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Posted by on Dec 31, 2010 | 2 comments

Happy New Year!

I just want to thank you all for the incredible support to Designing Sound during 2010 and wish you the best for 2011.

Thanks for visiting the sites! I hope the next year comes with very cool things on all the sites. There’re some cool things coming in January and February, so stay tuned!

Happy new year!

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Posted by on Dec 31, 2010 | 1 comment

Frank Bry Special: Reader Questions

Here are the answers to the questions you sent for Frank Bry. Hope you enjoyed the special as we did. Many thanks to Frank for the amazing work!

Designing Sound Reader: Would you care to share your full gear? Some recording dos and dont’s too perhaps? :) And they sound so clean! How post-processed are these samples?

FB: Thanks for the kind words. My gear consists of a Sound Devices 702 and a Fostex FR-2 for my main stand alone recorders. I mostly use the SD 702 nowadays and will use the FR-2 for a large multi-microphone session like guns or crashes. I also have a Sony PCM-D1 and PCM-D50 compact hand held recorders that I use for stealth recording and convenience. My microphones are a Sanken CSS-5, Audio Technica AT-835ST and a Sennheiser MKH-416. As far as post processing the sounds I try and keep it to a minimum. I will use a Low Cut filter sometimes on sounds that I recorded with a boom or sounds that have no frequencies below 50Hz or so. If the sound requires EQ I will use a Linear Broadband or Low Band EQ on them to see if I can fix them up a bit. For sounds that have excessive noise or were recorded in a noisy environment I will use Waves C4 just a little to help repair or sweeten the sound. For the most part my sounds are as close to the original recordings as I can get and I do employ fade ins and outs that best help the sound and remain true to the original.

DSR: What’s the oldest/first sound in your library, that you recorded?

FB: I can tell you that the sounds is no longer in my library. It was the sound of breaking glass that I recorded into an E-Mu Emax keyboard back in 1987. I was really into pink floyd at the time and loved the sound design and effects in the album THE WALL. I was working on a song I was writing and I wanted to add something to the snare sample I was using and though a sharp glass break sound might work. I was working in a spare room in this huge house and was at the top of a stairway in the large entrance hall. I was dangling a SM-57 from the top of the staircase railing down over a paper bag full of plates and glasses and dropped some of the plates into the bag. Strange way to record a sound effect but I did not have a mic stand at that moment and was working alone. That is the first organic sound effect I ever recorded, 8-bits of audio delight!

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Posted by on Dec 29, 2010 | 1 comment

Frank Bry Special: Sound Design for Supreme Commander: This Is Just Way Too BIG!

[Written by Frank Bry for Designing Sound]

In early 2005 I was scrambling to finish up Dungeon Siege II, in a mad dash to gold master, and I was approached by the producer for Supreme Commander (abbreviated SupCom). I was asked to come up with a hundred or so sound effects for aN E3 demo and to a create a full on audio track for a cinematic trailer. I was so busy working 16 hours days on Dungeon Siege II that I wondered how the hell I was going to get these sound effects and a trailer done. I had some time before SupCom was ready for these sounds. The cinematics team was working overtime to make the trailer so my only concern was for the Dungeon Siege II deadline. I finally ended up spending a week on the SupCom sounds and fit the trailer into the schedule here and there as the video was finalized. The week I spent designing sound effects for SupCom is a blur now, but one thing that came out of it was that I had the basis for what would become the “vibe” for each of the three warring factions the United Earth Federation, the Cybran, and the Aeon. Because of time constraints, I had to work quickly. I had no time to experiment and did not want to use stock CD library sounds on their own. This demo was a big deal and sound was going to play a big role in presenting SupCom to the world. There was to be private demos for a select few and these select few were the ones who needed to hear SupCom in all its glory even with all the E3 Expo noise on the show floor. I had my work cut out for me and so it began. Here is a little background on Supreme Commander which was released in early 2007.

Supreme Commander is a real-time strategy computer game set in the future and designed by Chris Taylor and developed by Gas Powered Games (GPG). The game is considered to be the spiritual successor to Taylor’s 1997 game, Total Annihilation for which I designed all the sound effects. SupCom is focused on using a giant bipedal mech called an Armored Command Unit (or ACU) to build a base, then upgrading units to reach higher technology tiers, and conquering opponents. The player can command one of three nations: the Aeon Illuminate, the Cybran Nation, or the United Earth Federation. These ACUs are designed to be transported through quantum gateways across the galaxy and contain everything necessary to create a 37th century army from a planet’s native resources. All regular units except Commanders and summoned Support Commanders are self-sufficient robots. All units and structures belong to one of four technology tiers, or “Tech” levels, each tier being stronger and more efficient than the previous.

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Posted by on Dec 29, 2010 | 0 comments

New Sound Lab, Independent SFX Library of Tor Johnson

New Sound Lab is an independent sound library site created by Tor Johnson. The library features field recordings from Southern California. From nature to metropolis, Tor’s goal is to have a wide variety of high quality, usable sound packages fit for any sound designer’s collection. All releases are recorded in either 96khz or 192khz using a Sanken CSS-5 microphone and Sound Devices 702 recorder. Photos of recording locations, GPS coordinates and other meta data are included.

There are three sfx collections already available on the site:

  • Space Echo 201 ($25) – Features 75 WAV files (1.01GB) recorded from a RE-201 processor. The samples are collected from the space echo self oscillation, as well the triggered delay from various sound sources. Use these samples for the classic Space Echo sound or chop up and manipulate them for new sound creation/design.
  • Rock Slides ($25) – Includes 57 recordings (272MB) of various small rock, pebble, and other debris slides.
  • San Antonio Creek ($25) – Features 32 recordings (1.17GB) of the remote San Antonio creek located in the Angeles National Forest. The creek morphs from almost a trickle at 8,000 feet to a large waterfall below, allowing for a wide range of moving water sounds to be captured.

There’s another library coming soon, called LAX Aircraft, featuring recordings of several airplanes, such as Airbus A330, Boeing 737, 757, 747, and Bombardier 800.

For more info visit: New Sound Lab | Twitter | SoundCloud

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Posted by on Dec 27, 2010 | 7 comments

Frank Bry Special: Sound Effects Transformation: From This to That

[Written by Frank Bry for Designing Sound]

I don’t often have time to mess around with the sounds I record. Between recording new sound effects and game sound design, I am just tapped out as far as time is concerned. The remainder of my available time involves cataloging new assets, editing metadata, or editing sounds for a new release. Every now and then I will wander off into another world and experiment with my own sound effects. If I find a sound that catches my imagination, I might start mangling it to death either with plug ins in Pro Tools, Peak Pro, or the VST Rack in Soundminer.

When I started out in sound design, I used a keyboard sampler such as the Emulator III. I learned that sounds take on a totally different quality when played back at multiple pitches at the same time. I grew very fond of working this way and spent many years messing around with all types of sound effects. I could take a simple metal door slam, and by playing a few chords on my keyboard, I could created a massive space ship impact or a heavy robotic footstep. I did not have Pro Tools and used a MIDI sequencer to record my events, edit the timing, and then lay back to multitrack tape, DAT, or playback live synced to video timecode. When I started using Pro Tools with my EIII, it became evident that the plug ins and digital multitrack capabilities would eventually make my EIII extinct. Or would it? I resisted as long as I could but eventually my hardware sampler was racked up and stored away. It was just too time consuming to use it, or the hard drives from that era just gave out.

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