Sound Designing for Web Content


Web content needs no real introduction, as it surrounds us every day – we see new short films, episodes and full feature releases arriving on a range of online platforms, and YouTube is, of course, the front runner for this kind of content.

The volume of content being uploaded to social networks is skyrocketing, and we are definitely operating beyond the realm of the 7-second Vine internet shorts of yesterday. This is due to many factors – increased camera quality on smartphones, cheaper, free and subscription-based creation apps and software from startups and silicon valley entrepreneurs – cheaper, larger data packages on mobile networks, and a much higher interconnectedness than ever experienced before in our history.

Like picture, sound is becoming easier to capture, control and implement into the content we create. The desire for easier to use software is following the trend of the hardware that came before, where a fully edited audiovisual piece of content is a few swipes away. This article by the talented team over at Production Expert discusses the idea further and suggests the future of where these tools are headed.

I realised from very early on, that I was more interested in the making of rather than the actual movies.

Kevin Senzaki

Circling back to the early days of YouTube, where this kind of content was beginning to appear, was Sound Designer Kevin Senzaki. Fresh out of film school and ready to work, Kevin collaborated with YouTube creators, bringing his astonishingly detailed sound design work to the user-generated content that was beginning to appear.

At the time, YouTube was a platform where no one really knew what it would grow in to. We had an audience of millions of people a week checking the content, and everyone was excited to see what was going to happen next.

Kevin Senzaki

The video below from the MPSE, presented by Erik Marks, goes deep into sound design for web content, with Kevin, and is a thoroughly insightful investigation into this content, where it was, is, and where it is going.

More about Kevin Senzaki:

Find yourself working on a short deadline, as a one-person team? Kevin shares some tips from his early work, on short turnaround times of 48-72 hours on things he had to do that were necessary to reach deadlines:

  • Mix as you edit
  • Pan Stereo tracks panned 50/50, to place sounds on the screen quickly
  • With no distinction between editing phases – dialogue editing, effects editing and mixing, you have to focus on the the end result
  • Reduce the elements on the screen to the minimum you can get away with in order to hit the deadline
  • Figure out the stylistic traits of a selected genre and learn how to work with and around them

Useful Links:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *