Sound design

Sound design refers to the process of customizing the various elements of audio contents. Here, these elements are specified, acquired, manipulated and generated. Sound design is applied in diverse fields such as television production, post-production, sound art and video games. Sometimes, it is also used to come up with the desired mood.


Looking back at the prehistoric times, the application of sound in order to express feelings and reflect mood has started. During these times, it has been used in religious endeavors for the purpose of fun and even healing. In the early times of Japan, theatrical events referred to as Kagura was carried out with dance and music.

Sound design is also OK highly integrated into various plays that were conducted ¬during the medieval times. With this, sound and music played a very important role in order to enhance the performance of the casts. After this period, sound and music were also incorporated in the Elizabeth theatre. In this setting, sound effects and music were generated with the use of essential devices including whistles, horns and bells.

Around 1913, Luigi Rossolo, an Italian composer designed a mechanical device that is capable of producing sounds. This is called the intonarumori. Needless to say, it has been built for future theatre and music performances. These devices have been created with the purpose of stimulating both man-made and natural sounds such as bombs and trains. After the death of the Italian composer, his creation has been used for conventional theatricals in creating sound effects.

Sound recording

It is believed that the first use of a recorded sound in theatrical performances has been rooted from the 1980 London theatre where in the cry of a baby has been used as part of the play. After sixteen years, Herbert Beerhom Tree made use of the sound recording in producing tragedy NERO.

Digital technology

A present, sound design is hype. This is made possible with the marvel of digital technology. In addition to digital breakthroughs, MIDI has been a very important platform for the further development of sound design in between the 1980s and 1990s. In connection to this, characteristics of computerized theatre sound have been considered very important for live control systems.

Sound design has even more evolved when the World wide web boosts the ability of sound design artists to gain source materials in the quickest, easiest and cheapest way possible. Now, a sound designer is able to download and preview more realistic sounds compared to the hair-yanking hassles of shopping at record stores and libraries.

In addition to that, the presence of software innovation has also allowed sound designers to get the most of their do-it-yourself methods. Aside from the convenience of doing sound design in the comfort of their own place and time, they can also streamline their expenses as they can seamlessly use speakers, headsets, and computers instead of buying expensive instrument out there.


The success of film audio track is highly attributed to the use of sound design. Known for its essentiality in motion picture production, sound designers are already part of the crew. In fact, the title of a sound designer is not held by an organization or an industry, unlike screenwriters and directors.

The use of Sound design and sound designer in the film had started way back in 1972. In connection to this, the tile has been first assumed by Walter Murch in his significant contribution to the Apocalypse Now film. Originally, Murch and Coppola defined sound designer as someone who is responsible for all the elements of film audio. With his, he has to work on the dialogues, re-recording or mix and sound effects.

Sound designers are also one of the prime members of production staffs. In fact, they have the same level of creative authority with that of director of photography as well as a film editor. The development of the sound design to this extent is attributed to several factors.

Film sound systems gained a remarkable evolution as it has the capability to reproduce high fidelity cinema sound. This has been very relevant after the embracing of the Dolby Stereo. Originally, these systems have been used as gimmicks to increase attendance in theatrical plays. However, it has also gained its reputation widely. Before the adoption of stereo soundtracks, film sound is usually of low fidelity.

At present, directors are after the exploration of new potentials of available high-end mediums. With this, the present-day filmmakers are adept with the application of sound, and they have urged to use it to realize new potentials.

Film producers have also been inspired by the pop music of the new generation. With this, concept albums have popped out. Two of these are the Beatles and Pink Floyd. They have pointed out new modes of the creative method of sound design that could be used in film production.

The responsibility of a sound designer can be likened with that of a supervising sound editor. Meanwhile, the needs of more complicated soundtracks have been experienced in and out of Hollywood sight. With this, supervising sound editors have become the head of the large studio department that comes along with staffs as well as sound editors. These people are responsible for the creation of sound output in the fastest way.


Aside from motion picture production, sound design is also applied to theatres. As a separate field, it is one of the freshest disciplines in theatrical plays. In fact, it is only next to the adoption of multimedia displays and projection.

Modern technology has provided the avenue for theatre sound design artists to come up with more sophisticated, inexpensive and flexible designs that can be seamlessly incorporated to live plays. The impact of television and film in playwriting can be very evident upon witnessing plays that come along with shorter scenes. It might be difficult to achieve but with the marvel of modern sound design, the message can now be expressed in the most efficient possible manner.

The evolution of sound design provides directors and writers of higher expectations of their knowledge about this venture. Apparently, sound design has gained worldwide recognition up to present.