Stingers are short pieces of audio that are used to ‘sting’ a moment; to emphasise a gap in pacing, or as intro/outro to a podcast or radio program. Stingers can be their own unique asset or can be striking or conclusive parts to your soundtrack such as a final chord that rings out at the end of a phrase.
‘Stingers’ can be a weird thing to explain but if you start paying attention to films and television (or YouTube clips), you’ll start to hear them everywhere. They are basically like mini-soundtracks, sprinkled throughout a project to create moments of emphasis.
In our project ‘When Does the Light Turn On’ I used a big echo-ey bell sound as a stinger whenever there was a moment that demanded auditory punctuation. In other projects I have used heartbeat sounds as stingers to emphasise certain emotions at the end of powerful moments or light hearted stingers to push the pacing of a scene forward into the next.
A few CM stinger examples
In my experience, I have found it’s quite difficult to make a convincing sounding stinger that really accentuates the moment. There are many good wesbites offering royalty free stingers and loops you can use for your projects. One good example is Royalty Free Music Dot Com. They provide a wide selection of (paid) stingers that are categorized by feel (pop, drone, electronic, ambient etc) so you can easily navigate to that perfect sample. You might be able to find some free ones online too, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch. And if there is, it’s probably kinda rubbish, so be warned.