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Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 | 10 comments

Stephan Schutze – A Week Chasing Planes

A week chasing planes

Preparation, planning and the practical reality of location recording

By Stephan Schütze

Photography by Stephan Schütze and Anna Irwin- Schütze

The following article is an excerpt from my book on various aspects of audio production. The excerpt specifically deals with the planning and the reality of an extended location recording trip. The trip in question was part of the overall process of creating The Aviation Collection sound effects library.

RAAF FA-18 Hornets

The following section is a detailed account of a recording trip I did in early 2011. This trip highlights the wide range of situations, challenges and potential issues you might encounter when planning location recording trips. Often it does not matter how much you prepare or how often you have done similar trips, things will go wrong, things will break or malfunction and you will need to adapt, adjust and replan on the fly. This is not really very different from many other types of jobs, it’s just that with location recording you often only get one chance to capture the things you are after.

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Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 | 3 comments

Video Games and Loudness Standards: Interview with Sony’s Garry Taylor

The issues of loudness and dynamic range  are common across all audio/visual media, but recently this conversation has been gaining traction within the game audio community. Following his presentation ‘Fighting the Loudness War’ at the Develop conference in early July, I contacted Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s Audio Director Garry Taylor to discuss the subject further.

DS: First of all, can you tell us a little about how yourself, and your audio career in the games industry so far?

I left school at 16 and joined a band as a bassist. As well as constant gigging I also taught myself my way around a mixing desk and started engineering live bands at my local venue, The Square in Harlow, UK. After 10 years gigging and engineering bands, both live and in the studio, I bumped into a game developer friend who asked me if I wanted to do some music for a project he was working on. I enjoyed myself on that project and decided I wanted to work on games full time. I offered to work for him for free for a couple of months, and in those two months made myself invaluable, after which he offered me a full-time job. I stayed at Mythos Games (creators of X-Com) for 4 years before joining Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) as a sound designer in 2001. After working at SCEE’s London Studio for 5 years, I moved to Cambridge to manage the audio team there. In the last couple of years I have taken responsibility for audio for SCEE’s London, Cambridge, Liverpool and Evolution Studios.

DS: Could you tell us about where your interest in loudness standards stems from? What issues are being caused by a lack of any kind of standard in games at the moment?

GT: The main problem for me was the complete lack of consistency between different titles on PlayStation, especially the audio that accompanies the icons on the Xross Media Bar (XMB). As a front end, I felt the XMB problem reflected very badly on PlayStation generally and needed to be fixed. But without any official guidance, there was very little that audio developers could do to counter the requests from producers to increase the volume on titles.

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Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 | 3 comments

Chuck Russom FX is Back!

Chuck Russom sent out an email this morning that I think quite a few people will be glad to see:

Six months ago I shut down Chuck Russom FX and exited the sound library business.  I truly belived I was done and the business would not return.  Over time, I have heard from many of you.  I have recieved countless messages of support and as time moved on and I’ve been contacted by many of you asking for the old sound libraries.


At first I would get a message every now and then.  Over time the messages become more frequent; weekly, daily, even multiple messages in a day.  It became clear to me that I underestimated the appeal of my work, the demand of the sound community, and the loyality of my customers.


So I’ve decided to bring it back.  I’ve had enough of a break, it’s time to get back to work.  If Batman can come out of retirement, then so can I! A new website is up, the libraries are once again available for instant download, and we’re ready to rock.


Chuck Russom

Chuck’s SFX can be found here.

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Posted by on Jul 23, 2012 | 0 comments

Working Hollywood: Gary Hecker makes noise for ‘Savages’

At age 16, Hecker first witnessed a session of foley — named after legendary Hollywood sound effects pioneer Jack Foley. After graduating from high school, Hecker dedicated himself to learning the craft during a six-month apprenticeship with his stepfather Bob Rutledge, who owned a sound editorial company.

More than 30 years later, Hecker, 51, has collaborated with top supervising sound editors such as Wylie Stateman and Lon Bender and won four Golden Reel Awards for his craft. He’s working on projects including director Zack Snyder‘s “Man of Steel” with his brother, supervising sound editor Scott Hecker.

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