Sound Design – The Process


This page describes the stages that a theatre sound designer should go through when taking on the role. The sound design process is broken down into a number of stages, which require different types of engagement with the project, from completely creative (reading the script and coming up with ideas with the director) to completely technical (specifying the system for playback / reinforcement).
It’s not ‘sound design explained’ as there’s a lot more to it, but it will give you an overview of what happens in what order.
Sound design for a musical is very different from a play, which is very different from an immersive site-specific installation, so this is a loose guide! 

While this page is under construction, here are some videos to help.

Step One: Read The Script

Step Two: Discuss Ideas With the Director

Step Three: Determine Style

Step Four: Lists

Cue No.SoundAction / NotesTimingPage No.
1Preshow MusicPlay loop as audience are entering4 minute loop0
1AFade out preshowFade out as houselights fade7 second fade0
2Cityscape #1Very quiet, under scene 18 minutes, played twice1 - 4
3Crossfade into Crickets backgroundEnd of scene 1, crickets play through scene change1 minute 30 seconds4
4Car arrivesJust before Clive enters12 secs7
5Fade out cricketsWith lighting blackout5 seconds9

Step Five: System

  • Sound Playback
  • Sound Reinforcement

Step Six: Running


See also:


Keywords: Sound Design for Theatre, Theatre Sound Design