Sound design for Trailer: Onirike
Discover the key stages to the sound of a trailer: Sound Design, Music, and Mix.
by Javier H.G. Belze
A promotional trailer should help us launch our product or service. In the end, it is a tool to attract the attention of a target audience, generate expectations and sales. For this, we must take care of all the details: structure, video selection, rhythm, texts, narration, color, and sound.
In this case, I would like to share the process for the latest Onirike presentation trailer: a Devilish Games video game for which I am developing an Integral Audio solution: Music, Sound Design, and Sound Implementation in Middleware (FMOD and Unity).
Let’s get started.
The main objective of the sound section is to help with the construction of the story. We must accompany, clarify, and highlight what the images convey. For this, we use tools as narration, sound textures, music, and effects. The result will depend on the music selection, sound design, and finally, mixing and mastering to integrate all the elements and give them spatiality.
Music is a very important emotional narrative tool that supports the story that the image wants to convey.
For this project, I received the draft of the Devilish Games trailer with one of our demo tracks composed for the game: The music from «The Putrid Zone«. The music reflected that magical and fun touch that they were looking for for this trailer, so there was a lot of work ahead.
Here you can listen to the full track for the game:
Onirike: Putrid Zone
«The music reflected that magical and fun touch that they were looking for for this trailer».
Once the structure of the video was analyzed, I adapted the duration and parts of the song to it, so that the changes in the music coincided with those of the trailer. I also increased the tempo of the music to match the rhythm of the images, especially in the part where the dangers are shown, where the musical arrangements were also modified according to the image, to create empathetic music.
With the final track, I decided to send the click track along with the music so that they could fine-tune the timing between music and video. Synchronizing changes between videos with precision greatly improved the pacing of the trailer.
Let’s compare the music arrangements between a fragment of the original track (demo) and the definitive one.
Sound design helps us to create an environment and space that supports the images.
In this case, the video captures did not incorporate audio so I had to recreate all the sound effects. Luckily, he had all the sounds he had generated for the game.
With the most relevant foley effects synchronized, I generated environmental sound effects (acousmatic) that together with the music and the foley help us to make the video more immersive, supporting the very special aesthetic that the game has.
Let’s listen to the elements of sound design isolated from music and narration.
Narration – Voice Over
Narration is also a very important narrative tool that provides an informative and narrative context through the words.
I edited it to follow the song rhythm and I mixed to give it that more cinematic look, as well as give it a spatiality that would accompany the rest. Likewise, I cleaned it from mouth sounds that stand out by giving it an adequate volume and equalization.
Let’s listen to the difference between the original recording and the processed one.
The final part focuses on integrating all the sound elements, looking for the plane of each one with all the tools that digital audio offers us (Volume, Panorama, Dynamics, Fx).
Perhaps the key part of the process is the balance between the voice and the rest of the elements. Although the simplest would be to reduce the volume of music and sound effects, this would significantly reduce the impact of the sound. Of course, always following the industry standard.
To do this, attenuate the frequencies that can subtly affect the understanding of the voice from the rest of the sound elements. I also assigned two sidechain compressors (monoband and multiband) that activate when the voice of the narrator is speaking, reducing the volume and frequencies of the music and sound design to allow the voice to be better understood.
This is the final result of the trailer. If you like the game, add it to your Steam wishlist, which always helps. Hope you like it!