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Design Toolbox #2 – Kontakt

Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 | 4 comments

For this second post of the Design Toolbox series, I thought it would be nice to explore a sampler and it’s application in sound design. Kontakt has been around for a long time and is widely used by musicians, and lately amongst more sound designers too. I haven’t used it since version 2 (years ago), and my MIDI editing skills in Pro Tools are not the best. I thought it would be a good idea to get René Coronado to collaborate, especially since his recent independent sound effects libraries also include Kontakt instruments.

I had a Pro Tools session setup with an instance of Kontakt that had some of the Echo Collective samples installed. I was connected to René through iChat with screen sharing enabled so he could give me feedback in real time. More on how this was done at the end of this post.

January’s Featured Sound Designer: Elliott Koretz

Posted by on Jan 6, 2012 | 3 comments

New year, new month, and of course, a new featured sound designer. This month our special guest is sound designer Elliot Koretz.

I was born and raised just outside Boston and got my start in the industry very early. I guess I was always fascinated with tv and movies. When I was fourteen a cable tv/public access facility opened in my hometown and I got a job there (sometimes volunteer sometimes paid) working in tv production. It was great exposure and training. A number of years later when my dad got a job transfer to the Los Angeles area I moved out to L.A. with the thought that this really is the ultimate place to be for the film industry. I had a degree in film and went looking for work. After what turned out to be a very short search I landed an entry level position at Walt Disney Studios. I worked in the mail room for and then I had an opportunity to get into the editing dept which started me on my my way to being a sound editor and designer.

I am married with two children, two birds and a dog.

Credits @ IMDb

The Sound and Music of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”

Posted by on Jan 5, 2012 | 4 comments

In this SoundWorks Collection exclusive we talk with Composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Sound Re-recording Mixer Michael Semanick, and Re-recording Mixer, Sound Designer, and Supervising Sound Editor Ren Klyce.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a 2011 English-language drama/thriller film. It is the second film to be adapted from the Swedish novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson. The first was a 2009 Swedish-language/English dubbed film. The 2011 film was written by Steven Zaillian and directed by David Fincher. Daniel Craig stars as Mikael Blomkvist, and Rooney Mara stars as Lisbeth Salander. In essence, the film follows a man’s mission to find out what has happened to a girl who has been missing for 36 years, and may have been murdered.

SoundWorks Collection

The Sound Design Challenge is Going on Hiatus

Posted by on Jan 4, 2012 | 12 comments

This wasn’t an easy decision, but growing responsibilities and demands on my time dictate that something has to come off of my plate. Despite reducing its frequency (several months ago) the Sound Design Challenge remains a large time investment, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to apply the appropriate amount of effort it deserves. I’d rather end it than run it in a haphazard manner. The decision had been finalized while the previous competition (SDC013) was still open for entries. The flub that happened during the judging of that challenge did not contribute to this decision, it was merely a symptom of the conditions that lead to it.

All this being said, the event may not disappear entirely. If the right opportunities arise, it will continue in the future. It will simply be a less regular, and more random, occurrence. I hope people enjoyed the events and were able to pull some interesting ideas out of the creative challenges. Thanks for participating and making them all so unique.

The Recordist – North Country Trains HD

Posted by on Jan 3, 2012 | 1 comment

North Country Trains HD, new library available at The Recordist.

Presenting North Country Trains HD Professional Sound Effects Library. 117 High Definition diesel train beasts from the wilds of North Idaho. Recorded at 24Bit 96kHz at various locations in the pristine panhandle of Idaho.

Included in this collection are pass bys with and without horns, cranky rail car movements, under bridge perspectives, slack take up metal impacts, screeching wheels, locomotive engines, horn blasts and much more.

Many perspectives were captured to give you a wide variety of source to work with. Recorded almost entirely with the Sennheiser MKH-8040ST microphone for incredible low and high frequency sound design flexibility. On occasion a Sony PCM-D1 and D-50 were used on the “oops, I forgot to bring my Sennheiser MKH-8040ST” recording sessions.

