Sound Effects

Sound effects describe any meaningful, audible content that is not spoken. When captioning sounds, format them in ALL CAPITALS within round brackets (parentheses).

  • Sounds should be described clearly and briefly.

Eg. (DOOR SLAMS) not (STUDENT CLOSES DOOR LOUDLY)

  • Sounds that occur as part of speech should be captioned if they are meaningful. Adding unimportant incidental sounds can be confusing for the viewer.

Eg. LECTURER: (LAUGHS) That’s what I meant!

Eg. LECTURER: So, if we turn to page 7…

not LECTURER: So, if we (SNIFFS) turn to page 7…(PAGES TURNING)

  • If there is an interference in the audio which prevents you from captioning speech, or if the speaker is distant from the recording device, use the label (INAUDIBLE) to indicate this.

Eg. STUDENT: I wasn’t sure if…(INAUDIBLE)

not STUDENT: I wasn’t sure if…(STUDENT SPEAKS QUIETLY)

More questions? See our Recorded Captioning Style Guide.

Updated on September 10, 2020

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