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  • Sam Darling

Sound design pet peeves

An interesting side effect of this switch to streaming services on our phones and tablets is that I watch TV with headphones on a lot more than I used to.

Perhaps for this reason, and also the tendency to watch a few episodes of a series in a row, I’ve become much more aware of sound design and sloppy sound cues. It reminds me of the unusual laugh that sticks out in a laugh track so you notice when it is looped.

Here are some examples from a variety of TV shows as I spot trends:

When show cuts to the same countryside location they always start the scene with the sound of a crow cawing.

When characters enter a lower class apartment building the muffled sounds of a baby crying.

When characters are in an office scene there will be the same phone ring sound at the same point in the scene, usually twenty seconds in.

Gritty scene always entail wet streets and honking cars.

Have we become more savvy in our viewing or will our viewing push creators to change how they package their shows? Or maybe I’m the only one who gets distracted by this stuff. What are  your auditory pet peeves?

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