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Anatomy of a sonic hug

You've learned the hard way - or maybe someone just told you - that sound is an important part of your video. I think some guy with bushy hair who made some star-ish movies even said 50% of the motion picture experience! But when the deadline looms and the budget shrinks, you throw a cheap noise reduction plugin on that poorly recorded interview, drop in a free music track, and hit Export.

It's okay, you can admit it to us. We're here to help.

Want to see how?

We have a friend who makes lovely little videos for small businesses, including some great restaurants in the Central West End. They look great, he interviews his subjects well, and his pieces have a nice storytelling arc.

But I couldn't help but notice that the sound was only average - flat noisy interview audio, generic music tracks, not a lot of life to the sound. Here's what he had for one of his profiles - you can watch the whole thing, but you'll see what I mean in the first 45 seconds or so.

See? Nice story, engaging interviews, lots of pretty B-roll, but sort of flat on the sound side of things.

So we took that little video and gave it a big sonic hug. Take a listen first, then keep reading for a quick anatomy lesson.

First things first, we got fresh copies of that interview dialog and cleaned it up. We've removed walls of cicadas from a bad actor whispering his lines in a field, so a little restaurant hum was nothing. Clean, brighten, boost, check.

Second, there is some great B-roll in there, all those gratuitous close ups of cooking and flames and searing meat. So we gave those sequences some extra lovin' with several layers of sound design and mixing on top of the recovered audio from the footage.

The opening got some special treatment, to draw the audience in and make you hungry. It's a great sequence to start the video, but it didn't really draw us in before, and I think it does now. Add to that some backgrounds and environment throughout, to give the whole story a little more life.

Third, that music track had to go. Don refers to his Cajun influences, trips to New Orleans, and all these great dishes; plus the place is a Music House for goodness sake, let's get some real music in there! With all due respect to our editor and the composer of that stock music track, it didn't exactly scream NEW ORLEANS.

It only took us about half a day to dive in and get a track together in a sort of Zydeco-Blues-Country vibe. Are we accomplished accordionists? No. Did we book Rebirth Brass Band for the job? Sadly, no. But this original piece of music gives the profile a distinctive sound and a good deal more energy than the stock music track did.

And not only does it fit the content better, the track is shaped to fill in the holes, help carry the cooking sequences, and even create a little jingley hook at the beginning and end.

In the end, it only took a day or two over a week's time to soup this thing up (GET IT?!). We had fun, the client was thrilled, and the profile is more compelling and more original than it was to begin with.

Remember, every story - small or large, epic or succinct - deserves to sound good. Give your story a sonic hug with Hugmonster Sound and Love the Way You Sound.

Contact us today to get your Sonic Hugs!



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