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Posted by on Jul 8, 2014 | 1 comment

A Brief Tour of Automotive Sound Sources

Image by Late Model Restoration Supply, used under Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Image by Late Model Restoration Supply, used under Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Guest Contribution by Michael Hermes

Modern cars are boring. They’re safe, practical, and quiet to the point of being uninteresting. A passing sedan glides by with a gentle whoosh of air passing over the car and the tires on the pavement. It makes for a pleasant ride to work but a short article on sound.

Cars didn’t start out quiet, though. Decades of engineering and research have identified the potential noise sources on a vehicle and reduced them to almost nothing. The internal combustion engine-powered car has a vast array of potential noise sources, all of which are quantified and treated by Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) engineers.

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Posted by on Jul 3, 2014 | 0 comments

All those things that get us around…

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I held off on the announce post for a few days, because we had a few articles that spilled over from last month’s theme. Now that we’re caught up, it’s time to dive into this month’s theme…Vehicles!

Do we really need more of an introduction than that? My guess is no. And sure, there’s a rail car at a drag race in the image above, but we’re not single-minded. There are boats, planes, jets, motorcycles, bicycles, and more that all fall into this category. We’re lining up some fun articles, but don’t hesitate to bring your experience to the table as well.

Guest contributions are always welcomed and encouraged here on Designing Sound. If you’d like to contribute to this month’s theme, or have an off-topic post you’d like to put in front of the community, make sure you contact us through site’s contact form or e-mail shaun at [this site]. If you’re the kind of person who likes to plan ahead, next month’s theme will be Listening.

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Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 | 1 comment

Interview with Patrick Shen

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I’ve previously talked about the importance of increasing communication between the sound community and our collaborators. This month’s topic provided the perfect opportunity to bring an outside voice to the Designing Sound community. Patrick Shen is director of the documentary “In Pursuit of Silence,” and I’m happy to be able to bring you his thoughts on the subject!

Would you mind giving yourself a brief introduction?

I’m a filmmaker based out of Los Angeles. My first film Flight from Death was released in 2005. My fourth feature-length film In Pursuit of Silence will be finished mid-2015 and released shortly after. The mission statement of my film company Transcendental Media is “to agitate the sleep of mankind”. I tend to make films that are more thoughtful in nature, films that deal with themes that I hope have the potential to challenge and expand our worldviews. Kierkegaard spoke of the “immediate man,” someone who doesn’t belong to him or herself and recognizes “that he has a self only by externals.” He tranquilizes himself in the trivial. I like to think that my films are an attempt to snap people out of this cultural haze and the process of making these films an attempt at avoiding this inauthentic life for myself.

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Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 | 3 comments

On the Tony Awards

Guest Contribution from Randy Thom

It was announced that the people who run the Tony Awards have decided to cut two of their awards categories….the two sound design categories.

This is a sad piece of news for all of us in sound.  It’s yet another slap in the face for an important art form that struggles for recognition.  The people who run awards shows feel constant pressure to populate those shows with pretty people, famous people, and people who are highly entertaining when a camera and microphone are pointed at them.  Advertisers pound their fists on tables in anger when their ad follows an unglamorous and unknown statuette recipient’s earnest “thank you.”  One year when I attended the Oscar telecast, and left the building at the end of the show in my tux, a guy ran up to me in the middle of the street with a pen and paper in his hands screaming to me “Are You Anybody?  Are You Anybody?”  I said “Sure!” and he smiled big as I handed him my illegible signature.  Though the Tony Awards have promised that they may, in the future, occasionally give an award to an especially noteworthy job of sound design, the message we should get loud and clear from their announcement today is that as far as they are concerned we, sound designers, are not ‘anybody.’  How sad, how dumb.

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