When hunting for the perfect audio for projects, it helps to know exactly what it is you’re searching for. So, what are stingers, and how do they differ from bumpers?

It doesn’t matter what your hobby or passion is, or what activities you get up to. There’s always plenty of vocabulary to learn. Knowing the technical and proper lingo can make life an awful lot easier. It helps you articulate your vision to someone, and also speeds up the search for certain things.

When you’re a creator, time is precious. If you’re a podcaster looking for audio, or you’re working on a new radio show and need sound clips, you don’t want to waste time wading through the wrong types of sounds. You also want to make sure you’re only searching through the highest quality sounds. Podcasting is becoming a saturated market as the format continues to grow in popularity. YouTube has even started paying creators to film their podcasting sessions, so incentive to be a top podcaster is definitely increasing.

What Are Stingers?

You may have heard the terms “stinger” and “bumper” before when learning about sound effects and sound design. It’s not uncommon for people to use the terms interchangeably, or mix them up.

Stingers are super short snippets of sounds, often lasting no more than 5 seconds. These tend to be used to signal the end of a scene, and transition into the next. They’re an absolute classic for any 1980s/90s American sitcoms, like Seinfeld or Friends.

They’re not only useful for breaking up stories and segments in TV, they work just as well for podcasts and radio. Depending on the tone of the production, cuts can be made without any added audio. However, if this isn’t in keeping with the rest of the project, it can make the transitions feel a little awkward and stilted. Just be careful not to overuse stingers, or you’ll end up with a cheesy mess.

Bumpers are similar to stingers, but longer and used for slightly different purposes. Usually sitting around the 30-second mark, bumpers are played underneath the end or beginning of shows or ad breaks. Often, there will be narration over the top, introducing the next show or wrapping up the last.

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