Hump day. The bane of all weeks. It’s a struggle to get past 2:00 PM, but we stumble forwards, hopeful for the weekend. The daily creates keep coming. I’ve put together a wish list for the Kool-aid man, and a fictional map of how far I’d walk for you. But the real focus this week has been on audio and its application in creative content.
Have you ever heard the saying, “most communication is non-verbal“? There are many adaptations of that particular saying. Some break it down into percentages. Some tout one type of communication over the other. The point to drive home is that we gain understanding about an idea without explicitly being told what to think.
Audio is an excellent canvas to paint a subconscious picture. You can communicate tones, understanding, ideas, and even trigger biological responses in people by just using sounds. There’s a science behind the way our auditory system responds to certain tones and sounds, but you don’t need to dig that deep to truly grasp what’s going on. Instead, you can study people who are doing it right, right now.
The audio drama, Moon Graffiti, is a great example of how to smash together audio effects, music, and tone. It makes use of all the techniques I’m familiar with, and probably tricks me with some I’m not even aware of. It draws the listener in, sets the mood, and grabs your attention right from the start. I was especially impressed with the use of the Quindar Tones. They’re sounds that your brain automatically associates with a particular element. For instance, I don’t need to explicitly tell you what the following sound is:
You should be able to associate that with sitting in your seat on an airplane. Provided you haven’t been living under a rock and have actually flown.
If you need a good crash course into effective use of audio, give Moon Graffiti a thorough listening.
The point is to tell a story, without stealing creative opportunity from your audience. Television, while fun to watch, takes away the creative “brush” from the audience, painting the picture for them. As an artist, you don’t want to spoon feed your ideas to your audience. You want them to also be a part of the creative process. Instead of telling them what to think, it’s your job to give them a framework to think within, so they can imagine things for themselves. You should challenge yourself to think this way, because it’s more enjoyable for the listener when they’re able to get their creative juices flowing. Audio is important when creating that framework.