Originally published in Encore
Often audio is thought of last in the production process. We need to remember that audio is a major part of a show. There are the relevant sound effects and music to underscore the production. When picking sound effects for a show you need to make sure that they are the right era and country. We all have seen plays set in Britain with an American phone ring. So we need to be careful with the sorts of sound effect’s you can use. So where do you get your effects? If you are lucky the company may have a collection of sound effects discs. If you have suitable equipment you can record them yourself. You can also source sound effects online from a variety of sources like “Sounddogs” or SoundSnap.com. Here you will have to pay for the individual effects.
For music you will need to pay for the rights to use the music during the production. You will need to get onto APRA as soon as you know what tracks you are using and how much. They will then tell you how much the fee is going to be.
Now you have all of your music and effect’s what next? Often you will need to edit the various tracks so therefore you will need some software on your computer to do this. I would recommend Audacity as it is free. This allows you to trim, add effects and even do multi-track soundtracks for those complicated effects.
Another piece of softeware to consider for playing back your soundtrack is Multiplay. This is another free package from an Australia. It will play back your cues and you can add fades etc. So much better than Windows media player and iTunes.