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All Ears!

Posted by on Aug 3, 2014 | 7 comments

You can be forgiven for assuming Jack picked this picture, but it was all me...I knew he would approve though ;)

You can be forgiven for assuming Jack picked this picture, but it was all me…I knew he would approve though ;)

We have two words that are most commonly used to discuss how we interact with sound: hearing, and listening.

Hearing is a passive act. Pressure waves move our eardrums, the motion is converted to an electrical signal, and our brain tells us that there is a sonic phenomenon in the space around us…perhaps it even provides us with identifying information. It’s what comes after that is fascinating, when we stop to LISTEN to the source. The act of directing attention allows us to focus in on the sound, to the (albeit sometimes limited) exclusion of others. Sometimes the steering of that attention is a subconscious mechanism, but the act of listening is always a conscious one.

That’s our focus this month; “Listening.”

We here at Designing Sound always appreciate the community’s enthusiasm and contributions to the discussion, and we know the community also appreciates anytime a member does. If you’d like to contribute to this month’s topic, drop us a line; either through the contact form, or to ‘shaun [at] this website’. If you prefer to plan ahead a little, next month’s topic will be “Space/Spatial.”

SFX Independence – July 2014

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 | 1 comment

A lot of new and recently-released independent sound libraries to bring to your attention. Don’t forget – you can let us know about an independent sfx release by filling in the SFX Independence Submission form and be listed in subsequent roundups.

Soundbits new online store

Soundbits has a new look and to celebrate they are having a sale. They are giving 30% off all purchases until August 17th. Plus, every new customer who create a new account automatically qualify for a €5 credit at the Soundbits store.

Check the Soundbits website for full details.

HISSandaROAR – Tortured Wood

HISSandaROAR have been busy this past month putting together a new collection of all things wood. Tortured Wood features recordings of pallets, planks, furniture and 40kg poles that have been thrown around, broken and destroyed.

Recorded at 24-bit/192KHz, for a limited time Tortured Wood is available to purchase for $79.00 (usual price is $99.00).

Tortured Wood product page

Pro Sound Effects – World Cup Sound Effect Download Pack

The FIFA 2014 World Cup may be over but the new collection from Pro Sound Effects will keep the samba vibe going that little bit longer. Comprising all of the footie sounds you’ll need: 62 professional sound effects, including 11 versions of announcers yelling “GOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!” and the infamous vuvuzuela of the 2010 World Cup. All sounds are delivered as 16bit 44.1 kHz .wav files, and with other sounds such as crowds cheering, booing, net swishes and ball smashes, this makes a great collection for and can be used royalty-free in any productions – whether a fan video or a feature length documentary.

World Cup Sound Effect Download is available for $20.14


World Cup Sound Effect Download product page

Pro Sound Effects

Samplephonics – Hollywood Tension FX

Hollywood Tension FX is a collection of designed movie trailer impacts, risers, larger than life film percussion hits, tension evoking ambiences and abstract percussion loops perfect for enhancing any film trailer, heavy production and more.

Crafted by sound designer Alessandro Romeo with no attention to detail spared and comes in the usual 24 bit .wav and sampler instrument options. All sounds are royalty free. The samples come preloaded in your choice of sampler instrument, including EXS24, Reason NN-XT, Kontakt, Ableton Sampler, Motu MachFive, Steinberg Halion and SFZ.


Hollywood Tension FX product page

Samplephonics

echo | collective: fields – utility helicopters

Granted exclusive access to the airport at Bell’s corporate headquarters in Ft. Worth, Texas, Echo| Collective: Fields have put together a library of Bell 407 and Bell 429 aircrafts. With the ability to capture starts, hovers, aways, returns, spin ups and spin downs, Utility Helicopters features interior and exterior recordings, as well as many beautiful long tails in and out.

Utility Helicopters comes packaged as over 1 hour 45 minutes of recordings, recorded at 24-bit/96KHz.

Utility Helicopters product page
Echo | Collective: Fields

Kpow Sounds – Industrial Disquiet

Recorded in industrial locations, Industrial Disquiet is great for scenes relating to industry, urban horror, and suburban unease. The library pack includes 53 tracks in total; 25 day-time tracks and 28 night-time ones, and all tracks were recorded and edited at 24bit, 96kHz.

Industrial Disquiet product page
Kpow Sounds

Stavrosound – San Francisco: City Life

Recorded over two sessions and 12 hours of exploring and listening, San Francisco: City Life comes packaged as over 3 hours of ambiences from the heart of downtown San Francisco. From detailed street-level traffic of various flavors, sidewalk pedestrian activity, urban streets and side streets with unique spacious characteristics, rooftop-perspective traffic, and even a construction site, this library is workable for many urban cityscapes – not just San Francisco!

