As you already know, content is king in the practical world we live in. Nowadays, we’ve gotten used to exceptional production, be it the hd cameras on our phones, to the crisp sound quality we’ve now grown accustomed to.
One thing about this world is that it’s no longer acceptable to just have one or the other. Both must be intertwined. Just look at TikTok, a video app that’s focussed more on the prevalence of sounds moreso than visuals.
This post is going to go through why quality audio is just as (if not more) important than video when creating content for your audience.
What is audio made up of?
Think about any form of professional visual media you consume, what is the audio made of?
Typically you can classify the audio into three categories: Voice and vocals, background music, and sound effects.
These elements aren’t just simply clumped together. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make these elements truly mesh and complement each other.
The quality audio you’d hear in an ad, or a documentary will have all three elements co-existing, not by accident, but made to be that way. Usually by having a sound engineer look through and tweak the audio, the process that’s known as “audio post production”.
Now that you have some context on what elements are involved in quality audio, let’s move on to its importance.
Audio (literally) sets the tone
When you view an ad in between your favourite show, would you prefer it to be a plain ad with no music? What about a horror movie trailer? Or even a nature documentary?
Whether it’s immediately noticeable or not, audio literally sets the tone for how your video will be perceived, and received by your audience.
Let’s take the above examples for instance: The typical ad would have upbeat background music, or a popular song, very rarely would an ad not be accompanied by music – This is not by accident.
A typical horror movie will make the most of sharp notes, atmospheric synths, or creepy piano solos. A nature documentary will be accompanied by a beautiful symphony of piano, flute, or strings.
Setting the tone is important because it walks your audience through how to feel when consuming your media. Especially when it comes to music, what are you trying to achieve? A happy tone, an uneasy feeling, or create a corporate vibe?
When you include voices over this music, what tone are you setting? Are they formal or informal? Masculine or feminine? Friendly or serious? These are the questions that you need to ask yourself, then analyse whether your media delivers that, in both visual and audio form.
No atmosphere without audio
Atmosphere isn’t just created by the music you choose, also by sound effects.
The kerching sound when explaining the 2 for 1 savings on your product promotion; the whisper of the wind in your zombie movie to depict an empty city; the splashing of the waves when watching killer whales in their natural habitat; all of which define the atmosphere of your media for which words cannot express.
Not only is it important to have a suitable voice over and music choice, but also to ensure you have a solid sound design team for any effects you need, whatever that may involve.
There’s no real atmosphere without audio – Just mute your TV the next time you have an ad break and you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about.
Invigorating the senses
We have 5 senses, and two of which can be triggered when consuming media. Though we cannot depict what something tastes, feels or smells like, we can describe it in exceptional detail.
Think of your favourite food advert, or even food blogger. There are whole niches dedicated to the sound of food (ASMR) being turned up just so the audience can get a better idea of the texture.
This is also not by accident. Invigorating the senses is key to retaining an audience, something you should consider when creating your next video, regardless of your niche.
If you want a great example of how sounds can be used in relation to food, check out this, or any of the infamous Lurpak butter adverts and see for yourself.
Noone likes poor quality audio
A simple fact, no one likes poor quality audio. Who remembers the old school handheld camcorders from the early 2000s? The sound quality from them certainly didn’t suffice for use in say, an advert or professional movie.
The sound of wind blocking out someone’s speech, or poorly mastered audio where the music drowns out the voice over, it’s simply bad production, and it shows.
Quality of audio is important because as people become more accustomed to better looking and sounding content, there’s no excuse to not adapt yourself and tick those boxes too.
Every news station or movie set has their own dedicated sound team alongside their videographers.
If you edit your video, why wouldn’t you edit your audio too?
An all too common mistake, especially when it comes to creating ad media, is when people choose to edit all sound within the video editing app, instead of working on both aspects separately.
Think about it: If you were to make a music video for a song, would you record the vocals, adlibs and audio separately then edit in the video app to the imagery? No, you would first record the audio track, mix and master it in your audio app of choice, export it, then align to your visuals.
The same applies for ads. Your ad jingle, voice over and sound effects should be worked on as a separate entity, to fit to standard, then added to whatever video you have.
This is beneficial not just for the sake of sounding better, say you wanted the same ad audio used but with different clips and videos to test different audiences. Working on the audio separately and ensuring it’s clean is key for properly engaging your audience, in other words, it’s a no brainer.
Hopefully this post helped you realise the importance of quality audio, and why it should be given the same attention as your video efforts.
We live in a world that’s evolving, the industry leaders of today understand the importance of triggering people’s senses, don’t get left behind.