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Music Makes the Story

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Sound Design Recipe

1 – Part Listen

Whether producing with or without voiceover, and especially without it, it’s true music, and sound can make or break a media production.  Back in the day, at San Diego City College, almost daily we were drilled with – “in most cases you can get away with less than perfect visuals, but you can’t get away with bad sound.” Simply put, it’s distracting and nine times out of ten, no one will hang around for it.  Fortunately, my voiceover training made me an astute listener, which serves me well.  Conversely, music and sound offer a grand opportunity to be creative taking productions to new heights.

1 – Part Patience

Whatever the story, selecting music that matches the emotion, tone and tenor is paramount.  For me, this seems to happen intuitively.  However, I often spend a lot of time sourcing just the right music and SFX.  Or mixing tracks to match my theme.   Not only is timing key in the placement of beats, effects, and silence, it takes time to hear opportunities, step away to reset expectations, and triage effects or find another approach if not satisfied.

1 – Part Technique

Finally, keep abreast of the tools and trends for getting a better sound or fixing audio when issues arise.  Because with audio, issues will arise.  It could be some weird artifact in the recording, plosives, or a lack of energy in the vocal that doesn’t match what you’re trying to convey.  Having the ability to sweeten, adjust frequencies and remove unwanted noise or add a mood and feel to the sound comes from a resourceful mindset.  You have to be about the solutions.  Here’s one I recommend:

UAD Apollo audio interface

One of the best investments I’ve ever made. I’m grateful that Voice Talent, Randy Cox took a moment to counsel me about getting this audio interface.  The Universal Audio Apollo Solo has up-leveled my sound quality and reduced my post-production process in ways I hadn’t thought possible.

You can see more projects like this here.

Record | Voice | Storytelling | Audio Production & Editing | Writing | Video | Adobe After Effect | Adobe Premiere




Creative Ad web-based design

Designed for SDMN local newspaper in both vertical and landscape for mobile and alternative usage. This highly effective ad captured a new crop of customers for the publisher’s legal filings. Attorneys from all over the county began filing higher-cost probate notices with SDMN after this ad ran just once.

Inspired by Nechel’s love of 70s sitcom title sequences, the client sang the attention-grabbing opening of the ad while Nechel voiced the authoritative yet friendly low-priced legal notice leader commercial copy she wrote.

Creative ad for web-based promotion

Brand design and strategy of Covr by SDMNews was created for the client’s concept of publishing special occasion stories for the public. I designed the look and feel. Selecting and animating the full yellow circle, as a reflection of the SDMN logo. However, the Covr font’s/positioning makes the product distinct.

Where this ad really stands out is in how music tells the story. The opening echoey ping tones are reminiscent of news media imaging but strikingly edgy as they build anticipation. It feels like the viewer is the center of this story. Matched to each visual transition the hard bass boldly pushes the pace. Then halfway through, a sounder accompanied by the bass is timed to climax at the reveal of typing hands on a keyboard as a new drumbeat dropped upping the ante of sound good. While you can’t write that and make it sound cool, it’s actually really cool.

Multipurpose Creative ad Content.

Quick design of thought leadership to coincide with SDMN’s value of entrepreneurship advocacy and legal notice product campaign. Nechel conceived and designed this video (intended as a series) for use as SME lead generation or promotion.

Like the other campaign videos, her expert music curation, pacing, and mix and match of voice and sound development across assets are evident. With a soothing jazz lounge sound, as you may find in a coworking space or coffee shop, the audio tracks the visuals evoking a casual, yet taking of business aesthetic appealing to young would-be movers and shakers.

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