No matter how deep your interest in animal husbandry may be, you’re probably never going to figure out what the spawn of a camel and a mollusk might sound like. Or will you? Interested sound designers still have a little more than a week left to enter the Hybrid Animal Sound Design Competition, where the creation from scratch of a brand new animal call could net a share of $6,000 worth of prizes from Pro Sound Effects, Avid, iZotope, Rode, and Ric Viers. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, April 8th. Check out the rules, restrictions, and other details over at the Pro Sound Effects Blog.
Photo by Aditya Laghate. Used under Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.
Guest Contribution by Joel Raabe
At night in the darkness, I often hear voices in my head. Though it’s strange to admit, as I drift off to sleep after a long day of cutting dialogue or mixing the latest program, indistinct voices emerge and converse in the surround field of my theta wave brain. The wash of leftover phonemes from the work day somehow eases me to sleep, a bizarre lullaby panning through my mind.
As sound artists, we spend much of our lives with people we’ve probably never met, famous actors and fantastical creatures. These characters lodge in our brains as we rely on their patterns and personalities to guide us through editing and storytelling. I often wonder, how much of own voice ends up projected in these characters? Is it our job to color them or should we mostly stay out of the way, mechanically fulfilling our sonic duties in service to the director, producer, or sound supervisor?
Focal Press has recently released a new book on game audio entitled The Essential Guide to Game Audio. I know what you may be thinking, “Aren’t there already enough books on game audio?” This is a worthy addition to the plethora of learning materials already on the market. It fills a gap by focusing on game audio in the Unity Engine. It’s also co-authored by two well respected practitioners/educators: Steve Horowitz and Scott Looney. They were not content to just publish a book though. No, they had to go all transmedia on this topic.
Two other items have launched alongside the book. The first is a free iOS companion app. Well worth checking out even if you aren’t going to pick up the book; though I imagine you’ll get more out of it when the two are used in tandem. Additionally, the authors have launched a new website: Game Audio Institute. The site is just getting off of the ground now, and it will be interesting to see how it develops in the coming year.
If you’re currently learning game audio, or are considering it, you’ve got some new tools to add to your training arsenal.
A floating orb that explores and manipulates transitional public spaces with particular acoustic properties. By recording and replaying these ambient sounds, the hovering sphere produces a delayed echo of human activity.
Electronics were programmed and inserted into the sphere in order to record and replay the surrounding sounds. Find out more.
A collaboration between Royal College of Art students Julinka Ebhardt, Francesco Tacchini and Will Yates-Johnson (email@example.com)
We’ll be hosting our next Designing Sound Discussion Group on March 29th, at 2PM4PM (U.S. Eastern). We’ll have supervising sound editor Michael Maroussas and the sound team of the film Orthodox [full disclosure, that includes me], which is currently in post-production, on to discuss the remote collaboration workflow for the film. Team members have worked remotely from their respective countries of residence, which includes Hungary, Italy, the UK, and the USA. This will be another panel discussion with time for questions at the end.
In anticipation of the UK release of Under The Skin, style and culture portal Dazed Digital had a Under The Skin Day takeover, covering all aspects of Jonathan Glazer’s new extraterrestrial epic.
It included the film’s Supervising Sound Designer Johnnie Burn and Music Supervisor Pete Raeburn revealing a few of the techniques and considerations that went into creating Under The Skin’s alien soundscape. You can read their interview here. There is also a rather interesting timeline of the soundtrack’s evolution that can be downloaded as a PDF.
Burn is co-founder of the boutique sound design agency Wave Studios.
Field Studies is a four-day masterclass led by acclaimed international artists and composers, complemented by a programme of workshops, evening lectures, screenings and performances. First taught in 2010 and originally conceived as a field-recording course exploring sound in the context of architecture and the city, Field Studies attracts students from many different backgrounds due to the course’s eccentric curriculum and the people who teach it.
Field Studies is organised by Musarc, a research and teaching programme led by Joseph Kohlmaier at The Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University. Musarc explores performance and composition in relation to the creative process; investigates listening in the context of architecture and the city; and has at its heart one of London’s most progressive amateur choirs.