Hearing is a basic fundamental function. In fact, the appreciation of sound is possibly the highest and most powerful of our senses, having a marked impact on the character of one’s life. Sounds are heavily intertwined in every human experience and aspect of daily existence. Communication, artistic impression, cultural identity, politics, and commerce all rely on the immersion of sound.
So what is sound design then? Sound design is the process by which audio elements are acquired, manipulated, created or produced. A sound designer, the practitioner in the art of sound design, will typically modify or enhance pre-recorded sounds or audio to create a desired mood or effect.
Sound design has a diverse range of applications including a significant impact in filmmaking, television production, advertising, radio, computer and video game development, and is also prevalent in live performance such as theater, art installations, and music. Any production that relies on rich and authentic sound to enhance customer perceptions and emotion will typically require the services of one or several sound designers.
The application of sound to accompany actions and evoke emotions is linked to prehistoric times. The use of recorded sound, however, was first thought to have been used in 1890 in a London Theatre, with audio of a baby’s cry. Throughout the 20th century, an increasing volume of recorded sound effects replaced usage of live sound. Sound design evolution accelerated significantly in the 1980s and 1990s with the introduction of MIDI and digital audio technology.
The advent of the Internet has further revolutionized Sound Design. Sound experts can now search for and acquire sound materials more swiftly, easily and at a lower cost. No longer do professionals engage in tedious searching of record stores, or sound libraries. High-quality sounds are readily available on the web. The development of technology has all make sound design faster and more accessible, reducing the reliance on expensive audio equipment and studio space to successfully edit mix and create sounds. A standard computer, speakers, and headphones can prove adequate for many sound design projects.
A sound designer employs a range of techniques in the composition of sound. Methods include recording, mixing, processing, synthesis, sampling, analysis, and editing of digital audio. To achieve success as a sound designer, a number of key skills are important. Top rated sound designers will possess a strong passion for sound, often derived from a musical background, and more importantly a ‘good ear’ - the ability to distinguish various elements of a sound. Sound designers require the ability to listen to a basic sound, identifying distortion, background noise, and a myriad of other distractions. A learnable skill is the ability to capture good audio and manipulate and craft audio elements for the desired effect.
If you are searching for a sound designer, you might consider employing the services of a freelancer from crowdsourcing site Freelancer.com. A quick browse of Freelancer uncovers thousands of sound design professionals with experience in audio services, music, voice talent, audio production, sound design, After Effects and much more.
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