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How to Enhance a Promo Video

Learn how to create atmosphere in your content with background music and well placed sound effects in this example

Promotional videos require a lot of effort to be truly effective. You can minimize some of that workload via well-placed sound effects and royalty-free music. In our example today, we're covering a pub's promo content - just check out the difference:

Take a look at this short promotional video for a pub, which doesn’t contain any audio. While you’re watching, note the moments in the clip where you could add sound effects and see if we use any of your ideas below.

→ Explore thousands of curated sound effects and add them to your SFX library. Royalty free high quality sounds ready for any platform. Start Free with SFX Cellar.

What’s wrong with the video?

As mentioned above, the video doesn’t have any audio in it. As a content creator you could find yourself in this situation for a number of reasons. You could be working on a project with a budget that only covered the camera and the shoot location; or maybe the audio corrupted due to a technical error at some point. Perhaps adding audio in post was the intention all along — premium music and sound effects services like Music Cellar and SFX Cellar make it easier than you’d think!

Whatever the reason, it’s obvious that the project is only half finished, and adding audio is the next step. With just a few sound effects we can bring some of the moments in the video to life and create the effect of atmosphere in the pub. At the same, the right background music will round off the project and leave us with a great promo video that’s perfect for social media.

Using sound effects for atmosphere

The goal with our SFX use in this project is to create a better sensory experience for people watching the pub promo video. Sound effects make visual worlds come alive, whether it be foley artists recreating realistic ambient noises in cinema, or videographers creating auditory transitions that pair well with their shot selections.  

Choosing realistic sounds

From the 0.08 second mark in the video, we see a few shots of a bartender pouring drinks, followed by some super close-up shots of the drinks themselves. These types of shots are common in food or drink promo videos, as they immediately switch on the connection between the viewer’s brain and their taste buds, making them crave a cold drink or a sizzling burger. We want to enhance that sensory experience for the viewer, so we’ll focus on getting the right sound effects to go with what they’re seeing on screen. 

We need liquid sounds, so let’s pull up SFX Cellar and type “water” into the search bar. This search returns 810 results, but we can set the list to descending alphabetical order to  show us files whose descriptions begin with our search term. On page six of the search results we start seeing terms like “water-filled” and “water pouring”, so we’ll download a few that sound right for the speed of the drink pouring in the video. We’ll also add in some ice cube sounds and fizz for the close-up shots. Take a listen to the isolated liquid sound effects that we chose below:

Water Sounds

Adding ambience

The second task with the sound effects in this project is to add some atmosphere to the scene. As you can tell from the footage, this isn’t a busy pub – maybe it hadn’t opened yet or had hospitality restrictions imposed upon it – but we can still use some light crowd chatter to create a more welcoming setting. 

In the Videographer and YouTuber collection on SFX Cellar, there are a variety of useful ambient sound effects, one of which is the background noise of a coffee shop. We’ll use this sound as a backdrop for the wide shot of the pub, and a service bell noise to mark the moment when the drinks are ready. Have a listen to the isolated audio of these sound effects below:

Pub Ambience

Adding background music

No promo video is complete without music, so for our final job we’ll head straight over to Music Cellar and see what we can find. We want something that has a bit of a bar or lounge vibe, so we’ll open up the Midnight Jazz album and browse through the hand picked tracks inside. After demoing a couple of the tracks, the George Street Shuffle track stands out. It’s got jazz bar piano chords, brushed drums and a warbling melody that strikes a cheerful, relaxed tone. 

Check out the entire pub promo video below, with SFX and background music combined!

September 08, 2021
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