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News: Soundworks Collection – The Sound of Inside Out

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 | 1 comment

The people over at Soundworks Collection once again bring us a fantastic video, this time digging into the sound design of Inside Out, Pixar’s newest film. In the video, they discuss how director Pete Docter, producer, Jonas Rivera, supervising sound editor Shannon Mills, and the rest of the team approached creating an imaginary world, and give a lively depth to the movie’s characters, that embody the emotions of a young girl. Head over here to check out the video!

News: The Image of Sound

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 | 1 comment

Image of Sound Title

A recently-released short documentary, The Image of Sound, explores the often-overlooked world of sound design and sound editing. Produced by Amar Dusanjh, the short covers conversations with sound editor Eddy Joseph and sound designers Richard Addis and Dirk Maggs. In it, they discuss the creativity and passion that goes in to their work, along with the challenges and work ethic required in their day-to-day experiences.

Failure in the Pursuit of Perfection

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015 | 10 comments

I can’t stand articles that begin with a definition. So please, forgive this imperfect opening to what should really have been a perfect article.

Photo by Flickr user Terrance Heath, used under Creative Commons License.

Photo by Flickr user Terrance Heath, used under Creative Commons License. Click for source.

Most definitions of the term “perfectionist” agree that it describes someone who “refuses to accept any standard short of perfection”. I feel that the colloquial use of the term describes someone who “will be dissatisfied with their work which standards fall short of their perception of perfection. I think this interpretation reflects how perfectionists, whilst dissatisfied with their work, don’t necessarily ‘“refuse to accept” the outcome, that their high standards typically only apply to their work, and that perfection isn’t an agreed upon standard (in most cases) but more of a personal qualitative perception.


News: Tonebenders Podcast: Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 | 1 comment

Ethan (L) and Erik (R) on the mix stage. Photo by Greg P Russell.

On the most recent episode of the Tonebenders Podcast, the guys talk to experienced sound designers Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl about their long and varied careers, working philosophies, and recent films. Some of the recent films Van der Ryn and Aadahl have worked on are Transformers: Age of ExtinctionGodzilla (2014)World War Z, and Argo, among others. Head over to the Tonebenders site to check it out, or listen on the go on iTunes or Stitcher.

Music of Sound: Okarito Kiwi aka Rowi

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 | 0 comments

In a recent entry on his blog, Tim Prebble discussed his experiences in trying to record the Okarito kiwi, or Rowi. The kiwi, which is the national bird of New Zealand, is nocturnal, and rarely seen or heard by anyone, even New Zealand natives. Tim digs into his fascinating adventures in trying to find and record this elusive creature here. Be sure to check out the recordings at the end, but be prepared for some startling sounds!

Sweet Justice: Sweetman’s Sweet Spot

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 | 1 comment

In the most recent blog post over at Sweet Justice, sound designer Chris Sweetman shares some of his decades of experience, and discusses the importance of experimentation and the use of organic sounds in modern sound design. He also discusses some of his experiences on major films, as well as his approach to tools like Izotope Iris. Head over to their blog to check it out now!

Pure Data Destruction

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 | 4 comments

Internals of Pd Destruction Patch

The “guts” of the Pd Destruction Patch

Guest Post by Leonard J. Paul


To fit in with May’s theme of “destruction” at, I wanted to create a patch that demonstrated how Pd (Pure Data) could be used to create interesting sounds of “digital destruction” with a fairly minimal amount of implementation. Hopefully this patch will be helpful for those wanting to learn a bit about Pd.

Just to dive into things, I made a few illustrative recordings of me playing around with the patch to try to get some entertaining samples:

I found that using Pd patches worked pretty well for the index file and that switching index files while the patch was running helped to keep things interesting. The recordings are unprocessed to give a good idea of what the patch is capable of. With a bit of mastering and effects they could be used for building blocks for different types of sound design and music as well.


Sulpha: The New PS4 Mastering Suite

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 | 2 comments

Sony for a very long time has spearheaded the effort to standardise loudness in games. The recent PS4 SDK update (2.500) includes a mastering suite — Sulpha analysis tools — to help developers master their titles for a variety of playback systems, from full range surround sound systems to TVs, to mobile devices.

It features a 4-band equaliser, a 3-band dynamics processor, gain and limiter controls and loudness management and analysis tools. The interesting thing about the toolset is that it utilises resources from the operating system and is therefore compatible with game audio middleware, third party engines and all PS4 titles.

I briefly interviewed Garry Taylor, Audio Director at Creative Services Group, Sony Worldwide Studios and Marina Villanueva-Barreiro who is a senior engineer at SCEE Research and Development. I found it interesting that about 50% of users listen to PlayStation titles through their TV speakers. I was expecting the percentage to be much higher.


DS: Sony in many ways has been spearheading the loudness standard for games. Did the development of these tools seem like a natural progression from the development of the standard?

Garry: Very much so.  Having a loudness standard is all well and good, but we needed to make it as easy as possible for developers to hit the PS4 loudness target without having to spend big money on new equipment.  Loudness metering has been part of the PS4 operating system for a couple of revisions now, and this is the next logical step, allowing developers to manipulate overall EQ , dynamic range and loudness easily and quickly.  Smaller teams working on PlayStation titles may not have the resources or technical knowledge required to conform to a standard, so having one easy-to-use audio mastering tool that works on every single title made a lot of sense. (more…)