Dear TV Sound Effects Person

I am sure you have a true job title like “sound engineer” or “audio artistic developer” or something else like that, but right now I am irritated at you and therefore I don’t care about searching out your true title. I usually appreciate what you do. You add wonderful audio elements to the TV shows and films that I watch which help to immerse me in the world of the video I am watching. It wouldn’t be the same without you adding both small and big sound effects. Doors should sound a little squeaky when they are opened and you make sure they do, and how else will I know that someone drove by rather fast without that little tire squeal that you add to the scene.

Yet every now and then you add a sound effect that sounds more like something going wrong in my house than it does anything that would be happening in the movie. For example, last night when Pam and I were watching the 2016 Call the Midwife Christmas Special.

Now don’t judge me. Call the Midwife is excellent. It is a really compelling show and as a member of a care giving profession and the spouse of another member of said profession I will add that the care fictionalized on Call the Midwife is usually a wonderful example of how to listen to someone in need. The fact that I get bonus points with Pam for watching the show … well that’s just gravy.

Anyhow last night the cast of Call the Midwife cast was in South Africa. It was a very good episode, as usual. You however, Mr or Ms Sound Effect person, decided to randomly add the small tweet of a song bird in the background of many scenes. I’ve never been to South Africa so I wouldn’t know if there should be song bird tweets or not. I do know there weren’t random lion roars sprinkled throughout the episode. Anyhow the tweet was never very obvious so I never thought “Hey there’s a song bird tweet”. The sound effect was consistently there, sprinkled throughout the episode, and it sounded almost exactly like something going bad in our furnace or some creature deciding our warm house is a better place to winter than the very cold outdoors of Central Wisconsin.

Furnaces going out and unwanted furry visitors are a real fears up here in the cold North. If your furnace goes out when it is -3 degrees outside really bad things can happen and the battle never ends with small creatures that think “mi casa es su casa” during the yearly reign of Jack Frost. Therefore, your ears are alert for these sounds during the chilly time of the year.

Tweet, tweet, tweet. Is that a pulley going bad? Squeak, squeak, squeak. Is that a mouse figuring out if it is safe to come out and not see the cat?

It only took us a few times of stopping the DVR and listening to finally figure out the sound effect stopped every time we paused the video replay.

Darn you. Darn you all to heck sound effect people.

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