Guest Contribution by Ivo Ivanov
Take a moment to think about the magnitude of all the rejected material that disappears during your editing process. Material with unwanted artifacts, discarded without much further thought, as it is rendered useless due to a number of auditory issues or location-specific problems. Now imagine if those discarded bits of audio were actually what you were truly looking for. Welcome to my world: I search for the sounds in between sounds.
While on a recent field recording trip with a few local colleagues, the day’s conversations and varying points of interest illuminated intriguing differences in our technical goals. While we all had essentially the same equipment (the usual field recorders, mics and accessories) and we were recording many of the same subjects, our focus and subsequent approach turned out to be significantly different. This raised some interesting discussions about perspective and context, which got me thinking about how much time I actually spend trying to deconstruct things and harness the “broken”.
SoundMorph celebrate their 1st anniversary with the announcement of their newest release Intervention.
Intervention is the most complete and researched SWAT sound effects library ever made, featuring 26 weapons recorded by Hollywood’s premier weapons recordist, Charles Maynes.
We’ve compiled a collection of the most frequently used weapons by American SWAT units, offering you a complete sound set to work on modern films, television or games.
We’ve even included the source recordings for you to design your own gunshots, and plenty of additional foley, utilities, boots, explosives, gun handling and gear body movements, making this the most developed soundpack library in its genre.
All files are 24bit/96khz stereo files, meticulously embedded with Soundminer & Basehead metadata, including:
26 weapons commonly used by US SWAT teams
Suppressed and burst variations for most weapons
Shot variations for dry, open exterior, interior and urban locations
4 source layers for each weapon, allowing you to design your own shots
14 gun foley weapon sets including reloads, magazine inserts and cocking
SWAT body gear movements
Utilities like night vision goggles, batons, battering rams and more
Large explosives and explosive sweeteners
Designed gun handling files for gun movements
Charles Maynes’ work includes Spider-Man, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Resident Evil 5, and he is regarded as one of the go-to people in Hollywood and games for weapons recording.
Intervention also contains gun foley recorded by another Hollywood sound pro, Matthew E. Taylor.
The fine gentlemen over at The Tonebenders Podcast have a new offering. “Soundbytes” are shorter, self contained, stories that they’ll be releasing in addition to the regular podcast. They saw our theme this month, and realized they had the perfect interview to go with it. So, give a listen to this interview about “circuit bending” with Moth Robot! [...and make sure you subscribe to their podcast, on the off chance you haven't already]
Forest Scene by Narcisse Diaz de la Peña, photo by flickr user Cliff. Click image to view source.
Guest Contribution by Randy Thom
When someone tells me that they admire the sound design work my team has done on a project they often go on to say that what they like most is the little sonic details we’ve covered in a given scene, like the sound of an object being picked up by a character in the background of a shot. I thank them for the compliment, but I’m usually left with an awkward feeling, because “details” are actually low on my list of priorities. I think sound design is an art form. I aspire to be a good artist, and I think sound work is similar to painting and other art forms in lots of ways. Great paintings are praised for the feelings they evoke. It’s pretty rare that the work of a master painter is praised for its “details.” In fact, the most intricately detailed paintings, the ones that depict a scene absolutely realistically in a straight forward “photographic” way are almost never considered great works of art. Great craft maybe, but not great art.
SoundWorks Collection have just released The Sound Of Transcendence an exclusive sound profile with the sound team behind Director Wally Pfister’s debut film Transcendence.
Featured interviews include Director Wally Pfister, Supervising Sound Editor Mark Mangini, Re-recording Mixer Terry Porter, Re-recording Mixer Jeremy Peirson, Dialogue and ADR Supervisor Byron Wilson, and Music Editor Erich Stratmann.
Below is an interview I conducted between Capcom’s Tomoya Kishi and Media Molecule’s Kenneth Young. I started them off with a few questions and let them go back and forth from there. I hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as we had putting it together.
Jack: Please introduce yourself and tell us about your experience in audio.
