8th Nov 2021

Building a Comprehensive Sound Design Library

When building our Sound Design libraries, creating great “sounds” is only half the battle, we always consider the music that will come before or after the piece - that’s why we reference current chart songs to ensure that it fits and flows every time.

We consider all elements of a track: Tempo, Key, Song Structure and energy. There is nothing worse than a jarring piece of Sound Design, while playing into the latest Adele track - that requires something of a much more subtle nature and that’s why our packs will always contain softer elements, which can complement the hard hitting impacts.

Sometimes, we may not have every BPM included, however there are always lots of ways to manipulate audio and create something new every single time.

 Every element within our packs are fully customisable - you can stretch, combine and change bits to create the sound you really need. If you have always wanted your Sound Design to aid your brand and fit perfectly - read on.

Fit Sound Design around the Music

Below is an example of “ASX - FX - Double Sour Drop - 128bpm” - I really love this piece as it creates a subtle, yet effective set up. However, it’s a slightly different tempo to “Ed Sheeran - Bad Habits” which sits at 126bpm. In this instance, you can stretch and squeeze the FX piece to fit the track.

If you are using Pro Tools, enable “Polyphonic” in elastic audio, then click “Elastic Properties” to enable the stretch. Set the temp of the desired BPM, in this instance “128bpm”. This will now allow the FX to fit perfectly with the track, and it becomes musical.

Combing sounds to create something new

With our packs, you can also combine sounds to create fresh takes - keeping your sound new all the time - the options are endless and by using multiple effects, you can create something that sounds even more unique.

We wanted to add a bit more anticipation and energy to introduce the track, so we used “ASX - FX - Uplifter - Big Sweep - 128bpm - Bm”. This fits the key of the song perfectly, and once again we needed to slow the piece down -2 bpm. We opened Elastic Properties and adjusted the piece to 126bpm.

We also like adding Sound Design to the end of the track, which can sometimes be a nice transition to a slower or faster piece of Imaging - it can bridge the gap between two songs that are quite different in tempo.

When required, we also like to create sweepers that change tempo throughout, which is a nice bridge between songs of different tempos. The Voiceover read in this instance should reflect that and their tone should change slightly. Try it out sometime.

Be careful - try not to change tempos by more than -/+ 5-10 bpm - sometimes it may work, but sometimes it just sounds badly edited and has a negative effect - use your ears and listen to the piece before using it.

Denzil Lacey is an Imaging Producer and Sound Designer from Dublin, Ireland. For the past twelve years, Denzil has worked with some of the biggest stations in the world - including SiriusXM, where he creates audio branding for the likes of Eminem, Ozzy Osbourne and Diplo.

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