Guest Contribution by Frank Bry
In this article I will reveal my secrets and techniques to recording decent thunder and lightning. Many, many years and sleepless nights have gone into perfecting the art of recording the thunderstorm and I will finally share. But first, I want to share a little history and tell you how I developed these secrets and techniques. It was not so easy at first and here’s the story I’m still alive to tell. Part 1: Live and Learn.
Blastwave FX are at it again with another contest which they announced last week. This one is about making a zombie soundscape:
- Create a sound design clip of a soundscape or scene of something you think you would hear during the zombie apocalypse.
- The sound design clip must be no longer than 60 seconds. No exceptions.
- Upload the sound design clip to the Blastwave FX Facebook page. Be sure to tag yourself and Blastwave FX in the post. The clip must be posted on the Blastwave FX Facebook page. Emailed or messaged submissions will be disqualified.
- The sound design clip may contain original sound effects, but must include at least one sound effect from the Zombie Apocalypse Sound Effects Library from Blastwave FX. Free samples from this library are available at the bottom of this page. If you own the Zombie Apocalypse Sound Effects Library, you may use any sound effect from the collection that you wish. Note, the Zombie Apocalypse Sound Effects Library is on sale throughout the contest for only $66.
- The contest submissions will be judged by Matt Busch, Celldweller, Blue Stahli and Ric Viers.
Check out the contest page for the full rules and description here. Hurry though, the deadline is October 24!
There is a cool crowdsource library getting organized over at Audible Worlds. Site runner Mike Niederquell’s explanation says it best:
The goal of this library is to capture 3-5 minutes of crowds or walla from your local region. It’s best if the conversations in the recordings are unintelligible, which is why we are using the term “walla” to describe this project. We realize it’s probably unrealistic for most people to have access to a group of performers to capture proper walla, so recording large groups of people in a public area is also being accepted.
Everyone is allowed to contribute and your contribution awards you everyone else’s submitted recordings which from the looks of it will be a *lot* of people! The Submission window is Oct 1, 2014 to Oct 20th, 2014 so there isn’t much time left! Go check it out along with the rest of Audible Worlds. Its a great resource.
Over at G.A.N.G.’s site is a new interview by Kenny Young who chats with Naughty Dog’s Phillip Kovats and Jonathan Lanier about the mix of Last of Us. Its a fantastic read that I recommend for anyone in or interested in game audio. The mix won a GANG award for a reason!
Image by: Marcio Eduardo Rodrigues
Listening is the most important skill a sound designer has, and yet, it’s probably the one that’s the most ephemeral and difficult to nail down. What is listening? Are we born with this skill, or is it something that we can learn? Listening is the process that takes the information that we hear and makes meaning from that sound. To listen requires a conscious effort, and it’s this effort that you can learn how to train. Some blind people have learned to listen so well that they can echo-locate: we have a remarkable to hear all kinds of things in our environment that most of us just miss out on.
You’re reading this article, so you’re someone who is probably already listening to sound more than your friends. Maybe you’ve gone to a movie and stepped out with your friend afterwards and said “wow, what great sound in that film” and your friend gives you a blank stare and says they didn’t notice. But we can always improve our ability to listen, to focus our attention on sound. I’d like to take you through some exercises I do with my students when I teach sound design so you can build your listening skills.