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Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 | 5 comments

Ideas in Sound Design: Semiotics and Language – Part 2

Cross-posting from my personal blog.

In my last article, I talked about Semiotics and encouraged sound designers and editors to think of sound for picture as a language; or, at least, as a component of the language used by any given film. I’d rather not rehash the specific elements of Semiotics that were discussed. There are several ideas that I’m going to assume you’ve read and are familiar with as I proceed through this article. If you haven’t read that original article, I suggest you go do so now. The examples I’m about to discuss will have more meaning for you if you do.

I mentioned two possible approaches to applying signification in the development of a “sound language” for a project. The first is to work with existing signification, and the second is to develop your own; however, these do not have to be mutually exclusive. Both can contribute to your particular piece’s dialect. Remember that I am describing language as merely a “code” to convey meaning. So, meaning needs not be limited to ideas or thoughts. As such, let’s take a look at three examples of sonic code work, language, as used in moving picture.

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Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 | 5 comments

FiRe 2 – Field Recorder

For a few weeks now I have been playing with Audiofile Engineering’s field recorder FiRe 2. FiRe 2 is an app for iOS that is a recorder/audio editor/metadata editor/uploader in one. Facts from the Audiofiles themselves:

FiRe 2 will again revolutionize what you expect from a portable recording application. FiRe was the first iPhone recorder to display an accurate audio waveform in real time, the first to support markers, Broadcast WAVE metadata, and the instant downloading of files in multiple file formats. FiRe was the first application on any platform to offer native SoundCloud integration. Now FiRe 2 incorporates into its original elegant design a stunning list of powerful new features including:

  • – Advanced editing suite with SmartEdits, Bezier fades, change gain, normalize, looping playback, regions and more
  • – Improved Transport screen with faster and smoother drawing and larger waveform view
  • – EQ and Dynamics effects by Audiofile Engineering
  • – iTunes File Sharing
  • – Enhanced input processing powered by iZotope™
  • – Record in background
  • – Dropbox integration
  • – Regions

So I must say that I love this adorable little app. As someone who has tried to record sounds with a 3Gs using Apple’s built-in voice memo app I can tell you FiRe 2 is worth the $5.99. Now this isn’t going to replace your Fostex FR-2LE and shotgun mics out in the field, but you could catch some impromptu sounds you may not capture otherwise. Here are two examples:

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Posted by on Aug 27, 2012 | 0 comments

Bullets HD Professional SFX Library Beta

If you haven’t been keeping up with Frank Bry’s blog over at The Recordist (which you totally should) let me bring you up to speed on Bullets HD Pro:

Presenting the 2nd pre-release Beta version of Bullets HD PRO Sound Effects Library at an introductory price of $150.00 USD. When the library is completed in late August (at the very latest: early September), the final version of the library will be available to pre-release purchasers at no additional cost. (A savings of $50.00 USD)

As you might know, this library is a massive undertaking. It is not delayed or taking longer, it’s just an issue of recording all the source material I need to make it a comprehensive collection of bullet sound effects.

I still have many recording sessions planned over the next few weeks with many types of guns. I also plan on recording lots of bullet foley.

Thanks, Frank -The Recordist

So in a nutshell you get to have a library early, and pay less for it. Frank has made very detailed posts about his recording process:

Slow Motion Bullets Part-1

Slow Motion Bullets Part-2

Having listened through the library I can certainly glad I have it. The assortment of impacts, whiz-bys and ricos alone is worth the price of admission alone. I really love the authenticity the samples have, which isn’t something easily attained when designing a whiz or impact from scratch.

The library is slated to be completed late August or early September so if you want to grab some savings you might want to pick Bullets HD Pro up sooner rather than later!

Also make sure to follow Frank Bry on Twitter.

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Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 | 0 comments

This Week In SFX Libraries

This week was a triple-dose of released sound libraries for your aural pleasure.

First up is from TONSTURM:

With TONSTURM 08 I Morocco you get 61 Soundfiles in 5 Channel Surround Format. All the ambiences were recorded in Tangier, Essaouira and Marrakech, three very different Moroccan Cities.

For this surround ambience library we captured the beauty of the urban Arabic world of Morocco.

We visited three very different Moroccan cities, Marrakech, Essaouira and Tangier. These are all very colorful, lively and diverse cities, where we found a lot of unique places to capture these great surround ambiences. We captured sounds from the souks (markets), the medina (old town), the calls of muezzins, rooftop city ambiences and a lot more! Through some Maroccan relatives we were able to record at special locations where access is normally not possible.

We Recorded with a Double MS setup (Sennheiser MKH30, MKH8040, MKH8050) to be fast and flexible as the environment was very turbulent at times. We could easily change our position and were ready to start a recording within seconds to find the perfect spot and timeframe for each particular ambience.

Apart from beeing showered with old rotten fish blood everything went pretty well!

This library is well-suited for a wide number of different situations, as some of the sounds are more diffuse and could be used as general urban Arabic ambiences. In the old town where nearly no traffic is audible (except some mopeds from time to time) we were able to record some nice wallas and the bubbly hustle and bustle of the people.

We carefully encoded every ambience to a discret 5.0 channel file for convenience.

We offer an introductory price of $99 US instead of $̶̶1̶̶3̶̶9̶̶ US for the Surround version, and $79 US instead of $̶1̶̶0̶̶4̶̶ US for the Stereo version until the 5th of September! ….click here!

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Posted by on Aug 23, 2012 | 0 comments

The Voice Over Story behind Battlefield – An Interview With Tomas Danko

Fantastic interview by Watson Wu over at the RØDE Microphones:


When a gamer plays EA’s platinum selling Battlefield title, they will often remember and enjoy the sounds of numerous weapons and vehicles, but of course great sounding voices from clean recordings also make the game shine. In fact, Battlefield has a huge array of characteristic voices!

With the recent large budget allocated for higher caliber sessions, incredible actors were hired for the latest series. Unlike recording for singing or broadcasting, the days of using traditional ultra-expensive microphones and other gear are starting to shift.

To find out more about this I have interviewed Tomas Danko who is the Voice Over Producer and Engineer at Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment (aka DICE) in Sweden.

Tomas was very generous to share with me his years of experience of using various gear for the “best sound”.


Full Article Here.

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