Why a Sound-Designed Narrative Podcast?
Updated: Mar 9
Why should you put sound design in your science communication podcast?
Because making audio with voice only is using just half the potential of the medium.
Sound design encompasses all the non-linguistic elements in an audio production. From subtle and technical aspects like mixing, editing, voice treatment, to music, sound effects, location sound. Even silence is a sound design choice. All these elements together make for an enormous communicative potential. Making a podcast with voice only is certainly ok, but it's like having an F1 racing car and using it to drive around your neighbourhood.
The Entertaining Potential of Sound
As explained in our post on Narrative Podcasts, a narrative framework is a great way of making your content pleasing to the audience and easy to assimilate. If you add sound design, however, you take it to a totally different level. A narrative podcast supported by highly-crafted sound design is high quality infotainment. By enhancing the listening experience with sound design, you increase the chances that the listeners not only like but truly enjoy your podcast, keep listening to it, and recommend it to others.
The Conceptual Potential of Sound
Sound design is not a mere embellishment, though. It can support the content on a conceptual level, too. Sound represents a further layer of communication. It can be used to complement, explain, strengthen, deepen, question whatever is being said; generate emotions, trigger reactions, stimulate reflections. Last but not least, by steering the listener's imagination sound design makes up for the lack of visual input. As paradoxical as it might seem, a sound-designed podcast is an extremely visual medium.
Sound Design as a Quality Label
Sound design is a quality label for your podcast. It tells your audience that you are not just fine with talking into a microphone, but also care about the package within which your voice is delivered. It tells that you take science communication seriously, that you are committed to it. A sound-designed podcast sounds professional. You are a professional researcher, you want your science communication to sound professional, too. Don't you?
So, Why a Sound-designed Narrative Podcast?
Because storytelling is good, but without sound your story will be just half the (great) story it could be. Because sound design makes your podcast visual. Because sound design makes your podcast a professional science communication product. Everyone can make a podcast these days: sound design makes your production stand out against the big ocean of home-made podcasts and amateur science communication.