Apr
7

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The Most Powerful Tool in Your Toolbox

Image by Alisha Vargas. Used under Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.
Image by Alisha Vargas. Used under Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Image by Alisha Vargas. Used under Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Guest Contribution by Richard Gould

…and a hold-over from last month’s “Voice” theme

I didn’t realise it until recently, but I’ve been a sound designer for most of my life. I may have only discovered the term “Sound Design” a few years ago, and I may have just graduated from studying the craft of sound design itself, but like most of us, I’ve been designing sounds since I was a kid, I just didn’t know it. True, I wasn’t sitting behind a console discussing aesthetics with directors, nor was I packing up my gear for a field recording session, but just as I might find myself today making sounds for non-existent worlds, beings and spacecrafts, I was doing the same thing when I was six years old.

I would run through the woodland up in the valley near my house, only it wasn’t a woodland, it was an alien landscape on a distant planet, or a medieval forest where a beastly dragon placed me in mortal danger. I could see these creatures, I could hear them (and I wasn’t afraid to let others hear them either). I was using the two most powerful tools in my sound design toolbox to realize the sonic sources of these worlds; my imagination and my voice. As I grew older however, I had less and less time to go up to the woodland, less time to visit these other worlds, and as a result, my first career as a sound designer came to an abrupt end around the age of eleven.

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Apr
5

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“How to Record Waves” on Quiet Planet

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.

Apr
2

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In Conversation – Interview with Coll Anderson

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.

Apr
2

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Broken

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.

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.

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