How to use audio in video effectively?

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You may think that audio in a video is a rule. But it isn’t. Some videos make their message clear without it. Mute videos can be pretty intense and effective. Silence itself serves a dramatic purpose.

But you are here because you want audio on your video. First, you need to learn that there are different types of audio you can use.


Types of Audio in a Video

1. Dialogue

The dialogue between characters in the video is the first type of audio. It can be a conversation or a monologue. 

It is helpful to share the conversation frame between the character/s and your audience. It lets you know what is happening and how the characters are experiencing it.


2. Background Music

Mission Impossible. There is an unmistakable sound associated with that movie, and that is the background music. Have you thought about its purpose? It helps to set the tone of the scene. 

With background music, you can make a series of profound events seem funny, sad, or even scary. You can create tension by creating a build-up (Think horror movies). 

It also helps to create an association. Think about brands. McDonald’s “I’m loving it” Jingle, for example. It’s catchy and memorable. Even if you don’t like the food or the company, you know the tune.  

Every video has a message. And the goal of any messenger is to make its message memorable. Adding background music that stays in your head is a great way to achieve that.


3. Voice Over

First, a voice-over IS NOT a narration. The voice is not part of the narrative of the video. Think about Online Courses, videos, instructionals, and tutorials. The goal of those types of videos is to teach you something using visual guidance, and they often come with a voice that walks you through the concepts and actions. 

You can also use it in videos in which you want commentary on how certain things were done. Like when you watch the “How it was filmed” video of a movie. 

Brands add voice-overs in videos to explain the meaning of what you are looking at. Look at these commercials. Watch them on mute and then with the sound on, and see the difference.



4. Narrator

Use a narrator when you want one person to tell you the story of the video. There are four different types of narrators:

1. First person: “I was walking down the street and then….”

2. Second person: “You were walking down the street when….”

3. Third person narrator: “She was walking down the alley when….”

4. Omniscient narrator: This type of narrator can be part of the story or an outside observer. The main characteristic is that this narrator knows everything. Everything is observable and what is not.



How to use audio

You can use one or a   combination of the different types of audio in your videos. As long as it makes sense and helps you communicate your message.

Remember the goal:

To make what you have to say clear, understandable, and memorable.


Agus Esperón

Wideo Co-Founder & Head of UX/Design


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