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How to pick the right SFX and what's the difference between them

Updated: May 11, 2021

In this article, you’ll learn what are the names of each sound effects and when to use them in the proper moment.

There are a lot of Sound Effects used in today’s films. Each one of them can create the desired feeling that can boost what you’re watching on screen. Differencing and knowing when to use one another might get tricky.

So... how do we know it's the right time to use each of these?

When ‘opening’ a film or trailer you will need to use these sound effects

Ambiances offer a great way to start your trailer in a soft yet narrative way, working as a tender pad that can vary in mood and atmosphere.

Drones are useful when the trailer starts on a suspenseful note, so this can be great in genres like thrillers or horror.

Then you have Swells, this is a type of riser that can start your trailer with great impact, giving a reversed sound effect to your introduction and leaving a silence that puts you right in the action.

While working during the part where the movie builds up, you can use:

Whooshes, these are great for narrative transitions, such as going from a plot point to the next or emphasizing an action that goes visually but needs a bit of impact.

Risers are your go-to sound effect when building tension towards the type of climax that leads to a sudden stop. Also, longer Risers can be great creating an unsettling mood and fast and quick ones for an unexpected thrilling moment.

Hits can be used alone to mark story beats or crank up the tension. They can also be used in combination with risers and drops to add a push toward the climax.

When working on your film trailer, you’ll need to use a close button at the very end. The SFX you can use at this part are:

Drops, these are epic bass-driven hits that should be saved for those key moments in your trailer when you need to emphasize the action and truly take your trailer to the next level.

Hits also come in a variety of tones and themes, so they can be great and versatile tools for ending your trailer on a specific note. For example, a suspenseful prolonged piano note or an orchestral final hit filled with hope.

Impact Trailer Music Library will be releasing a new pack with all these SFX soon, for you to use in any project or film you need!

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