How to add Environmental and Ambient Sounds to a Vlog
Take a look at this video of a vlogger filming himself going about his day. While you’re watching, think about what sound effects you could add to the video that would fit naturally in the vlogger’s world, and see if we use any of your ideas below.
Our example video is from a ‘follow me around’ style vlog, that sees the creator in different locations as they record clips throughout their day. This vlogging style is especially popular for travel videos and ‘day in the life’ vlogs. The handheld camera is picking up sounds from the world around it, so why the need for sound effects?
Well, vlogs are meant to be entertaining. The idea is to pick the most interesting parts of your day and share them with your audience, so you’re really presenting an idealised version of your life. Imagine if you vlogged the boring parts like sleeping or going to the toilet!
In the same way that you exaggerate the course of your day for entertainment purposes, there are things you can do to make the video clips that make up the vlog more interesting too. Vlogs can be jazzed up with music, graphics and sound effects that add humor, drama, or tension to the scene.
Sound effects give the audience cues to react in the way you want them to react. That’s why comedy videos have sound effects when people trip over, and why horror films have unsettling buildups right before jump scares.
By adding sound effects to your vlogs, you’re adding extra layers and dimensions, and you’ll find everything you need in SFX Cellar, our royalty free sound effects library.
- Step 1 : Choose the right sound effects
SFX Cellar is split up into curated collections and categories, which makes it easy for you to find the type of sound effects you need for your content. With collections like Videographer and YouTuber, Reactions and Impact; and categories such as Crowds, Footsteps and Animals, you can quickly browse lists of sounds for almost any type of video. You can play the sound effect to hear it, read a brief description of what it is, and download it in either WAV or MP3 format.
- Step 2 : Add environmental and ambient SFX
One great way of creating an immersive video experience is by adding ambient sound effects. Audiences will connect with your vlogs when they feel like they’re going through your day with you, and what better way to place them in your environment than by enhancing the natural sounds of the world around you?
The Background Ambiences collection on SFX Cellar is a great place to start here, with 21 high quality stereo recordings of different environments. In our video there are a few shots of the vlogger walking through the city, so we can add in some light traffic noises, public places ambience and city sounds into those scenes. You can listen to the isolated SFX below to hear how everything sounds without the original video audio.
- Step 3 : Add transitional SFX
You can create movement in your videos and blend clips together using transition sound effects. This works especially well if you are using visual transitions like dissolves or fades too, as you can sync a sound effect to go with it.
One sound effect that is commonly used to transition between shots in a video is a “whoosh”. Whooshes create movement, so they work well in a variety of situations. It’s up to you whether you want to go with a subtle or intense approach, but luckily for you SFX Cellar has a whole collection devoted to whooshes, so you’re bound to find something that works for your project.
In our vlog we’ll use whoosh effects to transition between scenes, match the movement of the vlogger, and emphasise certain objects in the shot. Adding a minor whoosh when he shows off the mini DVD is a good example of this. Listen to the isolated audio of the whoosh effects below.
The final sound effect we’ll add is footsteps. While you could argue that this is an environmental sound as we have to match it up with the type of ground we imagine the vlogger is walking on, footsteps can be a great transitional effect when you’re trying to establish a sense of movement from one scene to the next.
With just a little bit of effort, we’ve chosen some great sound effects and enhanced our vlog. Take a look at the updated video below to hear all our sound effects lined up and synced with the video. For more information on how to import and add sounds to your projects see this guide, or browse the video production section of our blog for tips on using NLE software and much more!