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Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 | 4 comments


“The ultimate metaphoric sound is silence. If you can get the film to a place with no sound where there should be sound, the audience will crowd that silence with sounds and feelings of their own making, and they will, individually, answer the question of, “Why is it quiet?” If the slope to silence is at the right angle, you will get the audience to a strange and wonderful place where the film becomes their own creation in a way that is deeper than any other.”

Walter Murch

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Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 | 3 comments

Game Audio: Getting in

While this blog is usually reserved for Sound Designing and the Designing of Sound, a recent blog post by Samuel Justice titled: “Getting your first gig in the world of game audio” woke me from my sound bathed complacency and desperately urged me to put pen to…uhh…blog post.

Readers of this stream of sound related goodness will be no stranger to the idea of getting in, having gotten in, or wanting to find out how to spend your days doing nothing but the aforementioned sound bathing and Sam starts things off simply enough…

“I get emailed a lot about how I got my first gig and how to get gigs. In the short time that I’ve been involved in the game sound industry things have changed, quickly.”

…and before you know it he’s rat-a-tat-tatting the things that helped him get a leg up and into his current gig doing sound for games. When he says things “have changed, quickly” the more I read I think “the more thing have stayed, the same”. Was he’s taken the time to template-ize for the would be game audio mavens of the world is in essence a testament to his greatest quality: Tenacity. I urge you to read on and find your own determination within to follow your creative muse to a satisfying place of being.

In the meantime, it seems like this “getting in” thing has been happening a lot lately.

Here’s an update from Joe Cavers, another recent game audio acquisition:

“Anyone who follows me on Twitter or reads this blog knows that this is a dream come true for me. I’m still reeling from the fact that I’ve landed what is essentially the start of my career straight out of uni.”

Take some time to peruse his “Into Sound” blog and you’ll find some educational gems that he’s put forward about making sound with the Unreal Developers Kit.

Which brings me to Andrew Quinn, of the “recently hired to Splash Damage” extreme noise maestro who had this to share at a recent speaking engagement covered by Stefan Rutherford (be sure to stick around for Stefans other insightful posts):

“The blog ‘Master Of Sound’ can be accessed from It’s not as regularly updated anymore but head through the archive and you’ll very quickly stumble upon something interesting.”

…and there’s interesting stuff there to be sure, not the least of which being his involvement with The Game Audio Tutorial! I first head of him back when he cooked up an interactive mixer built with Max/MSP. Be sure to head over to his Splash Damage profile page where you can absorb more of his origin story.

So, that’s 3 recent cases of “Getting in” to Game Audio, illustrated and punctuated by their willingness to share these experiences with you. Having watched all of them make their transitions from afar, all I can say is that the gaming industry is all the better for their presence.

Here are a few more resources that you might want to check out if you think you have what it takes to follow your bliss:

Vincent Diamante – Sums up “How to break into Game Audio” over at Game Career Guide.
Leonard J. Paul – From his AES Brazil presentation sums up the state of the industry and details a bullet list of recommendations on slide 16.
Kris Giampa – Shares his insight on “How to get into the Video Game Industry (Sound Designer Edition)

For those of you who have been laboring away towards a career designing sounds or getting your game audio groove on, keep at it there’s room for more passionate people!
Anyone else have any tips or resources or questions? Lot’s of savvy readers out there willing to discuss!

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Posted by on Nov 28, 2011 | 0 comments

Francis Ford Coppola Talks About the Evolution of Movie Sound

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As early as the Apocalypse Now movie in 1979 when Francis Ford Coppola and sound designer Walter Murch pioneered a quadraphonic sound system for the film tour, Coppola has made sound and audio technology an important part of filmmaking, including building a dedicated mixing facility, American Zoetrope. In 2010, under the direction of Coppola, Zoetrope was turned into one of the first post-production facilities to install a Meyer Sound EXP cinema loudspeaker system on its rerecording stage and has since upgraded the other rooms to EXP. Tetro and Twixt are two of his movies that were mixed on an EXP system.

In this video, Coppola chats about the evolving role of sound in his storytelling and his sound facility in Napa.

via musicofsound

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Posted by on Nov 27, 2011 | 6 comments

Harry Cohen Special: Opening Inglourious Basterds

I got Harry Cohen on the phone to talk about one of my favorite scenes, the opening of Inglourious Basterds. There’s nothing big or over the top in this scene, it just an excellent example of subtle technique in support of the moment. In the course of the chat, we occasionally diverge into some interesting work-flow tangents. Hope you enjoy it.

Designing Sound: The scene was very subtle and had a lot of quiet sounds. It also had a lot of tension. Was this a difficult scene to approach?

Harry Cohen: Technically the hardest part on that was all the production dialog arrived with a lot of hum on it from the generator. Luckily Izotope RX2 had a De-Hum plug-in in it that allows you to dial in the European frequency. That’s how I had to start, was by processing everything with that. You don’t try to get it all out, or it takes too big of a chunk out of the dialog.

After that, we wanted to come up with some background winds and tones that further helped mask that as much as possible…then do a lot of really detailed foley. We get into what we call hyper-reality, especially on a lot of the Tarrantino films. So, as the scene goes on, we start to back off on the backgrounds and the tones and stuff, and bring the focus in on the dialog We had to suck the air out of the scene a little bit, so that it gives you a little more closeness to the characters.

Mainly it was what Cristoph Waltz [ed. Hans Landa character] did with his performance, his eyes and stuff, as he turns from this bumbling almost Clouseau character into the menacing Nazi Jew hunter he reveals himself to be. It was riveting.

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