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1.5. Audio challenges and limitations

Audio formats do not have universal browser support, nor is there widespread use of one particular format. Adoption of a single audio format has been slow due to technical challenges that include browser incompatibilities, severe bandwidth limitations, and unwieldy plug-ins:

Sound advice tips from the sound designer of the film Titanic


Gary Rydstrom, Academy Award-winning sound designer for Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, and Titanic, provides seven common film sound design techniques that also pertain to designing sound for a web site:

  • Pay attention to the sounds around you in your everyday life. Imagine how you would recreate them with effects.

  • Focus on sounds that have the highest emotional impact. Use sounds that help build and strengthen the character and theme of your web site.

  • Keep your soundtrack simple. Do not let it get too busy with distracting sounds; the soundtrack should pull you into the content of the web page. Only one or two sounds should be dominant in the mix at any given time.

  • Try to orchestrate the sounds in your mix so that they use the entire frequency spectrum of bass, mid-range, and high-pitched tones. Avoid the simultaneous use of sounds that fill the same frequency range, such as a mid-range voice and cello or a bass guitar and baritone male voice.

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