Video is to visual as audio is to...?

Just wondering what would be appropriate.

For example, I could say something like "the visual effects in that video were awesome!" But how about audio? "The audio effects in that piece of audio were awesome!" Doesn't sound so good...

EDIT: Just thought up 'auditory', would that be correct?

  • 1
    "Aural" is the corresponding word, but it doesn't sound all that great in your scenario either.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 21:31
  • "The audio effects in that [piece/recording ...] were awesome!" Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 21:32
  • 3
    Is there something wrong with sound effects? Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 21:38
  • 1
    A video has both visual and audio tracks. This analogy is going to be difficult to complete in any sensible way.
    – DavidC
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 22:09
  • @DavidCarraher Not always, the video could just be just a video track. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 22:19

2 Answers 2


You're looking for sound effects, but you asked for this:

Video is to visual as audio is to auditory.


au·di·to·ry /ˈôdəˌtôrē/ adjective –Google

of or relating to the sense of hearing. "the auditory nerves"


vis·u·al /ˈviZH(əw)əl/ adjective –Google

of or relating to seeing or sight. "visual perception"

  • The problem with the OP's question is that video and visual aren't related...it's not a correct analogy for seeing and hearing...that's why I answered with sound effects...he also gave that as an example. But maybe your answer is really what they had in mind. I give you an upvote...between the two of us, they should be able to find their meaning. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 2:13
  • Ngram of aural, auditory, acoustic; auditory wins.
    – Mazura
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 2:34
  • You're taking the phrases out of context when you use Ngram. It's a popularity contest for something taken out of context. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 2:55
  • The correct analogy should be "Seeing is to visual as Hearing is to..." in that case, auditory is correct. But he uses "video," which is now comparing apples and oranges. So somewhere between yours and mine is what the OP wants. Also, you can't just look at word popularity on Ngram to decide the meaning of something or if that something is the correct phrase. It's like needing a cardiovascular surgeon but going to a plastic surgeon because plastic surgery is more popular on Ngram. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 3:11
  • @michael_timofeev - Agreed, I don't put any stock in Ngrams. I just thought it was interesting to see, after reading this page and its link. Hmm, you're right about the analogy. The word should be audible and my definition for visual: that which can be seen.
    – Mazura
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 3:27

I believe the phrase you are looking for is "sound effects." I will explain this by talking about the different jobs that relate to sound:

Audio engineer relates to recorded sound https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_engineer. There is a picture of an audio engineer at his desk that sums up the profession. This is another good job description https://www.sokanu.com/careers/audio-engineer/

Accoustical relates to the manipulation of physical sound (as opposed to recorded) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustical_engineering. Another answer gives "accoustic effects" as a suggestion. The definition at Wikipedia should make it clear why this is incorrect. Acoustics is usually used when taking about what happens to sound in an environment, such as a theater, auditorium, violin body, or piece of metal.

In the motion picture business, the sound designer is the person whose job is analogous to the visual FX job. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_design.

The foley artist is a person on set who deals with sound and sound effects: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foley_(filmmaking). The foley artist is a kind of sound magician.

I'm not sure which stage of the recording process you are referring to when looking for the analogous profession to visual FX, so it's not possible to say exactly. For musicians and film makers the sound process is similar but has many differences. But if you are referring to how a light saber sounds, or the reverb or amp modeling on a recorded guitar sounds, or how they made the scream in Psycho, I believe "sound effects" is the best general descriptive phrase.

Auditory relates to hearing and the hearing process, so "auditory effects" doesn't make sense for your example (AHD.) Audio as pointed out above relates to the recording process so "audio effects" is not appropriate. Sonic relates to sound traveling in air (AHD) so that doesn't work (besides, we already save "sonic" for Sonic the Hedgehog) That leaves us with "sound effects."

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