By the late 1960s and early ’70s, Hollywood had all but abandoned the use of full orchestras in film productions. But then the summer of 1975 arrived — and with it, a glimpse of the future, courtesy of Spielberg and John Williams. An iconic “duuun dun … duuun dun” score set the box office ablaze. A foreboding nightmare hidden beneath the depths of the Atlantic. Responsible for the coining of the worldwide movie industry phrase “summer blockbuster,” the movie “Jaws” showed everyone with its musical score how much power the art of sound has on the human soul.

There’s magic housed within every musical note known to mankind — magic that has the ability to tap into the full spectrum of human emotion.

In the advertising world, sound design and editing on broadcast creative (TV spots, commercials, social videos) have just as big of an impact on our clients’ consumers. So, Trilix took the opportunity to interview our in-house expert: Phil Young, resident sound designer/producer.

How would you sum up sound design in one to two sentences?

Phil: Sound design is creating an overall sonic world for a piece of art, especially media like film, TV shows, live theater, commercials and podcasts. It can also apply to more abstract multimedia visual art forms and even music recordings.

Many agencies do not have an in-house sound engineer/designer. What does it mean for Trilix that we not only have this capability, but also the production team to support this difference-making art?

Phil: I believe having a dedicated sound designer and sound engineer at Trilix gives us a soaring advantage. There is a level of consistency and quality that can be carried from one project to the next. Whether it’s a podcast, commercial for television or an internal training video for a client, each piece is given the same attention to detail and focus as the next.

I use cooking analogies a lot when describing my position. Imagine if you had only one person working in a kitchen. They are really good at cooking, but they also have to chop the veggies. Then that same person cooks the food; once the food is done cooking, they then prepare it on a nice-looking plate and finally bring it out to you at your table. That would take a long time, and they probably would give the cooking part the most attention because that’s the part they really like to do. Now, imagine if you had one person who really enjoys chopping veggies, another person who really enjoys cooking, yet another person who enjoys making the food look amazing on a plate and finally someone who really enjoys serving the guests. Instead of one person splitting their attention across multiple jobs, you have multiple people who are fully focused on the one job and give it 100% of their attention.

At Trilix we have a team with diverse skill sets, and each person is focused on making sure they do their part to the best of their ability. Adding sound design to our recipe enriches the final product even more.  

How does sound engineering/design elevate video production work?

Phil: Sound design can really elevate video work. There are some fantastic examples on the internet of breaking down some movie scenes from just the basic “on set” audio to adding all the SFX (sound effects), ambience and final touches to immerse the viewer into the world that is seen in the video. When done right, sound design can remove the “glass screen” between you and the video and make you believe you are there in the world of the video you are watching. A lot of times, when done right, you won’t really notice sound design, unless you’re listening for it. For instance, your brain knows you should hear the sound of a door closing, but it’s bizarre if you don’t hear that audio added into a piece. When done poorly, you will certainly notice it, and it can really disrupt your experience.

If you could pick one project to share with us that you collaborated on within Trilix, which would it be?

Phil: The 2023 Stine Seed Brand video would be a great example. I added some musical elements to the pre-existing song (re-tracked guitars and some bass guitar), as well as additional SFX (atmospheric sounds, specifically), then mastered the audio.

Interested in working with us on your next campaign? Got some ideas you think we could help bring to life? We’re ready, willing and excited to speak with you and learn about your brand or business.