Sound Design: 5 Simple Ways to Build Connections
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Use sound to set the mood
  2. Build connection through audio branding
  3. Engage emotion with music
  4. Create immersive experiences with sound effects
  5. Leverage silence for impact

Sound design is like magic; it can transport you to a different time and place, create an emotional bond, or make a memorable impact—all without visuals. When you're figuring out how to build connections with sound designers, understanding their craft can help you communicate effectively and make the most of the creative process. Let's explore five simple ways you can build these connections, starting with using sound to set the mood.

Use Sound to Set the Mood

One of the first steps to connecting with sound designers is understanding how they use sound to set the mood. This skill is a fundamental part of their toolkit and it's what makes movies, games, and music so immersive and evocative.

Understanding Mood Through Sound

Think about the last movie you watched. Do you remember the music and sound effects? They're not just background noise—they're carefully crafted to make you feel a certain way. Here's how sound designers use different elements to set the mood:

  • Music: It can make you feel happy, sad, scared, or excited. It's no wonder that composers like John Williams or Hans Zimmer are household names—their music sets the mood like nothing else.
  • Ambient sound: This is the background noise that makes a scene feel real. It could be the hum of traffic in a city, the chirping of birds in a forest, or the silence of a deserted house. It subtly sets the mood without you even realizing it.
  • Sound effects: These are the specific noises that characters or objects make. They're often exaggerated to make them more noticeable and impactful, like the roar of a monster or the clang of a sword.

Communicating with Sound Designers

Now that you understand how sound sets the mood, you can use this knowledge to build connections with sound designers. Here's how:

  1. Speak their language: Use terms like "ambient sound", "sound effects", and "music" when discussing your project. It shows that you know what you're talking about and can communicate effectively.
  2. Share your vision: Don't just say "I want it to be scary". Be specific about the mood you want to create. Maybe you want the tension of a thriller or the heart-pounding fear of a horror movie. The more specific you are, the easier it is for the sound designer to bring your vision to life.
  3. Give feedback: If something doesn't sound right, let them know. But also explain why it doesn't work for you. Is it too loud, too soft, too creepy, or not creepy enough? Your feedback helps the sound designer understand your taste and expectations.

In the following sections, we'll delve deeper into how you can build connections with sound designers through audio branding, engaging emotion with music, creating immersive experiences with sound effects, and leveraging silence for impact.

Build Connection Through Audio Branding

Just as visuals are critical to your brand, so is audio. Audio branding is a powerful tool that can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level. And who better to help you with this than a sound designer?

What is Audio Branding?

Audio branding is all about creating an auditory identity for your brand. It's the unique sound that plays when you turn on your Mac, or the catchy jingle that you can't get out of your head. These sounds are not random—they're carefully designed to evoke a certain image or feeling associated with the brand.

Building Your Audio Brand

To build an effective audio brand, you need to understand what you want your brand to sound like. Here are a few steps to help you get started:

  1. Define your brand's personality: Is your brand fun, serious, modern, or nostalgic? Your brand's personality should be reflected in its sound. For example, a fun brand might use upbeat music, while a serious brand might opt for more subdued, elegant sounds.
  2. Consider your audience: What kind of music or sounds do they like? What will resonate with them? By understanding your audience, you can create a sound that they will connect with.
  3. Be consistent: Just like your visual branding, your audio branding needs to be consistent across all platforms. This helps build recognition and trust with your audience.

Working With Sound Designers

Building an audio brand is not a one-person job. It requires the expertise of sound designers. Here's how to build connections with them:

  • Share your brand's story: A sound designer is not just a technician—they're a storyteller. Share your brand's story, its personality, and its values. This will help them create a sound that truly represents your brand.
  • Involve them early: Don't wait until the last minute to bring in a sound designer. Involve them from the beginning. This allows them to contribute their ideas and expertise, resulting in a more cohesive and effective audio brand.
  • Trust their expertise: Sound designers know their craft. Trust their suggestions and be open to their ideas. They might suggest something you hadn't thought of that could take your audio branding to the next level.

By understanding and valuing the role of sound designers in audio branding, you can build a strong connection with them, leading to a more effective and memorable audio brand.

