Voiceovers and Sound Effects

All of us in the broadcast industry can appreciate how a matching piece of instrumental music can compliment a well-written piece of copy delivered of course, by a professional voiceover artist. But what about writing copy to match a particular sound effect?

Unlike a YouTube video or a commercial seen on TV, a sound effect used in a radio spot forces the mind to imagine, the what, the where, prompting in each listener an entirely different visual while hearing the same message.  A cat meow, a baby crying, a coin drop, what is is it? Indoors? Outdoors? Who are the players? How will it play out?  Ok, you’ve got my attention, I’ll listen through this.

While a well-suited piece of music adds emphasis to the spoken copy, if well-chosen and utilized properly, one simple sound effect has the mojo to grab and sustain attention. Super Bowl commercials are known for being funny, but when all said and done, are you musing- “That was a funny beer commercial … wait a minute, was it Budweiser, Miller, Dos Equiis? …  an entirely different topic but definitely worth a later discussion.

In a future article I’ll express my further thoughts on writing voice overs to sound effects as well as why I highly recommend 2-voice dialog spots over straight announcer copy.