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Posted by on May 25, 2012 | 4 comments

The Sound of “Prometheus”

While set in the same fictional universe of Ridley Scott’s original offering, and sharing some of its key dramatic events, the director is clear in his intention that his latest film Prometheus is unrelated to the rest of the original franchise. There had been talk of a fifth Alien movie — with Scott reportedly committing to a sequel or prequel a decade ago — but it took 20th Century Fox to persuade the director to cast his unique vision of the origins and purpose of the Alien civilization, while also explaining the genesis of the enigmatic Space Jockey that forms a direct link to the original space explorers from 1979’s landmark motion picture. Sequel, prequel or neither, Prometheus is scheduled for release June 8 through 20th Century Fox.

In essence, the film (originally to be called Paradise) follows a team of scientists as they journey on the spaceship Prometheus to the distant planet of Erix to terraform the world. The crewmembers discover, however, that what they experience from the indigenous life forms is not just a threat to themselves, but to mankind. Prometheus takes advantage of new-generation sound technologies, while very much paying tribute to the original offering. As Michael Fassbender, who plays David, the artificial person in Prometheus, confirmed: “By the end of the third act, you start to realize there’s a DNA of the very first Alien, but none of the subsequent films,” with imagery inspired by its original conceptualist, H.R. Giger.

Working with elements coordinated by supervising sound editors Mark Stoeckinger and Victor Ennis from Soundelux, the intricate soundtrack was re-recorded at Fox’s John Ford Stage in West Los Angeles by Doug Hemphill (sound effects) and Ron Bartlett (dialogue and music). Creature sound design effects — of whichPrometheus features a wide range — were fashioned by Ann Scibelli, Alan Rankin and Harry Cohen. Other members of the sound crew included Foley mixers James Ashwill and Blake Collins; Foley editors Bob Beher, Bruce Tanis and Glenn T. Morgan; Sandy Buchanan handling the recording of computer voices; ADR engineer Derek Casari; ADR recordists Glen Gathard and James Hyde; ADR mixer Andy Stallabrass; dialogue editor Margit Pfeiffer; music editors Joseph Bonn and Del Spiva; and sound effects editor Tim Walston.

Continue reading at MPEG

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Posted by on May 23, 2012 | 3 comments

SFX Lab #4: Resonance

[SFX Lab, the laboratory of sound effects, a place dedicated to experiment and explore sound libraries. The main goal is to hear what happens when sounds of a specific kind are combined, processed, and transformed in several ways.]

New chapter of the sfx lab, this time dedicated to explore high doses of resonance, with a quite special kind of sounds: bells and chimes.

These sounds are characterized because of their qualities regarding harmonics and detailed/subtle elements, so combining and processing them is always something interesting and very “musical”. I’m going to play with three different libraries, all of them full of elements that vary from the shortest and exotic, to pretty long recordings with beautiful/long resonant tails. The libraries used are the Bells and Animal Bells packages of Rabbit Ears Audio, plus the Chimes library Tim Prebble released at HISSandaROAR in the last year.

I’m going to do several quick experiments, trying to find different ways to process the recordings, and aiming to achieve different materials from the elements. There are so many things we can obtain from them, so as always we’re going to just experiment and listen. Remember this is not a tutorial or something to go into details regarding the tools. This series of articles are focused on listening to libraries and just playing with them.

We could use these elements to create a wide variety of sounds and layers which, alone or combined with other materials can generate sounds with a particular mood or emotional impact. Eerie atmospheres, nostalgic addons to the ambience, tension, mistery, wonderful drones! Resonant whooshes, magical powers and spells, extension elements for impacts, and lots of things more. They are also rich on tonalities, so the variations in resonance and dynamics can be very useful to give very musical touches to sounds and alter the timbre of designed sounds, in order to add more harmonics and details.

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Posted by on May 18, 2012 | 0 comments

Big Sounds on Little Devices: An Exclusive Interview with Andrew Quinn

Andrew Quinn, sound designer at Splash Damage, was kind enough to speak to Designing Sound about his work on the recently announced mobile strategy title RAD Soldiers on the new social label WarChest. The music for the game was produced by Marc Canham of Nimrod Productions.

DS: Can you tell us a little about how you got into game audio, and your audio career so far?

AQ: I always had an interest in sound and music. In my youth I played guitar in local bands, recorded music with friend’s bands and generally made a racket. This messing with sound and music led to me studying a BSc in Creative Music and Sound Technology at Leeds Metropolitan University. During the course I got a chance to delve into post-production and more importantly game audio in the third year and I really enjoyed it. I stayed on another year at Leeds to do an MSc in Sound and Music for Interactive Games under the expert tutelage of Richard Stevens and David Raybould.

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Posted by on May 16, 2012 | 0 comments

A Revolution in Sound

[Rob Bridgett, audio director on Prototype 2 issues a rallying cry for the mixing of the audio discipline with the rest of the studio, and opening up the closed studio space to collaboration -- perhaps even suggesting a fundamental change in studio structure.]

Read more at Gamasutra

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