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Posted by on Oct 24, 2014 | 0 comments

In Pursuit of Silence


Early last year, we pointed out In Pursuit of Silence on Kickstarter. The initial campaign was early production funding. We then had the opportunity to interview the director, Patrick Shen, while he was in the middle of production and get a glimpse into the progress of the film. Now they’re at the point where they’re working to raise finishing funds. We support this film and its efforts to raise awareness about the pollution in our sonic environments, and we want to see it completed in a manner befitting the subject. I personally have backed it both times, so I’m not sitting here to encourage you to do so without taking part myself. If you missed the boat on the previous round of funding, now’s your chance to help support a doc which is focusing on a subject near and dear to the hearts of many in the community. Please help the film make it out into the world and have the impact it’s designed to. In the very least, please help spread the word!

Visit the Kickstarter page here

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Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 | 0 comments

“Deconstructing the Soundtrack” Master Class in London

The School of Sound (the folks behind The New Soundtrack academic journal and the School of Sound International Symposiums) and the London Film School are teaming up again to offer a 2 day Master Class on October 25th and 26th in London. The seminar will be conducted by Stephen Deutsch, Larry Sider and Annabelle Pangborn.

Experts Larry Sider, Annabelle Pangborn and Stephen Deutsch will each deliver a half-day seminar demonstrating the interrelationship between sound, music, image and story. The programme will include a discussion of strategies and concepts for working with sound and music, from pre- to post-production.

They have also offered Designing Sound readers a 10% discount through applying the code SoS10%designingsound. Head here for additional details and to register for the event. This discount code will also work for the upcoming “Practical Introduction to Location Sound: Recording and Mixing” and “Music Licensing in Film and TV” seminars.

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Posted by on Oct 6, 2014 | 3 comments

Patch a Day Challenge

Anton’s “first day” patch

Anton Woldhek, whose name you may recognize from the Game Audio Podcast, is a little excited for this month’s theme. So excited, in fact, that he wants people to join him in a “patch a day” challenge. I think it’s a great idea, though I’m doing a bit too much traveling at the moment to probably get started on it until next week (though I suppose my Pure Data Wavetable Synthesizer tutorial from last year could qualify). You, however, can certainly join in now. To make it a little easier to share your results with each other, let’s use the hashtag #dspatchaday on twitter. While you’re getting started why not head over to Anton’s personal page and check out the results of this first patch (pictured above)?!

Really looking forward to see what people come up with!

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Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 | 1 comment


image by flickr user f4dd, used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

image by flickr user f4dd, used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

As you may have already realized based on yesterday’s article post, we’ve turned over to this month’s theme…Synthesis!

We have more tools than ever that fall under this heading, and there’s been a huge resurgence in modular systems recently. We’re not going to focus exclusively on modular, but I chose that image because of how our friend Ivo Ivanov of Glitch Machines has described it. “It’s like crack for audio people. Once you get in, it’s just a pit you throw all of you money into. You can’t ever stop.” While modular certainly seems to do that, it doesn’t hold exclusive reign. We’re constantly buying software synths, building patches in Max/Kyma/Pure Data, downloading new instruments for NI’s Kontakt player…the list goes on. There’s a reason we do though. Synthesis has long been an indispensable tool to the sound designer; whether it be Ben Burt designing robot voices for R2-D2 and Wall-E, or Skip Lievsay creating the unnaturally long ring of reception desk bell in Barton Fink. So this month, we’re giving Synthesis its due.

As always, Designing Sound encourages contributions from the community. Next month we’ll be discussing documentaries. If you have something you’d like to share with the community on either topic, or on one completely unrelated to them, please contact [shaun {at} this website (dot) org].

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Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 | 2 comments

Real Spaces

Image by Stewart Butterfield. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click picture to view source.

Image by Stewart Butterfield, used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

When we say “space”, people generally think of two things: outer space, or a bounded area that something fits into. It’s a safe bet that most people in the sound community immediately think of the latter. So often we focus on the characteristics of a space…how far a sound carries, reflections and reverberation time, etc. Certainly that helps us define a space, but…for the most part…only on a technical level. What really defines a space, is what occupies it. There’s no denying that production designers and location scouts in film, or level designers and artists in games, have a strong role in creating a space, but we in the sonic branch of our respective mediums have the unique ability to refine…or even redefine…those spaces they create. Sometimes, we’re even given the opportunity to create spaces where they cannot. What I want us to consider in light of that, is how we approach the creation of that space.

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