Not too many whizz or woosh SFX

Posted By PinnellProductions on Feb 07 2011 02:55 AM
Turn on your radio and have a listen. Flick through the dial, and you’ll discover a variety of stations (obviously), each with their own identity and own jingles (obviously).

Now take a closer listen to the imaging on the station, does it really reflect what the station has to offer? 95% of the time it does, but for the other 5% of the time, don’t you think there’s just too many whizz and woosh SFX?

I’m not saying having lots of whizzes and woosh’s are a bad thing, in fact, I’ve produced lots of imaging packages with lots of whizzes, I love them, I love experimenting with them and seeing what comes out with the final piece, and how it fits in with the music. But every now and again it’s nice to just hear something that’s clear, and has very limited usage of whizzes.

I’ve recently been editing promotions and imaging for a new radio show, and have wanted to use all the whizzes and bangs I own, but I have resisted temptation due to the request of the client, and actually, you can get the message across without being too overpowering.

I send you to this audio link here, a promo I produced for ticket sales for a Universities Summer Ball. You’d probably want to add all the whizzes and bangs, and compress the vocal of the voiceovers so it’s pumping out with that “hit” sound. But, because the voiceover carries off the read well with his natural, charming voice, I feel compressing it to high end would actually spoil the effect, and detract the listeners from the main point of the promotion. There’s only one whizz within the promo, which just separates the vocal, and gives listeners a chance to think of “Oh, Summer Ball, this sounds interesting” and listen on further to find out more information. Again, not too overpowering. 

Admittedly, the beginning of that promotion is compressed, and both the male and female voiceover have some reverse reverb on them, but it’s not too much, and there really isn’t too many whizzes or bangs on there. (That part of the promo is part of a new package I’m creating).

A simple voiceover, simple instrumental track of an artist and not too overpowering, yet still gets the message across in the right way. Of course, lots of whizzes and bangs have their place, and as mentioned before, I love using lots of whizz and woosh SFX in imaging, but it doesn’t need to be too overpowering all of the time.

So the next time you’re making a promo or package, are you overpowering your listeners with too many FX and detracting away from the main subject point?

This article has been taken from Ian Pinnell's blog and has been used on Broadcasting World with permission. Click here to read Ian's full blog.

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