Audio Blog

The importance of audio in any production is as important as arresting video footage. The use of sound provides a narrative, a sense of familiarity that could provide an intimate message for a target audience. The inclusion of natural sound, sound effects, music and/or voice-over makes an audio/visual presentation effective.

The first example that I find as relevant is the National Geographic Live Curious ad. The use of trance music is effectively used to keep the tempo of the action.  It certainly fits well with the curious nature of the viewer, as the camera is a wandering, inquisitive medium.  The narrative, shared by many people across the world, drives the story.  The narrative begins with a sigh of exhalation, as though the viewer is leaving the familiar and entering a world filled with curiosity and wonder. We are also treated to the ambient sound of waves crashing, children playing soccer, and birds taking flight. The hopeful narrative ends on an anticipatory note, with the bearded gentleman sagely stating that one is alive through knowledge of the world.

The second example that follows this mood is a video produced by the South African tourism board. The most powerful elements in this composition are the use of traditional African vocal and harmony music, flutes, and audible dancing in the background. The composition seems to capture the ebb and flow of a diverse land, rich in the potential of self-discovery. The most powerful element in the video is the speaker. The gentleman doing the narrative speaks in a very strong and sonorous Xhosa accent, which, to the listener sounds both informal and friendly. The combination of all these elements makes this a strong example.

The final example that can be considered as a video with strong audio elements is the Shayna Rose advertisement for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The beginning of the track features soft vocals and piano accompaniment.  As soon as the production switches to glimpses of past Olympic events, the tempo increases with each instance of the Olympic flame being harnessed and carried to the ends of the earth. Over all the use of vocals and music transitioning from tranquil piano notes to an edgy rock score is worthy of holding a viewer’s attention.

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