. So, whether it’s music, sound effects, or dialogue, audio is a crucial component of any video, and without it, the final product would fall flat.

Enhancing emotion

First and foremost though, sound has the ability to enhance the emotions of a scene. A seemingly heart-wrenching scenario can become even more powerful with the right music playing in the background (I always think of Last of the Mohicans here), while a comedic scene can ramp up the laughs with the addition of some supplementary sound effects (Ba dum tish etc). Not only that, good audio can also make a video feel more professional, as well as make the story easier to follow. For instance, in a documentary film, the dialogue must be clear and easy to understand for the viewer to follow along – otherwise it's all too easy to miss out on the crucial details.

Music, in particular, is a powerful tool for video production. It can help to set the mood, create suspense, or even change the entire feel of what’s being depicted. I recall a university project where we viewed a silent video and created two contrasting soundtracks – one evoking stress and the other, calmness. The same visual content was transformed into vastly different experiences by the unique soundscapes we composed. The right music can also help to keep the viewer engaged, even during slower or more expository sections. Many people can associate specific songs or musical genres with different emotions and memories, so music can also evoke a deeper emotional response from the viewer.

Sound effects bring it to life

Sound effects are also an important aspect of audio in video. They can help to bring the world of the video to life, adding realism and immersion. A car crash scene, for example, would be much less impactful without the sound of shattering glass or crunching metal. These sounds can also help to add tension and suspense to a scene, as well as help to guide the viewer’s attention. Replacing the sound of two cars smashing together with a deflating whoopee cushion should help give you a flavour of what I mean. 

Another key aspect of audio in video is voice-over, whether it be for a commercial, explainer video, or narration in a film. The voice-over is a crucial part of the story, as it can provide context, set the scene, or even tell the story itself. A good voice-over will be clear and easy to understand, with a strong delivery that keeps the viewer engaged. A voice that is too monotone or monotonous can quickly bore the viewer and cause them to lose interest in the video. While certain accents, for instance, can help to convey power or gravitas, or, conversely, lightheartedness and comedy.

Music and sound are crucial components

In conclusion, music and sound are crucial components of any video, and they play a vital role in bringing the story to life. They help to enhance emotions, set the mood, add realism, and keep the viewer engaged. When producing a video, it’s important to give just as much attention to the audio as to the visuals, as good audio can make all the difference in the final product. So the next time you Netflix and chill, pay close attention to the audio and appreciate the role it plays in the story. Or, you know, focus on something else if you’d prefer. We don’t judge.

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