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The art of creating sound effects: Foley

When you watch a film, animation, cartoon or TV programme, you probably don’t give much thought to the sound. Taking my kids to watch Kung Foo Panda 3 at the cinema this week make me appreciate just how much time and effort goes into creating the sound for the aforementioned media products. The imagery on screen would be worth so much less if it wasn’t so beautifully accompanied by the immense range of sound effects and music.

Foley is the art of performing sound to picture, traditionally on a Foley stage by Foley artists. However the term Foley has become synonymous with general sound effects in libraries these days, often as a miscellaneous category. But the art of Foley is one that should be highly respected. This old but highly entertaining video below shows just how much of what you hear on screen is actually added in post production.

A recent article in the Radio Times gives some great examples of how sound is created for the radio drama series, the Archers. It can be read here.

So next time you sit down to watch a movie, TV programme or cartoon, spare some attention to the sound… it makes up at least half the experience.

By Alan