EFFECTS OF SOUND EFFECTS ON MEDIA, ENVIRONMENT AND PEOPLE 2
Effects of Sound Effects on Media, Environment and People
Marshall McLuhan, in his book “the medium is the massage," argues that technologies
are the message and not the way of communication. This book focuses more on understanding
media. Through playing with the word message, the author suggests that the audience get
entertained with the mainstream media as enjoyable, soothing, and relaxing. However, the
pleasure realized from the mainstream media can be deceiving since the dynamic between
technology and society is perpetuating, and the incoherent era of anxiety. The medium is the
message that illustrates the methodology of mainstream media and how they extend to human
sense (McLuhan, Fiore & Agel, 2011). They often ground humans in physicality, which expands
to the extent of viewing life as impossible without mainstream media. This extension is well
illustrated by the theory of the global village, which makes humanity look like a full circle of
industrial analog of ethnic mentality. The book explains various points of change in how humans
view the world and how they are affected by mainstream media. The invention and techniques of
the 19th century changed drastically in the 20th century after the invention of the radio, movie,
and television programming (McLuhan, Fiore & Agel, 2011). These forms of media are
characterized by a specific sound effect that affects the perception of the audiences. The paper
will analyze various ways in which any sound effect affects media, environment, and people.
The sound effect is artificially programmed sound used for emphasizes in the content of
the film, live performance, video gaming, animation, music, and television. Sound effects are
often created in Foley. In videos and television, sound effects are normal sounds that are contrary
to dialogue and music, which is used to represent particular storytelling or bring the creativity of
a dialogue. Sound effects usually produce flanging or reverberation effects, in dialogue and
movie production. Sound effects date back to the early age of the invention of the radio. In this
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era, the sound effects were termed as profoundly connected to broadcasting and states (Moffat &
Reiss, 2019). The broadcasting play and broadcast foundation treated the sound effect with
similar magnitude with speech and music. In mainstream media, six sound effects are typically
used. These effects are the realistic confirmatory effect, practical, evocative effect, symbolic,
reminiscent effect, conventionalized effect, impressionistic effect as well as music and the effect.
No matter the category of sound effects, the main goal of the sound effect is to cause an
instantaneous impact in the mind of the listener. Failure to accomplish this, the sound effect may
not be justified to be used in such a form of media (Moffat & Reiss, 2019). The sound effect has
considerably evolved due to the invention of new types of technology, which led to the invention
of new kinds of sound effects. The use of appropriate types of sound effects has made media to
be enjoyable and soothing.
Sound effects have four major significant impacts on the nature of human beings. Sound
effects have the potential of affecting people physiologically, psychologically, cognitive, and
behavioral. In physiologically, sound effects affect the body fluid. The human body consists of
more than 70% of water (Flint & Hafeneger, 2018). Water is an excellent media of sound. In this
regard, the sound has a detrimental effect on the human body. Since hearing is automatically a
warning sense, a sudden sound can have a devastating effect on the human body. Sudden sound
triggers the release of cortisol, which, in turn, increases the heartbeat and breathing process.
Another way that sound can affect the human body is psychological. In this case, the sound is the
potential of changing the emotions and moods of a person. When favorite lyrics are played to a
person, an individual is likely to enjoy making them feel calm and happy. Some of the sound
effects may make a person feel relaxed and reassured while others are potential annoying a
person and make them feel discomfortable. The third way is that sound effect affects a human
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being cognitive. How effective a human mind work it depends on the sound that is in their
background (Flint & Hafeneger, 2018). Loud sound effects are potential in disrupting the
working ability of the human mind. Finally, sound effects affect the behavior of human beings.
Human tends to move away from unpleasant sound or noisy environment. Sound effects can
increase stress to a person, thus making them less friendly and aggressive.
Sound effects are the major signifiers in the environments. Human beings and animals are
not lonely creatures who can perceive sound, but plants are also able to detect vibration through
the effect of sound to be transmitted in water media. A noisy environment is not only harmful to
human beings but also disturbs the comfortable nature of animals. Sounds are one of the
significant indicators of environmental degradation and an important tool for creating a
sustainable ecosystem. The latest chatter of UNESCO enhances awareness of the sound as a
significant quantifier of urban planning and environmental health. Sound travels well in cold air
compared to warm air (AşcıgilDincer & Yılmaz, 2016). When the sound effect is clear, there is a
higher correlation that the environment is cold. When the sound environment is affected, it alters
the survival of some communities in the environment. Due to climate changes, various species
have been affected by resultant sound effects that come as a result of the extinction of some
species of fauna. Predators and preys that depend majorly on sound effects are not able to
survive well in an ecosystem.
Media have been characterized by the dynamic evolution of sound effects. Despite sound
in the mainstream media being enjoyable and soothing, it has various effects on the media,
human being, and environment. Sound effects have made media to evolve greatly from the eras
of Radio to the latest technology of motion pictures. Sound effects have four main effects on
human being, which are physiologically, psychologically, cognitively, and behavioral. Sound
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effects contribute to the degradation of environments as well as affect the survival of organisms
in the environment.
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AşcıgilDincer, M., & Yılmaz, S. (2016). Effect of sound environment on homework
performance. A| Z ITU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, 13(2), 79-86.
Flint, G., & Hafeneger, S. (2018). U.S. Patent No. 10,048,757. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and
McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q., & Agel, J. (2011). The medium is the massage. New York: Five Day
Moffat, D., & Reiss, J. (2019). Sound effect synthesis. In Foundations in Sound Design.