Categories Menu

Recent articles

Berkeley Film Foundation – Alan Splet Award

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 | 0 comments

The Berkeley Film Foundation has established a new grant in honor of sound designer Alan Splet. From their website:

Please join BFF in honoring Alan Splet by donating to a new grant that we have named for him.

Alan was a well-known and extremely admired sound designer who collaborated with David Lynch, Phil Kaufman, Peter Weir, Carroll Ballard, Frank Oz and numerous other filmmakers. Many Bay Area editors worked with Alan on Blue Velvet, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Henry & June, The Elephant Man, Rising Sun, The Black Stallion, Wind, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Dead Poets Society.

He was a visionary who not only created a unique sound for each film, he also helped to establish the Bay Area as a highly regarded locale for post-production sound for film.

The Berkeley Film Foundation is proud to honor Alan’s legacy by granting a deserving filmmaker the Alan Splet Award, beginning in 2015.

These are the kinds awards that encourage filmmakers to think about the use of sound in their film. As such, it’s very existence benefits us all. If you would like to contribute to the grant, you can visit their website (linked above), or go directly their donation page on Paypal.

Review: Dehumaniser

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 | 3 comments

Dehumaniser_Box_Pro11-copy

While it has been out for a while now, I finally got my hands on a review copy of Dehumaniser from Krotos LTD. Dehumaniser has gotten a good bit of buzz in the professional sound design community and rightly so. It is a rock-solid solution for quick and easy monster voices. Dehumaniser is “a software standalone vocal processor that allows the production of creature / monster sounds, efficiently in real time. It is designed to produce studio–quality sounds by using multiple layers of sound manipulation techniques simultaneously. Connect a microphone to your sound interface or even use your computer’s built-in microphone and create astonishing creature sounds in seconds, using your voice.”

The TL;DR version of this review is: Dehumaniser its pretty fantastic and you should probably get it. The speed and quality you get is definitely worth £199. What you make with Dehumaniser you might not use alone, but as a layer in an overall creature/monster vocalization. That said; it is certainly possible to only work in Dehumaniser and get exactly what you want for a vocalization. To do so you will have to dig a bit into the Advanced Mode and take advantage of the Animal Convolution, Pitch Shifting, Dual Plug-ins and many of the other 8 processing channels.

(more…)

“Hearing Lips and Seeing Voices” – The McGurk Effect

Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 | 0 comments

Want to see something that’ll mess with your head?

YouTube Preview Image

Now, you may not have noticed anything all that strange watching the video, but mute the sound and watch it again. After that, close your eyes and listen to just the audio. Notice anything strange now? You’ve just witnessed one of the more interesting perceptual illusions, the McGurk effect.

(more…)

The Field Recordist

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 | 0 comments

A short film about a lifetime of field recording from Lawrence Barker.

Best heard with headphones to appreciate the full stereo field.

This film is a personal reflection of my own passion for audio field recording over the past 45 years.

“Audio field recordings act as a powerful trigger, transporting me back to the original place they were captured………they are more powerful than any image captured on camera and even surpass those caught on video – they are quite magical!”

Lawrence Barker.

Psychology of 10 Years of Sound in World of Warcraft

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 | 0 comments

Blindfolded character seemed appropriate.

   For this month’s topic of “Psychoacoustics” I thought I’d stretch the definition a bit and finally write an article I have wanted to for a while now, and discuss the sound design of World of Warcraft. Specifically the unscientific observations of someone (me) who has regularly experienced these sounds for fully 1/3 of their life. What I would like to discuss are my own assumptions and observations about what and how they work in a constantly evolving MMO as someone who has played this game extensively. I feel I am in a semi-unique position in having played such a long-running game, while during most of that time having some amount of sound education, and I also write articles for this here site on the interwebs. This article should be viewed in an opinion or editorial context rather than a scientific or academic context.

  (more…)

Soundsnap gets a makeover

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 | 1 comment

soundsnap

Online sound effects library Soundsnap has unveiled a brand new website. Whilst the main objective was to refresh a website design that had undergone only hairline changes since launching in 2007, the cosmetic overhaul also boasts a new user interface for searching and downloading sounds. Some of the improvements that users can benefit from include bigger and more detailed waveform graphics, a more intuitive presentation of file metadata, and an increase in the number of search results per page.

The redesign also coincides with a big effort that the company has recently put into driving new content onto the site, with new sounds and custom libraries being added to Soundsnap’s portfolio.

Soundsnap.com

Designing Sound Discussion Group – Psychoacoustics for Sound Designers

Posted by on Dec 7, 2014 | 5 comments

You can watch today’s webinar here on Designing Sound, or…if you’d like to ask questions…you can join us over on Google Hangouts to participate more directly. If you’d like to ask some follow up questions, please reach out to us through our contact page, ping me on twitter or drop a comment below.

Additional media used during the presentation after the break.

(more…)

The Sound of Story: Workshop – 5 & 6 December 2014

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 | 0 comments

lighthouse_logo

A two-day sound event will take place in Brighton, England later this week, 5-6 December. Presented by Lighthouse and Creative Skillset, The Sound of Story will feature talks and workshops from from of the UK’s top sound practitioners including Ray Beckett and Stuart McCowan, plus many others.

For more information and to buy tickets, go to: http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/the-sound-of-story

It’s All in Your Head…

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 | 1 comment

Image from Flickr user Allan Ajifo, used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Image from Flickr user Allan Ajifo, used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that all of the sounds we hear in our life are actually the result of post-processing in our brains? That what you hear might not actually be what the person next to you hears? The combination and coordination of organs that goes into the interpretation of fluctuations in atmospheric pressure is truly a marvel. We’ve given ourselves a pretty hefty challenge this month; we’re going to be focusing on Psychoacoustics. It’s not an easy subject to approach from a sound designer’s perspective, but we’re going to attempt it anyways.

…and rather than put together a separate announcement post…

This coming Sunday (December 7th), at 3:30PM U.S. Eastern, I’ll be hosting a webinar version of my AES “Psychoacoustics for Sound Designers” presentation. So, mark it on your calendars, and come to the site to watch…or go directly to our Google+ page so you can interact and ask questions during the presentation.

Next month’s featured topic will be Education. As always, we encourage contributions from the community. If you would like to contribute to this or next month’s discussions, or have something off-topic that you would like to share with the community, contact shaun {at} this website.