Kenny: My name is Kenny Young and I’m the Head of Audio at Media Molecule, one of Sony’s first party (wholly owned) game development studios, based in Guildford, UK. I had a fairly strong musical background as a kid, but sealed my fate by doing an undergraduate degree in Music Technology at the University of Edinburgh, which turned me on to working creatively with sound before then going on to specialise a bit more by doing a masters degree in sound design down at Bournemouth Uni. I landed my first full-time job in the industry 10 years ago as a junior sound designer at Sony’s London Studio, working in their centralised audio department on a wide variety of games in different genres and on different platforms. That broad experience stood me in good stead for when I joined Media Molecule in 2007, setting up their audio department and trying my best to make LittleBigPlanet sound awesome. That involved me doing the vast majority of the sound work, some of the music, directing the composers and the creative side of the music licensing process, producing the voice localisation from the Mm side of things, not to mention being heavily involved in the design of the audio-centric UGC features of the game. That led to the inevitable sequel, and the joys of trying to juggle the managing and directing of my staff whilst remaining a hands-on sound designer and composer. Most recently, we just released Tearaway, which I wrote about in December for Designing Sound, where I supervised a team of talented sound designers and managed to keep my hand in there whilst also co-writing the original score (with Brian D’Oliveira), co-writing the voice script (with Tearaway’s creative director, Rex Crowle) and generally just trying to help the project in whatever way I could. All of which is why I’ve been on holiday for the last two months! But I’m just back in the saddle and trying to get our unannounced PS4 project into good audio shape having ignored it for a while :) (more…)
Quadrant is a new modular sound generator and effects processing plugin geared towards experimental sound design. It features a broad selection of modules, connectable through a graphical patching system, allowing for a very wide and customizable range of sounds and effects. The plugin can be used to generate textures, or as an effects processor, providing a number of different ways to create uniquely futuristic sounds.
Designing Sound is a run by a team of volunteers. The site does not have any commercial motives which is why there is no advertising, paid content or any sort of commercial promotional activities. The line can get blurry and it is important for us to follow a policy guideline. The website wouldn’t be what it is without the amazing community and all the great contributions we receive. This makes it all the more important for us to maintain standards and carefully curate the content that is published. Thankfully this can be a relatively painless process as all decisions are made democratically by the team of contributing and news editors.
We’ve published the website policy that we use internally. We’d like to be as open as possible so it works to the benefit of everyone. If you’d like software reviewed or have something to share with the community we recommend you give it a read.
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It is fitting that with our theme of “Broken” this month I would accidentally wash my Zoom H1 Handy Recorder in the washing machine. I had taken the H1 with me to GDC just in case any cool sounds popped up for me to record (they didn’t). So when I got home and tossed the backpack in the wash to get the San Francisco grime off of it I completely forgot the very light H1 was inside! Fast forward to me opening up the washing machine and finding the H1′s body sans-capsules and the capsules and their housings in various places in the machine.
The H1 Aftermath
Bit short notice but if you’re in NYC on April 19 there is a pretty cool master class happening:
“On Saturday, April 19th, come join us at the Media Center to watch the Academy Award winning film GRAVITY with master sound designer, Skip Lievsay. We’ll have lunch together and Skip will walk you through his experience working on GRAVITY. Skip Lievsay has an outstanding history of collaborating with major American filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, the Coen Brothers, and John Sayles. “
You can check out the details and register here.
“Skip Lievsay has an outstanding history of collaborating with major American filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, the Coen Brothers, and John Sayles. He served as sound editor for the Coen brothers on Blood Simple(1984) and was their sound editor supervisor on Raising Arizona (1987), Miller’s Crossing (1990), and Barton Fink (1991). The frequent Coen brothers’ collaborator received two Academy Award nominations for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing for his work on NoCountry For Old Men (2007) and was nominated in the same categories for True Grit (2011). For Spike Lee, he provided sound design for Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo’ Better Blues (1990), and Jungle Fever (1991). Lievsay began an extensive collaboration with Martin Scorsese on After Hours (1985), continuing through The Age of Innocence (1993). For John Sayles, he worked on Matewan (1987) and City of Hope (1991).”