Sep 2020

Using Sound Effects to Build a Story

sfx cinematic

SFX Are Important, Here's Why

Sound effects are one of the most important aspects of Filmmaking, and you need to know how to use sound effects to build a story. Whether we’re talking about dynamic actions, or simply presenting things as they are, you need to have everything laid down before you show your video to the world.

It’s all about creating an atmosphere, so the person watching it is immersed into the action. Think about the sounds they use in horror movies, and also think about what would happen if they had no sound. The feeling wouldn’t be the same, and they probably wouldn’t be horror movies anymore.

So how to build a story, create suspense, and engage your audience into the action?

You use sound effects. By using sound effects you manage to deliver information, to let the viewer know what and how it’s happening. Create emotion, mystery, and suspense.

How Do Sound Effects Work?

Sound effects have a very powerful impact on the human mind. Certain sounds can bring back so many memories, triggers, and help a person relax, or not. Some sounds, such as rain, thunder, and crickets are known to help people sleep, because they have a low frequency. Others, such as the ones used in horror movies, are distressing people, keeping them engaged in the action.

Studies suggest that sound and music from different media products, such as news, documentaries, video games and movies, have a very powerful impact on the whole footage. News channels use bold sounds in order to prepare the viewers, movies use ambient style sounds in order to set the mood and video games manage to immerse the player in the action by using specific sounds.

How To Use Sounds Effects?

There are quite a few ways one may want to use effects, so let’s go ahead and take a look at that.

1. Create An Atmosphere

You can use ambiental sounds in order to create an atmosphere. You can have someone walking around the room, birds chirping at the window, or a choir singing in the background. This is the first step you need to do, as it will set the mood for the whole video.

2. Develop A Theme

Certain themes have specific sounds. Think about the whistling in western movies, or the screams in thrillers. The theme is part of the story, and should be laid out from the very beginning. Think about how scared people walk vs how happy people walk, or excitedly clapping, versus sarcastically clapping. All these small elements matter.

3. Build Suspense

Suspense is the core of every piece of art. In order for an important action to happen, we need to build our way there. It doesn’t have to be something scary or creepy, as suspense can be built in many ways. You can think of the moment before discovering whether the baby is a boy or a girl, or before the superhero miraculously saves the girl from the villain.

Where Can You Find Sound Effects?

You can always check out the Division Sound Effects Pack in our store. In there, you will find 80 SFX including atmospheric, bass hits and rumbles, cinematic risers, tonal accents, and whooshes, all created by people who know how important sound effects are.

You can also find a set of Free Cinematic Sound Effects by us! Also a set of Free Whoosh Sound Effects.

Division Cinematic SFX



Andreea Juganaru


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