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“How to Record Waves” on Quiet Planet

Posted by on Apr 5, 2014 | 0 comments

Gordon Hempton has a new article up on his Quiet Planet website talking about recording waves.

Find a beach exposed to the open ocean (high-energy) with a large tidal change (higher latitudes) at least several miles from the nearest frequently used road (wilderness) that slopes sharply, so at low tide you encounter diverse substrates (sand, gravel, cobblestones).

Head here to read the full article.

In Conversation – Interview with Coll Anderson

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 | 0 comments

Andy Wooding has a new interview with one of our former Featured Sound Designers, Coll Anderson, up over on FilmDoctor.co.uk.

I don’t know if there’s a difference. They both involve a certain level of verisimilitude and so you can’t really say there’s a difference. People will say ‘documentaries are real and fictitious films are about telling stories’ but documentaries are really about telling stories and fictional films often want to feel super real. So there’s a huge cross over between them. When you insert a camera into a situation, that situation is no longer real. It changes. It changes the dynamic. There’s a square box capturing it. We go to great lengths to show ‘oh the truth of the square box’ but it’s not true.

Head here to read the full interview.

Broken

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 | 1 comment

Photo by Eric Schmuttenmaer, used under Creative Commons license. Click image to view source on Flickr.

Photo by Eric Schmuttenmaer, used under Creative Commons license. Click image to view source on Flickr.

Now that yesterday’s global silliness is behind us, it’s time to announce April’s theme: “broken”.

What can I say?! We like the open ended topics that provide ample opportunity for interpretation. As sound designers, we rely on manipulation…pushing materials beyond their limits to see what interesting sounds they create under stress, or at that threshold where they go beyond stressed into broken. We twist processors and software tools outside of their intended range or purpose for the same reason. Of course, there’s also the flip side that we sometimes have to deal with. We have software bugs, things like broken video engines [cou-Pro Tool 11-gh...cough, hack...excuse me], files that go corrupt, and all manner of other technical issues outside of our control that we have to wade through sometimes.

So, word associations for “broken”…GO!

A gentle reminder that we are always open to and encourage guest contributions here on Designing Sound. We also like to tell you the next month’s topic here, “Surround”, maybe so you can plan ahead. ;) If you’re interested in contributing something towards this month’s theme, or next month’s, please give us a shout. Interesting “off-topic” posts are welcomed as well. The themes are just to give ourselves a framework to come up with something interesting to talk about. Use our contact form or reach out to shaun{at} designingsound [dot] org to propose a contribution.

Mixing for Factual Formats – Interview with Bob Bronow

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 | 0 comments

If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to put together a compelling soundtrack for factual television, Bob Bronow’s interview over at A Sound Effect makes worthy reading. The Emmy Award winning sound designer and re-recording mixer reflects on his workflow creating the sound for reality series The Deadliest Catch, and discusses the particular challenges of working within the factual genre.

Check out Bob’s interview here.

asoundeffect.com

Game Developer’s Conference 2014 Recap

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 | 2 comments

coverage

I intended to have this up last week but recovering from GDC was a fulltime job and the proverbial dog ate my homework when Google Docs made the rough draft of this article disappear. However at the time of writing the GDC Vault has not updated with audio/video of the event so hopefully this post will have a more timely release around the same time as GDC Vault. All of the photos were taken on my phone (apologies!) except the above header which is courtesy of the GDC website.

Lets get to the talks!

The first day of GDC had the Audio Bootcamp hosted by good friends of Designing Sound: Garry Taylor and Damian Kastbauer. It was super super informative but the talks were super short and not the easiest to take notes during! So instead I live tweeted as much as I could so please check out my Twitter feed from around that time and more importantly check it out on the GDC Vault. (more…)

SFX Round Up – April 2014

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 | 0 comments

It’s April, and you’d be a fool if you didn’t check out this past month’s freshly released sound libraries. From quiet forests, ocean sounds, and country ambience, to war-torn future soundscapes and the introduction of a new company to the sound design community, plus a BIG contest announcement, Designing Sound’s monthly round up has you covered.
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The Hybrid Animal Sound Design Competition

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 | 0 comments

The Hybrid Animal Sound Design Competition

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.

Adding Your Voice to the Mix

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 | 1 comment

Photo by Aditya Laghate. Used under Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

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?

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New Training Materials for Game Audio in Unity

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 | 2 comments

9780415706704Focal 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.