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Sound Design in Animation

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You can have the best animators, artists, and writers in the business working at your disposal, but without a skilled sound designer, you’ll end up with an average video at best.

You see, sound design isn’t just about sound effects; it’s about music and voiceover, too. Use it effectively, and you’ll bring an animation to life. Mix it in an amateur fashion, and watch your state-of-the-art video take on a distinctly cheap feel.

Neglect it, then, at your own risk…

One of the main things a sound designer has to consider is how much audio should be used to reinforce the animation’s visuals. How much is too much? And, just as importantly: how little is too little?

There’s no hard and fast rule that can be applied to each and every animation. But, by and large, the general look of an animation will determine the sort of sound design that it requires.

The type of sound design that works with a minimalist explainer video might come across sparse – or worse, unfinished – in a busier animation. On the other hand, sound design that might help to create an industrious atmosphere in one video might appear chaotic in another. Just like music composition, if you have too many sounds competing for the viewer’s attention, the most important points might be lost in the cacophony.

And, providing you’ve picked your voice artist wisely, you’ll have vocals that you won’t want to drown out with music and sound effects.

Voiceover is one of the best ways you can communicate a message to an audience. As a result, it’s important not to cut corners when casting a voice actor. Unless it just so happens that Emma from Accounts is a trained public speaker, it’s rarely a good idea to use internal staff. Nine times out of ten, it’ll come across like they’re reading a script. Leave it to the professionals.

You’ll need to spend just as much time picking the correct music track for your animation. A good track will reinforce the mood of the video. Finding the right sort of music should be a fairly intuitive process. You wouldn’t, for example, pick a drum and bass track for an animation on pension funds.

As you can see, sound design is an art form in its own right. If you’re investing time and money on the visual, what’s the point when you could undo it all by scrimping on the sound?

If you’d like to see how Squeezed Media can filter out all the noise and make you a bespoke animation with high-quality sound design, why not visit us at or drop in for a chat at our Soho-based office.