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Posted by on May 18, 2015 | 1 comment

DESTROY! …with Caution

Photo by Flickr user Kit, used under Creative Commons License

Photo by Flickr user Kit, used under Creative Commons License

I love building things. I spent a great deal of my childhood building all kinds of creations out of LEGO and K’NEX (and I still do). Of course, one of my favorite parts of the building process was the necessary destruction of the older things to make the new. Working with sound, especially taking apart the normal, everyday sounds to build new and interesting sounds, has always struck me as an extension of this. Though I’ve gleefully annihilated countless LEGO creations over the years, the scars on my fingers from sharp plastic bricks are there to remind me that while it can be a great deal of fun to destroy all the things, a tiny bit of caution can go a long way.

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Posted by on May 4, 2015 | 4 comments

Ripping Apart the Harmonic Structure of a Sound

Metal_Spectragram

I thought it would be boring to go the obvious route and talk about breaking a real world object for this month’s destruction theme. Don’t get me wrong, breaking stuff is a ton of fun…even more so when you can justify it as part of your job. Instead, I thought I’d try to go a little more creative and tangential. Let’s take a look at some of the fun that can be had by messing with a sound’s harmonic structure. This type of exercise would have been much harder a few years ago, but is now incredibly easy with tools like Izotope RX and Iris.

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Posted by on May 3, 2015 | 0 comments

DSDG: Scouts Honor – Documentary Sound

 

We’re discussing sound for the documentary “Scouts Honor: Inside a Marching Brotherhood” with Director Mac Smith and Co-producer John “JT” Torrijos. The live stream will begin at 8PM (U.S. Eastern). If the stream is not available immediately on the hour, it’s simply because we’re waiting for someone to log in to the hangout. You can watch in the embedded video above, but make sure you head directly to the hangout page if you want to ask any questions when we open up the Q&A.

If you’d like to ask any additional questions of Mac and JT, please visit the Scouts Honor facebook page or hit them up on Twitter.

The recording of the presentation should be available shortly after it ends, and it will replace the embedded live stream above.

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Posted by on May 1, 2015 | 2 comments

Destruction

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the only down side is the clean up

Sound design is fun, and sometimes…on the good days…it can get messy. Really messy. There aren’t a lot of jobs where you get the opportunity to engage in acts of constructive destruction (can we even really say that’s a thing?), but sound design is one of those where, occasionally, the practitioner gets to loosen the leash on the reptilian side of the brain a little and delight in the simple joys of tearing something apart.

…all in the name of art, of course!

So that’s our theme this month. Destruction. What stories of hack, bash, slash and smash do you have to share?

As we recently reiterated, this site is by the community, for the community. We always encourage contributions from the community. It’s impossible to track down all of the potential stories and thoughts that might be out there. Please don’t wait for us to come to you. Whether it fits this month’s theme, next month’s (Failure) or is a topic unto its own…contact shaun [at] this website to get the ball rolling!

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Posted by on Apr 30, 2015 | 0 comments

The Sound of the Rapture – Interview with Audio Designer Adam Hay

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Following on from last month’s interview with The Chinese Room‘s Director and Composer Jessica Curry I was lucky enough to grab some time to chat with the studio’s Audio Designer Adam Hay.

Designing Sound: Thanks for taking the time to speak to me Adam. So, looking back through your credit list the first games you worked on were at Traveller’s Tales?

Adam Hay: That’s correct, yeah. I started doing music technology at University and when I finished my degree I knew I wanted to get into games. I’ve been a lifelong game enthusiast. The first game that had a big impact on me was Monkey Island 2. I saw that first when I must have been 7 or 8 and I was totally enraptured by the sound and music of that game. I’ve been a bit of an adventure game addict since then. I got into early things like Click and Play and Games Factory so after University it seemed like a natural extension of my two passions, music & sound and games, to try and get into the industry. So I sent my post-University CV of to every games company in the UK and as luck would have it TT were looking for a junior sound designer at the time and I was lucky enough to get in there.

