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Posted by on Jun 30, 2011 | 0 comments

Coll Anderson Special: Documentary Sound

It’s still June and the gifted Coll Anderson is still the sound designer of the month here at Designing Sound. Among many other things, Coll has done a long list of impressive documentaries and doing an interview focused on this part of his work was an obvious choice.

Among many award winning documentaries, Coll has worked on Restrepo (2010), Catfish (2010) and the Academy Award winning The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003). For this interview, he shares some thoughts on all these films and about the general collaboration with documentary filmmakers.

Designing Sound: In the interview earlier this month, you mentioned how you really love documentary filmmaking. Could you elaborate on that?

Coll Anderson: I became interested in making films through the School of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard (I knew a girl who went there, go figure…). VES has really strong roots in documentary film making and through the people who I met there I fell in love with these films that studied life, real life… Sure we can all understand that having a film crew around affects the life of any subject and thus “document” is a bit of a misnomer, but the work of people like Dick Rogers, Robb Moss, Ross McElwee, not to mention the filmmakers of that community, naturally has an affect on you, and regardless of its ultimate truth, I started to love creating that seamless believability of documentary film in its most Wisemanesque form.

DS: It seems like there’s generally way more focus on documentaries now than, say, 15 years ago. Do you feel the focus on documentary sound has changed during that period, as well?

CA: Sure, ever have to deliver a fully filled M&E for a doc…?  Viewers become more sophisticated, more aware, every year.  That just naturally feeds into the stories documentaries tell. It becomes so important to keep the interaction between viewer and film on a subconscious level and sound is to me the plane where that connection happens.

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Posted by on Jun 30, 2011 | 0 comments

New SFX Libraries: Toys, Trains, Water, Springs, Mangled Metal, Holograms

New libraries have been released.

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Daniel Gooding launches Affordable Audio 4 Everyone, with the introduction of The Magic ToyBox, a SFX library released as “pay as you can” model. Any purchase over $5 will go to charity.

From the great depths of the basement, came forth the sounds of toys, and games of old. Over 320 recordings of 22 different wonderful sounding toys, and games plus a few extras found in the toybox. Over 80 designed sounds to add to the mix, and show many of the possibilities. Each File is recorded in 24-bit 96kHz. All sounds were recorded with a Rode NTK Condenser mic, with an Apogee One Pre-amp.

More info at Daniel Gooding’s site.

Martin Pinsonnault, supervising sound editor and sound designer based on Canada has released Water and Trains SFX Collections.


  • different watercourses:  ditch, brook, stream, lake, river, cavern, sea
  • sounds of water in home interior:  basement, shower, pipe, drip, sink, drain
  • Long ambiences
  • Particular sounds and acoustics


  • An American steam train with many manoeuvres and a good driver!
  • A 24-hours Electrical train ride, in Eastern Europe that I did in 1996. Train movements, pass-by’s, Squeaks, Dopplers, creaks, clatters, rattles and other are numerous, long takes!
  • Sounds in rail yards with locomotives, rail clatters, screeches, with roaring diesel engines and good train cars coupling
  • Many Train passing at different speeds and distance:  Diesel, TGV and Electric Trains with horns, bells, squeals and whistles!
  • Train Station engines and motors, different perspectives

Both are available at Martin’s site. Price: $50 each.

Jon Tidey of Audio Geek Zine has released Springs, his first sfx collection, aimed to musicians and sound designers.

HD Quality Spring hits, scrapes, squeals, drones and rattles from two unique spring sources. The first is an old rusty spring of unknown origin with a very dark tone that squeals when you rub it wrong. The other is a vintage Accutronics Spring Reverb tank with a much looser spring and very bright tone. The reverb tank was recorded separately in both mono and stereo. Slow them down, add a touch of reverb and delay, and you’ve got instant horror suspense. The samples in this pack were recorded at 24 bit, 96kHz with plenty of headroom and are edited but otherwise unprocessed.

Last but not least, take a look at these two libraries coming:

A preview of the mangled metal library that will be released soon at The Recordist.

and Hologram Room vol 1, the first sfx library of U.S.O Project.

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Posted by on Jun 28, 2011 | 1 comment

The Sound of “Super 8”

New article at M.P.E.G featuring the sound crew of “Super 8”, including sound designer/co-supervising sound editor Ben Burtt, co-supervising sound editor Matthew Wood and Re-recording Mixers Anna Behlmer and Andy Nelson.

For the pivotal train crash during Reel 2, Burtt faced a major challenge – how to sustain the tension without overwhelming the soundtrack. “My thought process was: How do you build to a climax when the first sound in the sequence is justifiably equally as loud as the last?” he offers. “I wanted to leave spaces in the sound effects so that the audience could appreciate discrete events without it becoming too muddy [as sounds build on one another]. I had a range of metal crashes and explosions that I time-stretched, pitch-shifted and processed to create choreographed sequences that continually build [as the full extent of the crash is appreciated]. My final decision was that there should be no overlapping sounds; each element would have a specific start and finish.”

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Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 | 1 comment

The Sound of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

Director Michael Bay and Producer Steven Speilberg return this summer for the third film in the Transformers franchise, Tranformers: Dark of the Moon. The amazing visual effects in this film are complimented by the talented efforts of the sound team including Re-recording Mixers Greg Russell and Jeff Haboush, and Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designers Ethan Van der Ryn, and Erik Aadahl.

This is the first 3D film of the series and will also be presented in regular 2D, Real D 3D and IMAX, featuring Dolby Surround 7.1 sound.

SoundWorks Collection

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