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Spice up a song with sound effects!

Spice up a song with sound effects!

Most songs we write and record have instruments and/or vocals, but nothing else. Let’s face it, the most exotic sound on most of our records is the tambourine. This is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, “instruments and/or vocals” covers a pretty wide range, from Gregorian Chant to Smooth R&B and everything in between! But every now and then, just for sheer novelty value, you should consider using some kind of sound effects in one of your songs.

Some songs, like the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,” are positive filled with sound effects to set the scene. Birds chirp in the same band’s “Blackbird.” More recently, digital mixmaster Beck and others combined “found sounds” and other effects with music samples to create audio collages in their songs. Of course, this is a technique where a little can go a long way. No need to overdo it!

As a songwriter, you can specify which sound effects are heard by adding notations such as (alarm clock here) to your lyric sheet, or at least have a firm idea of ​​what specific effects will be used where as you write the song. In this case, the effects will be taken into account part of the song. Alternatively, you can wait until you put on your producer hat and decide if and where to add sound effects when mixing the track. Effects will be considered here part of the arrangement.
Name this sound

There are three main sources for sound effects: (1) sound effects CDs or websites; (2) TV shows, DVD movies, etc.; (3) personal records.

With sound effects CDs or websites, you get pre-recorded sounds of all kinds, with many variations labeled by subject and duration. Need the sound of a car starting up and running? There were a dozen variations of this sound on one CD I found. Need birds, or crickets, or elephants? Again, labeled samples of the dozen can be found on sound effects CDs. And there is entire CDs of rain storms, jungle sounds, etc. ready to use!

Sound effects CDs can be found by the score at your local library – mine, a medium-sized twig, has drawer after drawer full of the stuff! To me, this is better than websites that can be awkward to use and usually make you pay for your samples. If you’re really in a rush, maybe try online, but otherwise, just head to the library!

Another really neat (and cheap) source of sound effects is to record a movie or TV show while you’re watching it, and then pick up some of the effects you hear (or dialogue – speaking is also a sound effect!) by copying them to tape or whatever you use to import external audio into your studio.

Finally, one of my favorite sources of sound effects is to record my own. With portable, battery-powered recorders like the Zoom H4 and others becoming available, it’s easy to get CD-quality recordings “on the fly” of everything from your own rainstorm or your cute pet kitty to the crowd at a soccer game . A word of warning though. Once you start thinking this way, it’s hard to stop. (I can record an approaching train! I can record a volcano!)

There are sounds all around you. Why not try incorporating some of them into one of your songs? It works!

#Spice #song #sound #effects

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