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Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 | 0 comments

Broken Age – An Interview with Camden Stoddard and the audio team at Double Fine

broken-age-fssaf
Broken Age launched Act I in January 2014. Funded through Kickstarter with it’s development the subject of an epic (and ongoing) documentary courtesy of 2 Player Productions, the game was noteworthy for a number of reasons. I personally really enjoyed the games sound and music so in August 2014 I caught up with Camden Stoddard, the lead sound designer on the game for a chat. I was lucky enough to catch up with him again in March 2015 and also meet the other members of the audio team, Ashley Coull and Paul O’Rourke, as they closed in on the end of Act II

Designing Sound: Hi Camden. Thanks for taking the time to chat to me today. How are things going?

Camden Stoddard: Well, we’re in a weird place right now. I’m in Broken Age Act II land now. There’s a lot of layouts being done and there’s a whole bunch of work coming my way and I can’t really touch it until it’s locked. So now I’m kinda sketching and guessing what they’re going to do. So right now, I’m actually helping out on a couple of other projects, working on Costume Quest 2 and Massive Chalice.

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Posted by on Apr 24, 2015 | 0 comments

Designing Sound Discussion Group – “Scouts Honor”…Rain Date is a Go!

Image hot-linked from the Scout’s Honor website. Click the image to visit it.

We’ve finally been able to confirm a new date for our postponed Designing Sound Discussion Group to talk about the documentary, “Scouts Honor: Inside a Marching Brotherhood.” As previously announced, we’ll speaking with Director Mac Smith and Co-Producer John “JT” Torrijos. In a new development, Gary Rizzo, re-recording mixer on the film, will be joining us for the discussion as well. It should be a fun conversation, and will provide some interesting perspectives on sound for documentaries. The conversation will take place on Sunday, May 3rd, at 8PM U.S. Eastern time.

From the original announcement…

Scouts Honor is a unique documentary in a couple of ways. First off, it’s follows the Madison Scouts, a drum and bugle corps out of Madison, Wisconsin, on their 2012 tour. The other thing that makes it unique is that this is the first film for both Smith and Torrijos in these roles…who both have day jobs at Skywalker Sound. We’ll be talking with Smith and Torrijos about the film, their experiences taking on a different role in film-making, and the methods used to sonically capture some spectacular recordings of live performances. [ed. I've heard them...in theater...and they are IMPRESSIVE!]

As usual, this will be hosted via Google Hangouts and will have time for Q&A at the end of the discussion. Come here Sunday, the 3rd, to watch the live-stream and find the direct link to the Google Hangout to join the conversation a little more directly. See you all on the 3rd!

YouTube Preview Image

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Posted by on Apr 2, 2015 | 0 comments

Workflow and Creativity – A Journey Through Hot Sugar’s Cold World

Image hot-linked from the documentary’s website. Click on it to visit.

[ed. This article was originally intended to as part of our focus on women in March, but was delayed for a few reasons, but a good article is still a good article...enjoy!]

Guest Contribution by April Tucker

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment, share, and reach out about my recent contribution, “Women in Audio: Yes, We Exist!” I was floored by the response, and hope we can continue an open dialog about what we can do to accept anyone who wants to work in our field.

Originally, I wasn’t going to write about being a woman in the industry, and I submitted the article below (which we decided to still share this month). While gender equality is a challenge, we all face challenges in our careers. Those challenges don’t just come from what we look like, where we live (or don’t live), age, race, or gender. In fact, sometimes those traits can be an advantage: Being unique or offering a different perspective can be a huge aid in creativity.

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Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 | 1 comment

April Fools!

SimpsonsAprilFools

While we remain firmly committed to our stance of not playing any pranks on this most hallowed of comedic days, that doesn’t mean we can’t honor the spirit behind it. Sound for comedy is a fickle thing. It’s completely predicated on the context and timing of a scene, and there are a million ways to support a gag. From going completely overt and over the top, to ignoring it entirely, the choices made have to reflect the driving vision behind the piece…and every choice provides a different perspective on the gag. So, while we won’t be playing any pranks today, we will be turning our attention to Comedy for the rest of this month.

Feel free to post your favorite sound jokes below. ;)

Just another friendly reminder that we’re always open to hosting guest contributions on the site, both on topic and off. If you have something you’d like to share on this month’s topic, next month’s (which will be “Destruction”) or an idea you’ve come up with yourself, please reach out to us via the contact form or [shaun {at} this website].

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