Diegetic vs Nondiegetic Sound

This is a really quick blog post on the differences between the diegetic and nondiegetic sound we’ll need to be adding to our final Imagined World project. Sound shouldn’t be seen as an afterthought in games, stapled onto the final project, so we need to start thinking about what sort of sounds and environment noises we’re going to want to include in our Neon City.

However, first are the differences between the two:


Diegetic sounds are when their sources are visible or implied in the world environment. For example, dialogue from characters on the screen, birds in a forest, or sirens in a city.

Nondiegetic sounds have no obvious source in the scene or aren’t part of the world environment. For example, a narrative voice or musical score. The important thing to remember is nondiegetic sounds are added in post-production, so anything that may have been added as an after effect would be considered part of this sound category.

This is a short video I found that helped get the idea between the two types of sound:

And then Tony showed us a really good video about how changing a musical score can change the feeling of a film scene:

I really do like this example and how the sound can really make a difference to a movie like this. One of the best parts of this film was the musical score and how it match the whimsy of Jack Sparrow.

Another really neat sub-10 minute video we were shown was about how musical scores in films play on your emotions and set the tone for an entire scene. It just encapsulates how important the sound of a film (or video game) actually is and what it does to the people interacting with it.



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