With this article I really wanted to find out about the nuts and bots of vehicle engine sound design and implementation. So I contacted a few people and got some great responses and a fascinating insight into the process. My thanks to Stephen Baysted, Audio Director and Composer at Slightly Mad Studios, Greg Hill, Sound Designer at Soundwave Concepts, Adam Boyd, Sound Designer and John Twigg, Software Engineer at Crankcase Audio and Nick Wiswell, Audio Creative Director at Turn 10 Studios. (more…)
Indiewire has published a guest post by Dolby Institute’s director Glenn Kiser in which he talks to filmmakers about the importance of sound design from the beginning of production.
Making a movie is a never-ending series of compromises, and nothing is as good as the original concept you had in mind. But if you’re really lucky, there’s a moment of alchemy that can happen in the editing room when you put the right piece of music or the right sound effect into the cut. Suddenly something magical happens, and the thing comes to life. You forget about the perfect location you couldn’t secure and the cold your lead actor had on the day you shot the emotional scene. It stops being a maddening litany of disappointments and becomes a movie.
The gents with impressive facial hair over at the Beards, Cats and Indie Game Audio Podcast have glommed onto this month’s theme of “Listening”. You can check out the full episode here.
Thanks go out to Matthew Marteinsson (@mattesque) and Gordon McGladdery (@AShellInThePit) for contributing to this month’s discussion!
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.”
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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)
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.
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
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…)
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…)
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.
Winner: Kevin Peters. Sculpt, control, create.
Runner up quotes: Everything indoors, The science of sounds, The future of sound design today
Winner: Andrea Proietti. Presets are for losers
Runner up quote: Unleash an audio storm like a Greek god of sound.
Congratulations Kevin and Andrea!
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!
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.