Flikli’s Production Notes – Sound Design, Part I

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_Welcome to a new series where we invite you into our studios to take a look behind the scenes and see what makes us tick. First up, we’re going to dive into the magical world of sound design. In this three part series, we’ll discuss what sound design is, then dabble a little into the history and what is currently happening right now in the industry and specifically at Flikli._

##**An Introduction to Sound Design**##

What exactly is sound design?

At the risk of not directly quoting the most concise and globally verified (*cough* Google *cough*) definition: “Sound design is the process of specifying, acquiring and manipulating audio elements.”

Couldn’t have put it better myself.

##**What Makes a Great Sound Designer? **##

So why can’t any old Cobb sit down at his laptop, subscribe to an audio library, purchase some audio-editing software, take some tutorials and become a bona fide sound design extraordinaire? What is it that actually sets someone apart as being a truly professional and high-quality sound designer?

Well, as with anything in life, this generally comes down to three things: passion, consistency and attitude.

If you have a passion for audio, you’re on the right path. Passion is the biggest motivator to really learn something, inside-out. However, there are many passionate audiophiles in the world, yet few of them make great sound designers – this is where consistency comes in. To enable oneself to find enjoyment and patience with a multitude of different productions that require any number of differing sound effects, not to mention the post-production edits (and re-edits!) regularly required of any one project, your passion must remain consistent. It is for this reason that attitude is of paramount importance. After all, a sound designer very rarely has the final say on what he produces, and so must deal with multiple opinions and inputs until “everyone is happy”. Patience and positivity when problems are piling up on a production are what will keep your work professional and of high-quality. For this same reason, when any production is less than enthralling and very little creativity is required in designing the sound, it’s vital to maintain the same high standard you would bring if asked to work on the next Pixar blockbuster!

In addition to these character traits there are other, somewhat more ethereal attributes that many a great sound designer seems to hold. Whether learned or genetically inherited, having a certain “knack” for timings, selecting the right sound effect at the right time, appropriate music selection, and the overall mixing of audio for a production are all equally as important as the aforementioned character traits, and are not necessarily a direct result of education or professional experience in the field of sound.

_What do you think makes a great sound designer?_

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