Allow me to share a story with you:
It was the weekend before the holiday break. Our horror film shoot had been going on for a few days, and as was typical of December at the base of Cape Cod, the weather was frigid and rapidly getting worse. With reports of an approaching winter storm, we frantically worked in the freezing cold to finish our exterior shots as quickly as possible. After moving inside the little house and getting the final shots of the day, my boom operator and I quieted everyone to perform the always-exciting task of collecting room tone.
Typically, room tone recordings are unremarkable things, but on this cold December night, hidden behind the whine of the set lighting, the creaks of an old settling house, the distant buzz of the electrical system, was a soft and rhythmic ringing. The two of us glanced around the room, making sure someone on the crew wasn’t fiddling with their keys, but even they had puzzled looks on their faces: They heard it, too. After a minute or so, we cut the recording and everyone started running around trying to find the source of the sound. It wasn’t until someone opened the front door that we realized what it was. Read More
The 3rd Annual UK Music+Sound Awards is now accepting entries. MASA 2014 celebrates the role of music and sound design in the advertising, film, television and gaming industries.
The program is open to anyone involved in the creation, composition, sourcing, licensing, briefing, or production of music and sound design for any visual media broadcast or released in the UK. Applicants will also be automatically entered into the International Awards program happening later in 2014.
The awards categories have been created to include the widest possible use of music and sound in visual media. They invite entries from computer games, television and cinema commercials, non-broadcast or viral advertising, branding and title sequence, feature films, and television programs. Each of these areas will be judged for: best original composition, best sound design and best sync/use of existing music.
The entry window closes on November 30, 2013. Nominees will be announced at the beginning of February 2014, and winning entries will be honored and showcased at a ceremony on February 27, 2014, in London.
For more information, go to www.masawards.com.
Impulsonic has recently released a Unity Demo that highlights the advanced capabilities of their Acoustect SDK in a game environment. Though best known for its use in detailed architectural acoustic modeling, the SDK provides a physically based 3D audio technology perfectly suited for game engines, providing an incredibly fast simulation of realistic sound occlusion. It allows for true 3D audio that adapts in real-time to the game environment and player positioning. Game developers and sound designers looking for an edge in creating realistic sounding virtual worlds should absolutely check out the demo.
For more information, or to download the demo, visit Impulsonic’s website.
Jana Winderen is an artist, widely known for her recordings that reveal sounds from hidden sources — oceans, ice crevasses, glaciers — using a variety of technology, from high quality hydrophones to ultrasound detectors. Her work is published on Touch Music (same as Chris Watson) and her biography boasts of a long and impressive list of art installations.
She was kind enough to spare some time from her schedule and share some of her thoughts in this interview.
DS: Let’s start with your background. What got you started with field recording?
JW: I have always been occupied with the oceans and their inhabitants, also of how we treat the planet’s environments, I used to study Science to become a marine biologist, before I studied art in Falmouth and London. In the early nineties, I made a conscious decision to not make any more objects, solid objects which occupy space and tend to turn into garbage. I decided to start using material that did not occupy physical space, but still is a very physical material, as sound is. After some years in the studio, I simply fell asleep, and I decided to go out, back out, into the ocean, into the forests and the mountains to find and record sounds from unknown sources of sound, from both inaccessible areas and from frequencies not audible for us (without changing the way we listen to them, like speeding up or down for example). I am interested in the areas not known, or less investigated, less researched, where questions are still possible to ask, and which should be asked.
DS: You mention ‘blind field recordings’ a lot. What does it actually mean? How does it affect your recordings?
JW: I am concerned with finding unknown sources of sound, sound we do not know is there, or cannot reach with our senses as mentioned above. It is a very concentrated listening process, something which is unknown, unseen, not obvious what it is, like a search through sound, and not through looking at and then listening to. Close your eyes while recording, then follow the sound, and investigate the audible and not the first seen or heard.
It is a different way of recording out in the wild. You can set up your microphone, your recorder to record, leave the place and then come back a couple of hours later, go home with your recordings and get surprised and excited about what you have got. I am working in a different way though a lonely process of intense concentration, monitoring constantly what is there, then move according to what I hear, to get closer, to search, and almost without exception I am surprised and excited about a new creature, or a phenomenon I did not expect, this makes it an endless source of wonder and questioning, and an urge to learn more, through listening, though also through concentrated observations, sometimes also visual close up observations.
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