Sound Design enhances video editing

Pro Tips to Enhance Your Motion Graphics with Sound Design

Bev Tjoe

Bev Tjoe

Senior Editor

Sound design is a powerful tool for a video editor.

I speak about sound design in the capacity of a video editor. So no fancy tricks or any kind of special skill in my arsenal. What I do is just look at the visuals, listen to a sound effect, feel like it’s appropriate, put it into the timeline and feel like I’ve accomplished greatness – easy. (Showcase of my genius later)

So here goes:

A non-sound engineer’s take on sound design.


You go to a movie theatre, you watch a horror film. It’s so scary. You cover your eyes. Shit. You’re missing the movie. You open your eyes. Still, so scary. You try covering your ears. Eh? It’s suddenly not so bad anymore.

The sound design enhances the story and creates the mood. The mood of anticipation, of joy, of sorrow. So much of the atmosphere is dependent on sound.

It brings life to visuals.

Without sound, punches don’t land as hard, swords don’t seem as sharp, cats aren’t as vicious. 

Music is a powerful tool of suggestion. Music can elevate or cheapen. Music in film can help you feel what the character is feeling, help you understand its themes.

The soundtrack from Moon suggests isolation, confusion, mundane repetition.

Lux Aeterna from Requiem for a Dream sounds like despair and feels like a downward spiral. 

Mad World in Donnie Darko and Born Slippy (Nuxx) in Trainspotting reflect the protagonists’ story.

Enhance the Story with Sound Design

The absence of sound has its own purpose. Filmic silence, where only an ambient track is present.

The use of this in the film A Quiet Place added to its tension. Most of it was atmospheric. 

Sounds of the environment – the sound of wind on an empty street. 

The slightest sound outside of that, meant danger.

And then there’s WALL-E
Where do I even start? What do I even say?
No dialogue. Well, no spoken dialogue. But there is dialogue in the beeps and the squawks and hums. They all mean something. I don’t even know why I try to say anything about anything. It is masterpiece.

It is this awesome force that drives emotion, it is it’s own language.

Now, back to being an editor that puts sound clips on a timeline. I work mostly on documentaries, music related content and some other things I enjoy. And of course, there is branded content. All of which rely not just on the visuals but also, sound. So, when I want to enhance the story, sound design is my friend.

I work with sound everyday – using it for emphasis, for feeling. (Must admit, not so good with evoking the happy-type emotions. Melancholy and “the world is dying” kind of feelings, I excel at.)

And sometimes, I do sound design for motion graphics and animation.

Process of genius below, Designer of Sound is I. Watch and enrich your life.

Animation by Surya & Andrea. More of their work here.

Another great example of enhancing story and emotional impact with sound design. A very successful campaign we did for Deloitte.

Please leave worship in comments below, I’d be happy to accept.

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