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.
Mark Roberts has been a BBC natural history sound recordist for over 20 years. During that time he has explored some of the remotest parts of the planet. His career has taken him high into the Papua New Guinean rainforest canopy, deep underground inside Venezuelan mountains and even right into the heart of Indonesia’s volcanoes. He has been privileged to work with the world’s leading natural history film-makers and is the only member of the BBC’s team to have worked on every one of the nine Expeditions series, starting with Amazon Abyss in 2004. (more…)
Convolution Processing is a technique that allows the real-time creation of musically related ambiences, accents and transition elements from an instrumental or vocal part. In this video you’ll see/hear how this technique can enrich a simple percussive part and a synth part into a full sounding track.
FMOD Studio, one of the go-to tools for creating audio content in game environments, are making their tools completely free for independent game developers. The previous licensing structure was based largely on whether your use was commercial or not, but now Firelight Technologies – the company that makes FMOD – have announced its next generation audio content creation tools will now be free to all. Though no dollar amount was confirmed in the official press release, it is reported that only those titles with a budget in excess of $100K will have to pay.
Guest Contribution by Michael Theiler of Kpow Audio
We always knew The Banner Saga was going to be something special. First contact with the guys behind it was so positive and just easy. Our meetings and emails hit all the rights notes creatively so much so we just knew it was going to be an exhilarating ride. We weren’t wrong. Working on a project with such rich creativity and depth behind it, paired with the encouragement and trust the team showed, buoyed us, and heightened our commitment to the project.
There were a few key areas we concentrated on when it came to the sound design of The Banner Saga. We wanted to pay particular attention to the ambiences of the locations in the game – to make them real and evocative and never distract the player from the game. We wanted to make sure the banner, which is always with you but changes in length depending on how the player is progressing, had gravitas and importance without overwhelming the player. Likewise for the scenes where travelling by cart is depicted, the cart sounds were incredibly important as they were the sounds of the population traversing vast distances, fleeing from a dark force. We needed the fighting sounds to be gritty and real, and for their special abilities to have a different sound to them. We wanted the fighters to feel like they were pulling their strength and concentration for their actions from an internal well of ancient power. Finally we wanted the UI to not draw too much attention to itself, to feel solid and real but distinct from the other in-game sounds. (more…)
Photo by flickr user James Whatley. Used under Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.
Guest Contribution by Randy Thom
During pre-production on a film it’s common practice to gather lots and lots of still photographic images, and video as well, that might relate to the story. The stills are often displayed on walls for everyone preparing the film to see and talk about. It’s basically an “idea board.” The purpose of gathering these images is to stimulate thinking about the way the film should look, or about some other element of the story taking shape. Shots of potential locations for shooting, or locations evocative of those in the story, images of objects and props, shots of people similar to those in the story, animals, food, vehicles, landscapes, structures, etc. are compiled as concrete starting points of reference for constructing the look of the movie. Eventually a storyboard artist will draw images representing almost every shot in the film. It’s a way to help the filmmakers pre-visualize how each shot will be designed.