San Francisco: City Life product page
Stavorsound

Gael Nicolas – Spheric Collection

Spheric Collection is a library dedicated to ambisonic sound recordings. All the sounds have soundminer metadatas embeded for an easy access, and a choice of free plug-ins: Free Surround Zone 2 in AAX, VST and standalone harpex player. With a variety of packs available, including Applause 1, Birds 1, Fireworks 1, Forest, Announcing 1, Rain 1 and Room Tone 1, they come with template sessions for all main DAWs included.

Spheric Collection

surroundsoundlibrary – Synthetic Blend and Whoosh Bundle

The Synthetic Blend and Whoosh Library is a toolkit for creating movement, movement of objects, scene changes and/or cuts to life is not an easy thing to do. This pack features blenders, whooshes, swooshes, slides, fly-bys, rises, landings, swells and stingers. Drag and drop the 5 separate sounds into your DAW for balanced and panned surround sound – from front to rear, rear to front, left to right, right to left, or circular movement.

All files are 24-but/96Khz and come as a bundle Design Box and Construction Kit – all for €69.00

Synthetic Blend and Whoosh Bundle product page

SurroundSoundLibrary

Soundeffects.ch – IR1 Impulse Response Set

The IR1 Impulse Response Set from Soundeffects.ch lets you create real multichannel reverb from True-Stereo, 5.1 surround sound and (for the first time) Auro-3D® 11.1 Sound. This new set realises two technological achievements: the principle of creating multichannel impulse responses
as well as the creation of impulse responses for 3D sound.

With 54 sets of impulse responses ranging from domestic rooms and staircases to concert halls and theatre auditoriums, it will enable you to create natural, highly
realistic spaces for multichannel and 3D applications. Compatible with True-Stereo – optimized for TL Space and Altiverb.

Special Introductory Price: €72.00 for a single user licence (normal retail price: €86.00)

IR1 Impulse Response product page
SoundEffects website

Luftrausch – Ambience Packs

Not much information to give you on this one, but Austrian outfit Luftrausch has a range of surround atmospheres and sound effects available on their website.

Luftrausch

Noise Creations – Glass

The NoiseCreations collection ‘GLASS’ features glass debris recorded on various surfaces. Included are shard smashes, glass panes, mirrors, pint glasses, jars and bottle smashes, and footsteps, with attention to detail given in every performance of to give as many variations as possible

‘GLASS’ product page
NoiseCreations

Turbocharging and its effect on our soundscape

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 | 4 comments

turbo_article_header_original

Photo Credit to Alex Bellus

Guest Contribution by David Nichols

An engine is, in essence, an air pump. Air comes in, gets mixed with fuel, goes bang, and leaves again. When talking about ways to make more power, the most obvious is to make a bigger bang. However, gasoline works best at a very specific ratio of fuel to air, which is roughly 14:1. So, if you want to make a bigger bang, you need 14 times more air than your increase in fuel to get it.

When trying to get more air, one solution is to use a bigger engine. More, larger cylinders means the pump can inhale a bigger breath, which means more fuel and more power. However, this so-called “natural aspiration” or NA for short, has a limitation in air pressure. Just like a straw, the inhale of an engine works by creating low pressure, which atmospheric pressure then fills in. So, another way to get more air into an engine is to pressurize it, or use “forced induction.”

There are a few different methods of forced induction, but today I want to talk about one in particular: turbocharging. A turbocharger is a turbine that is connected to the exhaust gas leaving the engine on one side, which then drives an impeller on the other side to create air pressure. The more and faster exhaust gas comes out of the exhaust, the more and faster the intake side compresses air. When the amount of pressure generated by the propeller is greater than atmospheric pressure, the system is making “boost” and the amount of boost can be measured in PSI. (more…)

Car Engine Approximation In Max

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014 | 1 comment

Years ago, when I first started dabbling in the deep and dark world of Max/MSP, I attempted to create the sound of a car engine. This month’s theme (which is ‘vehicles’, if you didn’t know) reminded me about it. I opened up the patch after ages and was a bit appalled by the state of it. There are hidden skeletons in every old patch!

Instead of digging through a dated project, I recreated a patch/idea I had used about a year ago when designing sounds for a remote controlled toy airplane. I tried to adapt the simplicity of that implementation to a ‘regular’ car engine.

Here’s a sample of what it sounds like (all synthesised):

This patch was put together fairly quickly and could do with more refinements to improve the character and reduce the amount of ‘digital-ness’ in the sound. The model quite obviously breaks at higher frequencies/RPMs.

Here’s the patch: (more…)

AudioGaming competition — results!

