Why Audio Matters

 In Blog

Imagine that you are watching “The Today Show” on NBC. It is the morning of September 11, 2001. Matt Lauer mentions breaking news that a plane has hit the World Trade Center.

Matt uses vivid language to describe the black smoke and flames. But throughout the morning’s telecast, NBC never shows pictures. Not one video of the planes, the buildings collapsing, the smoke, flames or citizens running through Manhattan.

As a viewer, you would be very frustrated. No one in television would ever do a show that did not use pictures. So why are there so many radio shows that don’t use audio?

Radio is an aural medium, and sound is a powerful device. Sure, TV has HD video but absolutely nothing can beat theatre of the mind for connecting with audiences. Sound is your key to owning that theatre.

Here’s an example: Tomorrow morning, broadcasters all over North America will talk about “Jurassic World” opening in theaters this weekend. Most of them will not air a single clip from the movie.

But close your eyes and listen to the great audio moments in this trailer.

“Remember, if something chases you…run!”
You just went and made a new dinosaur? Probably not a good idea.”
“Evacuate the island.”

Another Today Show example: Many radio shows mentioned Tracy Morgan’s first appearance after his tragic bus accident. But no description could match hearing the emotion in Tracy’s voice, telling his first-person story in this clip.

  • Even a tiny clip of audio can bring a knockout punch.
  • Mention a recording artist – play a clip of their music.
  • Mention a sporting event – play a clip of the play-by-play.
  • Mention an awards show – play a moment of the acceptance speech.
  • Mention a film or TV show – play the theme song or a clip of dialogue.
  • Mention a local news story – play a clip from local TV coverage.
  • Mention a viral video from social media – play a clip of the best moment.

Speaking of audio, add music and sound effects that helps to tell your story. Listen to the clip in our newsletter below under “Worst Purchase Ever,” and notice how the music and sound elevates a good story from funny to hilarious.

You may be time-starved, but finding audio is easier and faster than ever. I can Google for audio/video with my MacBook, download clips and edit in about three minutes for each one. If I can do it, so can you.

I use a program called Audio Hijack that records anything that plays through my browser, and a website called Keep Vid (free service) that allows me to download YouTube videos for editing. I use iMovie for editing video and Audacity (free program) for editing audio.

Great audio can be a major competitive advantage for your show. When is the last time you found a tool that was free, easy and fast that you could beat your competitors over the head with?


Photo Credit: Audio_Bug2/Flickr

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.