“Music proposes. Sound disposes.” 

– Babette Deutsch

Using Sound Effects to give your story life.

Table of Contents


One of the most paramount constituents of filmmaking is sound effects. Sound effects help you tell a story to your audience and helps you present the crux of your story to the audience in an engaging manner. 

No story is complete without the appropriate use of sound effects. Sound effects contribute towards the making of the environment in your story, along with visuals and writing. These key elements are all necessary to immerse your audience into the story.

The Importance of Sound Effects 

Sound effects deliver information to your audience. They emphasize the elements of the story being told on-screen by evoking emotional responses in the audience. The environment is one of the central premises of a story; appropriate use of sound effects can elevate the story, while a bad use of them will make your story dull and less engaging.

The human mind responds to the sounds being given to it. Each sound triggers a certain emotion, such as fear, joy, sorrow, and anger. As long as the sound effects being used are relevant to the story, they can elevate your film to a higher plateau.

Famous films are known and loved by audiences and critics not only for the visuals and attention-grasping plot narrative but also the sound effects that build the theme around the films. Horror movies, for example, are known for the use of infrasonic sound that involves the use of low-frequency sounds; even though these sounds are inaudible still play a role in inducing anxiety and stress among the audience to keep them engaged with the film. 

How to Use Sound Effects in Your Projects? 

Let’s look at some ways you can use sound effects to enhance the production value of your video and film projects. 

  1. Build Realism 

As discussed above, the environment is the first building block of film-making. Along with the optimal use of lightning and background actors, you also need to employ sound effects to bring Realism to your environment.

Add background sounds that match your environment, such as footstep sounds that match the actor’s shoes, humming of birds, traffic noises, or chirping of insects in the distance. 

  1. Build a theme

The atmosphere and theme play a similar purpose in the story, yet they are distinct. The theme is the core of the film. Define your theme by using sounds, such as eerie sound effects for horror theme, joyful sound effects for comedy theme, etc.

Differentiate between each theme and pick the sound effect most relevant to your theme. After deciding what theme of your story is going to be, you can plan and organize your sounds that will contribute towards the making of your theme. The overall sound effects of the theme can be characterized by various tags. 

  1. Use Auditory Transitions

Auditory transition is a very useful technique that you need to employ to ensure the audience’s engagement with the story. When used along with the shot transition, it can enhance the appeal of your story. 

These transitions correspond to mood changes in the audience, such as your character might suddenly get thrown into a distinct situation, and the auditory transition will help display that sudden shift in the pacing of the story. 

  1. Build Suspense 

Since sound effects are great storytelling tools, they play a huge role in building Suspense in the story. Suspense is one of the key elements of an engaging story; Suspense acts as a gradual build-up towards an important point in the story.

Whether it’s a reveal, a plot-twist, or a jump scare, Suspense elements will be paramount to build your way towards the point. Good use of sound effects can help you maintain that Suspense in your story.

  1. Develop the Story 

We know that sound effects go well with shot transitions and contribute towards the pacing of the movie projects. Along with transitions, you can use sound effects for the development of your story as well. 

Sound effects are great storytelling tools. When used correctly, you can gradually drive your story forward since sound effects provide information to your ideas and tell them what is happening in the story. 

Correct use of sounds such as a knock on the door, screaming noises, cracking of woods, etc. can contribute towards the development of the story along with visuals, acting, and change of environment.


Sound effects are a vital part of a story and contribute towards the pacing, development, and transition of the story being told on-screen. Appropriate use of sound effects can elevate the production value of your projects.

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