A World of Music and SFX

The stories we tell use a combination of sights and sounds. Or just sounds, in the case of much of what we produce here at CGP. But will that sound be the human voice? Certainly that’s a good starting point, but so is the simple outline that begins a rich, textured painting. We can add color and depth to the sound canvas through the use of music and sound effects.

Music reaches us in ways that words often can not. It’s very tactile. Very sensual. And music can stir the emotions from within the subconscious and set the stage for all that is to follow. Imagine, for a moment, seeing Star Wars for the first time without the music of John Williams. If you’re interested in seeing what that might look like, here’s a YouTube video that someone put together that shows a particular scene from the Star Wars franchise with no music, with no sound effects or dialog, and then with all of that put back together.

Your production may have a smaller budget than Star Wars did, but it’s need for the right colors on the sound canvas is no less critical. Your message is important, so make sure it is told well.

"Where words fail, music speaks." - Hans Christian Andersen

Creative Genius Productions offers some of the best music in the business. We are licensed and have full access to the FirstCom family of music libraries, which includes nearly 200,000 themes with thousands more added each year. We do custom searches to find just the right fit for every aspect of your presentation, then we custom edit the music so that it matches the direction of your message and changes when the subject or tone changes.

Want something original? We can help there, too. Through our relationship with FirstCom and with several independent music producers, we can provide a custom theme or an entire custom score for your next project or program. Let us discuss your music needs and provide you with a custom quote for custom music, or with a quote for providing custom edited and mixed production music for your production. Call us today!

What is Foley and do I need it?

When you say “Foley,” what you’re talking about it a type of sound effect production popularized by a man named Jack Foley (1891 – 1967). CGP is fond of sound effects because they represent yet another way to add impact to your story. It’s one thing to talk about, or even show, a person walking down the street, but without the addition of footsteps on wet pavement and the light drizzle of rain, you really haven’t told the story. And this is where Foley effects come in.

Sure, CGP has a very full sound effects library, but that’s just the stock sound effects. Foley is a type of sound effect creation process that is done in-sync with the action in a film, on television, or in an audio drama or feature. That “walking on wet pavement” we were talking about a moment ago? That’s usually done by a Foley artist on a Foley stage. In this case, a Foley actor would be walking on a relatively small pad of concrete that has had water poured on it to give the footsteps the real sound of walking in the rain. Mics are placed low near the concrete to capture the footsteps. If the sounds are to be in sync with film or video, the Foley actor will actually perform the footsteps (or whatever other action) while watching the film actor on screen. For audio dramas, the Foley actor will be listening to the scene while acting out the background sounds. These sounds are then mixed with other sounds from the sound effects library in order to create the environment in which the story unfolds. In short, Foley is the act of adding additional sounds and ambient texture to a scene.

Other sounds that are often “performed” include a chair squeaking when a person sits down, or the sound of the fabric in his clothes when he moves. When a character walks into a bar and orders a sarsaparilla, and the bartender slides a glass all the way to the other end of the counter, the sounds of the glass being picked up, the drink being poured, the glass sliding, and the bartender wiping the countertop with a rag after the fact are all examples of foley sound effects. When done right, it brings an added depth and sense of realism to any story. It helps the suspension of disbelief.

As for why one needs to add Foley effects, remember that in shooting a film or recording an audio presentation, the main job of the sound recordist is to capture the dialog. That means aiming the mic at the mouth — not the feet. Most film and episodic television production makes extensive use of Foley.

So, do you need Foley?

Well, that depends on the type of program or presentation you’re doing. Our editors are tops at sound design and can meld sounds from all different sources to set the stage for the presentation of your message. If there’s any dramatization in it at all, it’s certainly worth considering. After all, you do want your message to come alive for your listeners, don’t you?