Sound effects are a critical part of any visual content. It gives meaning to some scenes and can help to amplify an event by connecting with the emotions of your audience.
A royalty-free sound effect is a type of music license that allows a creative to pay a one-time fee for a license, without the need to pay for royalty on the sound effect. Even if you keep making videos with the sound effect for a decade, you have the legal right to do that.
There are numerous misconceptions about Royalty-free sound effects, and a good preponderance of that confusion emanates from the term “royalty-free” as it does not exactly mean that you won’t pay a dime.
Another source of confusion is in its application, which is pretty technical. Content creators need to be specific about their intending outcome and should apply the sound effect in a way that’ll get the intending reaction from viewers.
To adequately work with sound effect in your visual content, it’s imperative that you know the different ways to use royalty free sound effects, to properly drive home your point. Here are some ways to do that:
- Make ambient sounds
One of the common ways for a filmmaker to apply sound FX is through ambient sound effect. This type of sound effect is pretty common, and it’s used in movies like The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, and Master and Commander.
Ambient sounds are perfect for introducing viewers into an environment that they can’t truly experience, as seen in those movies.
This type of sound effect performs some heavy lifting in certain scenes. For example, wooden creaks, distant conversation, and the wind create that vibe of a large ship in an ocean.
- Create some realism
You can establish top-notch realism by getting some royalty sound effects. These sound effects are also used in introducing a character to a different world. An example of this is in the movie Avatar. Although the movie portrays a world that doesn’t exist in reality, the appropriate use of sound helps to connect with the emotions of the audience and get them to flow with the character.
The sound effects in movies work because the human brain cross-reference the information it gets, so by adding sounds that are familiar, you’re giving the brain appropriate context to easily understand the movie. For example, in a scene where the character is drinking something for quenching his/her thirst, the sound of water can help create that context—even if the liquid in the picture is entirely strange.
- Nonverbal storytelling
Every living creature engages in nonverbal communication one way or the other. In humans, the brain reads meaning to every action. We hear sound and read meaning to them by relating that sound to something with a bigger contextual meaning. For example, there are sound effects that suggest that something sad has occurred.
- Sound effects for tension
Sound effects can convey that there’s tension in a location or about a character, and that can be done in a movie scene that’s conveying points on other plots. Professionals know how to add sound effects in a way that perfectly reveals an upcoming or existential tension.
Multiple car sounds are used to create an illusion of a busy street, and wind or heartbeat can create the illusion of tension even in a seemingly calm environment.
Most horror movie directors have mastered the art of using sound effects to depict a tense movie. For example, in the movie “we summon the darkness,” the director used sound effects to switch between tense and comical scenes. You should consider getting a top-notch royalty-free sound effect if you’re interested in something similar.
- Alter the emotions of the audience
Professional filmmakers are aware of the connection between a human’s emotion and sound effects. Numerous researches have been done to investigate how sound affects our brain, and shreds of evidence have shown that specific sound triggers certain emotions in us. However, sound effects can’t alter the emotions of your entire audience in the direction you want, you can only get the majority to move in your preferred direction.
Royalty-free sound effect can be that perfect piece that’s needed to create the eye-catching visual content you need. This article is written to help you make sense of royalty free sound effects, and how they can be applied.