Have you ever wondered how sound effects are created? Well sound effects can be created by recording noises in real life, or they can be synthesized in a studio.
For example if you want to create sound of an elephant sound in the jungle, why not just go out and record one using good equipment with someone who knows what they’re doing?
However, if you want sound of an elephant sound that is on the top of a mountain, then it would be nearly impossible to find one in real life. Therefore sound effects can either be recorded or synthesized.
Most sound effects are synthesized because it’s easier than recording them. However sound effect synthesis has come along way since the 70s when sound effects were mostly done by people manually playing sound tapes or music.
For example in an action sci-fi movie, the sound of a spaceship flying through space would sound like this if it was synthesized: ZZZZHHHWWWWHHHHHUUUMMMM!
However if sound effects are recorded, sound like the sound of a spaceship flying through space would sound more like this: pew pew whizz whoosh woooooosh.
You might wonder how sound effects are synthesized. There are two main ways sound effects are synthesized which include sampling and non-sampling sound synthesis techniques.
Sampling sound effects sound like the sound of a horse: horseh, and they sound very realistic because they sound like what you would hear in real life.
Non-sampling sound effects sound more synthesized and do not sound as realistic. They began to be used when sampler technology was invented. One example is electricity sound effects which can be achieved by a sound engineer adding a very high pitch tone to imitate the sound of electricity.
There are also hybrid sound effects which sound realistic but they sound digital because they sound synthesized. For example sound of a car accelerating: vrrroooom wwwwaaahoooo.
You might be wondering what sound engineers do in sound effect synthesis. Well sound engineers often use synthesizers to create sound effects, but they also use digital audio workstations which are computers with specialized sound editing software.
These sound editing programs allow sound engineers to manipulate sound by adding echoes, filtering sounds, and more. These sound effects sound very realistic and sound like what you would hear in real life.
Since sound engineers use such high-tech equipment, sound effects synthesis has come along way since the 70s because sound effect synthesis used to be pretty basic sounding half a century ago.
However sound effect synthesis still isn’t perfect sounding so there’s always room for improvement. For example sound engineers often have to synthesize sound effects multiple times because they sound too noisy or sound unrealistic.
However sound effect synthesis is constantly improving over time as technology advances so sound effects will sound more realistic in the future.
In conclusion sound effects can be created by recording them in real life, but most sound effects are now synthesized because sound engineers have the technology to sound more realistic.
However sound effects can still sound noisy or sound unrealistic, but they will improve over time as technology gets better.