Engage Emotion with Music

Music is a universal language. It speaks directly to our emotions, making it a powerful tool for building connections. This is precisely why sound designers often place such a heavy emphasis on music when designing sounds.

The Power of Music

Ever wondered why certain songs make you feel happy, sad, or excited? It's because music has the power to evoke strong emotional responses. This is why, in movies and games, music often plays a significant role—it sets the mood and guides the audience's emotional journey.

Music in Sound Design

So, how do sound designers use music to engage emotion? They don't just randomly pick a catchy tune—they carefully select or create music that aligns with the desired emotion or mood. For example, a fast-paced, high-energy track might be used to create excitement, while a slow, melancholic piano piece might be used to evoke sadness.

Collaborating with Sound Designers

Want to know how to build connections with sound designers? Here's how:

  • Communicate your vision: What kind of emotions do you want to evoke? What mood are you aiming for? The clearer you can communicate your vision, the easier it will be for the sound designer to create music that fits.
  • Provide feedback: Don't be shy about providing feedback. If a piece of music isn't hitting the mark, let the sound designer know. They won't take it personally—it's all part of the process.
  • Respect their expertise: Remember, sound designers are experts in their field. They understand how to use music to engage emotion. So, while your input is valuable, also trust in their expertise.

By effectively collaborating with sound designers, you can use music to engage emotion, creating a deeper connection with your audience.

Create Immersive Experiences with Sound Effects

Sound effects aren't just about adding noise to a scene—they're about creating an immersive and believable experience. They add depth and realism, drawing the audience in and making them feel like they're part of the action.

Sound Effects in Action

Imagine a scene in a movie: a car chase. Without sound effects, you'd only have the visuals to go by. But add in the roar of the engines, the screeching of tires, and the sudden crash of metal—and you're no longer just watching the scene, you're experiencing it. That's the power of sound effects.

Working with Sound Designers

Working with sound designers to create these immersive experiences can be a rewarding process. Here's how to build connections with sound designers in this context:

  1. Define your needs: What kind of sound effects are you looking for? What's the purpose of these sounds? Are they meant to enhance the action, add realism, or create a specific mood? Clarity on these points can help the sound designer understand and meet your needs.
  2. Stay open to ideas: Sound designers are creative professionals. They may come up with ideas for sound effects that you hadn't considered. Stay open to their ideas and you might be pleasantly surprised.
  3. Establish a good working relationship: Communication is key. Regularly check in with the sound designer, provide feedback, and show appreciation for their work. This can help build a positive working relationship and lead to a successful collaboration.

With the right approach, working with sound designers to create sound effects can lead to a richer, more immersive experience for your audience.

Leverage Silence for Impact

Silence can speak volumes. In the world of sound design, the absence of sound can be just as impactful as its presence. It creates contrast, builds anticipation, and emphasizes the sounds that follow. Let's explore how to use silence to build connections with sound designers.

Using Silence for Effect

Consider this: A dramatic scene in a movie where the dialogue stops, the music fades, and all you're left with is silence. It feels like time has stopped, doesn't it? That's the power of silence. It creates a pause, a space for the audience to process what's happening.

In music, a well-placed rest can make the following note seem louder and more dramatic. In a podcast, a moment of silence can emphasize a point and give the listeners a moment to think. Silence grabs attention—use it wisely.

Building Connections through Silence

So, how do you build connections with sound designers using silence? Here are three ways:

  1. Express your vision: If you have specific ideas for how to use silence, share them with your sound designer. They can help bring your vision to life.
  2. Trust their expertise: Sound designers understand the power of silence. They know when to use it and when not to. Trust their instincts and let them guide the process.
  3. Collaborate: The best results come from a true partnership. Engage in open dialogue, exchange ideas, and work together to create the most impactful sound design.

Remember, silence isn't just the absence of sound—it's a powerful tool in its own right. By understanding and appreciating its value, you can build stronger connections with sound designers and create more impactful sound designs.

If you're eager to further enhance your understanding of sound design and its role in building connections, be sure to explore the workshop 'The Importance of Sound Design' by Jessy Moussallem. This workshop will provide valuable insights and techniques to help you master the art of sound design and create meaningful connections through your work.