Posted by on Jul 28, 2014 | 2 comments

5year anniversary

The results are in! Thanks for taking part in the competition, I’m told the AudioGaming crew were quite overwhelmed by all the responses they received. Here’s what Amaury said:

Some quotes were just too funny so we decided to award two prizes. One for the best serious quote, one for the funniest. The two winners will get full post-production bundles.

(..drum roll..)

Serious quote:

Winner: Kevin Peters. Sculpt, control, create.

Runner up quotes: Everything indoors, The science of sounds, The future of sound design today

Funniest quote:

Winner: Andrea Proietti. Presets are for losers

Runner up quote: Unleash an audio storm like a Greek god of sound.

Congratulations Kevin and Andrea!

The Tonebenders – Vehicle Recording Roundtable

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 | 1 comment

I’m really stoked by the way The Tonebenders Podcast has been jumping onto our monthly topics when they can. This time, they’ve got a spectacular roundtable conversation with Rob Noke, Watson Wu and Max Lachmann. Give it a listen, and make sure to visit the Tonebenders webpage to find out more information about their guests in this episode.

Thanks for the contribution, guys!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles …and tanks and bikes and boats and…

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 | 3 comments

centurian_tank

Guest Contribution by Stephan Schütze

Why I am not going to tell you which microphone to use

The simple answer to this statement is, because we don’t have time. The exact choice of which microphone to use for each situation of recording a vehicle is a detailed exercise and would take more pages than we have space for. Even then, there is a major flaw associated with the idea. What I hear and what sounds good to my ears may not work for you. Suggesting Brand X or a Model 2B, stuffed up the exhaust pipe of your Honda, may only serve to encourage you to spend more money than you need to. As much as we all love to buy new equipment, I think there is value in stepping beyond the tools and toys. I’m going to be more general and share a more conceptual approach to capturing good vehicle sounds.

What I will do is take you through some of the essential lessons I’ve learned when recording vehicle sounds for Sound Librarian. In creating our sound libraries, I’ve recorded motorbikes, cars, tanks, boats, airplanes, pretty much every vehicle I could get my microphones near.

(more…)

New Theme!

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 | 1 comment

image by: Nicolas Raymond

image by: Nicolas Raymond

We have a new theme up!  As many of our readers know; the old theme has been troublesome for quiet some time. And we got fed up with it’s unreliability and lack of support. We do apologize for any inconvenience incurred by that awful collection of CSS and tears.

We would like to thank everyone for their patience as we continue to tweak this new look and feel. Any weirdness you encounter please be sure to let us know!  We’d like to thank our own Varun Nair for his hard work in making this new (and way better) theme usable.

We’ll be making more fixes and changes over the coming weeks to make it more readable on mobile devices.

Spectral Analysis: Interview with Rob Blake

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 | 3 comments

image001
Many thanks to Brad Dyck for contributing this interview. You can follow Brad on Twitter @Brad_Dyck

It was my pleasure to speak with Rob Blake, Audio Director best known for his work on the Mass Effect trilogy. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is available now for PC and will be available for PS3/PS4 on August 19th.

BD: What originally made you move away from the UK to come over to Canada?

RB: Actually, before I came to Canada I was working at a small start-up in Spain (Tragnarion Studios). It was a really fascinating place to work because they were really passionate gamers who just wanted to make something they wanted to play themselves.

After I’d been with them for nearly a year I got offered the lead position on Mass Effect. I just finished the project I was working on in Spain so the timing worked out well. It was a dream job for me at the time – I’d been an Audio Lead before in the UK but working on something like Mass Effect was very special.

(more…)

… Mr. President!!! … (Gen 3 Helicopter Implementation in Frostbite/Battlefield 4)

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 | 11 comments

H-DRAGONS_1_web_v99

Guest contribution by Ben Minto and Bence Pajor of DICE

… Mr. President!!! …

There we were in The Thirsty Bear, reflecting on the first lot of GDC Audio Sessions, and up walks Mr. Menhorn. He knew what he wanted from us; so after introductions, a few more IPAs and some passionate discussion it was in the bag.

So here we are. A “behind the scenes”, warts and all, article and video about the helicopter models in Battlefield 4, written for the Designing Sound ‘vehicle’ month, of July.

The original model (design, implementation, samples etc.) and video capture were done by Bence Pajor, the Battlefield Audio Director and I’m (Ben Minto) handling the write up, even though I’m heading up the audio for DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront project.  This is because we were both Audio Directors on Battlefield 4, due to Bence’s absence during the middle of the project, which was in turn due to the birth of his son (mini) Olof and Sweden’s generous paternity leave. (more…)