Blog posts about the trains:
North Country Trains HD Videos
North Idaho Train Recording
Train Tension Symphony
Train Railroad Track Tickle
Crazy Train Doppler Pass Bys
Train Railcars Bump And Grind

Linear Vs. Minimum Phase EQ

Posted by on Dec 28, 2011 | 1 comment

There’s a great little article over on The Pro Audio Files exploring the difference between Linear and Minimum Phase EQ’s. I’ve been lucky enough to talk about it with some people far smarter than I am at AES conventions, and the article provides a concise but pointed introduction to the subject.

One of the most popular searches relating to linear-phase EQ on Google is “linear-phase explained,” which still holds very poor results. After the search, I was still grasping at straws. I said “to hell with it,” and held my own experimentation.

I created a new Pro Tools session with an oscillator at 1 kHz and line level running separately through a minimum-phase EQ plug-in and a linear-phase EQ plug-in. I recorded the results and was astounded by the differences when I boosted or cut frequencies at any bandwidth or frequency.

Continue reading the rest of the article here.

Mix Magazine: “War Horse” and the Return of Gary Rydstrom

Posted by on Dec 28, 2011 | 1 comment

If the great SoundWorks Collection profile wasn’t enough, now there’s a 4-part article at Mix Magazine, featuring Gary Rydstrom talking about the sound of “War Horse”.

“When I saw it, I was amazed how old-fashioned it felt, in a good way,” comments Gary Rydstrom, who was co-supervising sound editor (with Richard Hymns), sound designer and FX re-recording mixer for the film. “So many modern movies tend to have more edge or sarcasm or self-awareness, and this is telling a very big story in an episodic way. It’s traveling long distances and meeting a lot of different characters. It has a David Lean grandness.

“It’s a story about humanity surviving in the midst of war, told through how people relate to horses, really,” he continues. “It has a beauty to it that’s fitting and also a real emotional power. I had never worked on a movie quite like this. For me, it felt like I was able to get into a time machine and do a movie in 1960, but with Pro Tools and digital consoles.” [Laughs]

Continue reading…

SDC013’s Winner: Saro Sahihi

Posted by on Dec 26, 2011 | 1 comment

HUGE voter turnout for this challenge, which I’m very happy to see. It came down to a race between Saro Sahihi and Chris Fox, with Saro edging ahead by a mere 8 votes at the close of the poll! One final thanks to Colin Hart and Hart FX for sponsoring this challenge.

Congratulations, Saro.

Gary Rydstrom Talks “War Horse”

Posted by on Dec 24, 2011 | 2 comments

New profile by SoundWorks Collection, featuring sound designer Gary Rydstrom and composer John Williams talking about the sound and music of “War Horse”.

From director Steven Spielberg comes “War Horse,” an epic adventure for audiences of all ages. Set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War, “War Horse” begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him.

When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land.

In the exclusive SoundWorks Collection video we talk with Sound Designer and Re-recording Mixer Gary Rydstrom and Composer John Williams.

New SFX Library from Coll Anderson

Posted by on Dec 21, 2011 | 0 comments

June’s featured sound designer, Coll Anderson, has just released a new sound effects library. Imagine if someone followed you around your house all day and recorded everything you did, and every sound created by those things you interacted with. You now have a pretty good idea of the content of this library, titled “House.” 3 Gigs, 279 files, recorded at 24/96  and lots of variations.

Coll also mentions, and I quote:

“A small aside, for those of you interested, and who know my relationship with Audio Ease…One of the next few IRʼs drops might (like that, “might”) include all sorts of IRʼs from the house this library was recorded in. Might.”

That’s of course referring to Altiverb, which would provide a pretty unique integration between this library and available reverbs if it happens.

Head over to Coll’s website to preview sounds and get full details about the library.