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Recording Mountain Air, TONSTURM’s New Library

Posted by on Dec 6, 2011 | 2 comments

TONSTURM‘s first ambience library Mountain Air is available now at $99 (Introductory offer until Dec 24th. Regular price is $119)

This ambience sound pack features surround sound recordings which were captured during an extensive field recording trip in the beautiful Alps of Austria and Tyrol. You get 7.12 GB of clear and wide sounding mountain ambiences full of air, birds, brooks, crickets and cowbells in 5.0 Channel Surround HD Audio @ 24 Bit, 96 KHz.

Below is a q&a I had with Tilman Hahn, who runs TONSTURM with Emil Klotzsch.

What was your inspiration for the library?

Right from the beginning when we started Tonsturm, we had planned to create effects and ambience libraries. The ambience libraries just needed a little bit more of research as we definitely wanted to recorded them in surround. We both have a lot of ideas and try to gather more information and experiences until some of these ideas seem to materialize into a topic for a sound library. Our ideas are also influenced by our work as sound designers and sound editors. This year I was asked to work on a film that is set in the Alpine Mountains. I have been hiking and recording in Austria two times before but these recordings were all done in stereo and not for library purposes. So this seemed to be the perfect moment to start what we were already planing since last year. From what I have seen and recorded on my previous trips we knew that Austria and Tyrol would be a great place for recording our first ambience release.

How was the trip and what places were you looking for?

I went on this trip together with Bennie Diez, a good friend of mine, who is a director and vfx artist. He did the wonderful photo- and video documentation. The trip was a great experience and the perfect compensation for the daily work in front of the computer. We tested the weight of our equipment bags before but did not think about the fact that we where hiking uphill most of the time. We were reaching our physical limit every day as we are not very trained hikers. During the trip we gained more and more endurance which made everything more enjoyable.

Before we started the trip we checked the air routes above austria to find the places with less air traffic to avoid as much aircraft noise as possible. mid-September seemed to be a good time for recording in the alps as most of the cows were not on the paddock any more and the tourist season was over. During our trip we obviously searched for places far away from the bigger roads. These were mainly conservation areas. In these areas we were looking for places like high valleys which seemed to be the best isolation from any civilization noise.


SFX News: Animal Bells, Chimes, Interface, Electrified, Freebies, Transitions

Posted by on Dec 6, 2011 | 0 comments

– Rabbit Ears Audio has released Animal Bells sfx library, a collection of 16 animal bells made out of a variety of materials, such as brass, bronze, common metals, wood, among others. The package includes over 1000 sounds. The 192kHz version is 70 and the 96kHz version is $50.

The bells in the collection were originally designed for cow, goats, sheep, elephants, and possibly a cat or two. There is a even a Buddhist bell tossed in because it just sounds so good.

Each bell was recorded from multiple perspectives with Schoeps and Sennheiser MKH microphones. It was tracked on a Sound Devices 744T with a Cooper CS-104 as a front end. We like those Cooper mic pres.

– Tim Prebble announced CHIMES at HISS and a ROAR:

– Daniel Gooding has released Electrified library, featuring 300 electrical designed souds, including amviences, loops, menus, sparks/shocks, weaponry, whooshes, etc. Delivered at 96kHz.

For when you need an electrical kick in your project. Electrified Library is the result of many sounds from my other libraries, careful foley, and Heavy Sound design with various effects. The result is an awesome selection of electrical sounds both to add, and inspire in your sound design.

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– BOOM Library is doing the BOOM advent calendar. Also, there’s a new library called The Interface“, available for pre-order now.

Get more than 2200 different interface sound effects: Buttons, clicks, slides, jingles and much more. Delivered broadcast ready in 48kHz and 24-bit, this library makes your digital interfaces speak a whole new and modern language.

– Blastwave FX is giving away a free HD sound effects pack, the Blastwave FX Hard Drive Demo Sampler

– The Hollywood Edge has released Segue Surround 5.1 HD, a toolkit with 1,170 sounds delivered at 96kHz.

The Hollywood Edge has announced the release of Segue Surround 5.1 HD, a first-of-its-kind sound effects toolkit featuring more than 1,100 whooshes, stingers, impact effects, atmospherics and other transitional elements created in true 5.1 surround sound. The large collection is well suited for films, broadcast television, radio, commercials, trailers, interactive media, podcasts and other types of programming requiring special sound treatments.

Ren Klyce Talks “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

Posted by on Dec 6, 2011 | 2 comments

We got to sit down with Ren Klyce, Oscar-nominated sound designer (Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), to ask a few questions about the technical and creative sides of the sound design process for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

We learned how Klyce (pictured below) and his team created the soundscapes of freezing cold and blind terror for the film. Here’s how it went

Continue reading at Post Magazine


Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 | 4 comments

“The ultimate metaphoric sound is silence. If you can get the film to a place with no sound where there should be sound, the audience will crowd that silence with sounds and feelings of their own making, and they will, individually, answer the question of, “Why is it quiet?” If the slope to silence is at the right angle, you will get the audience to a strange and wonderful place where the film becomes their own creation in a way that is deeper than any other.”

Walter Murch

Game Audio: Getting in

Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 | 3 comments

While this blog is usually reserved for Sound Designing and the Designing of Sound, a recent blog post by Samuel Justice titled: “Getting your first gig in the world of game audio” woke me from my sound bathed complacency and desperately urged me to put pen to…uhh…blog post.

Readers of this stream of sound related goodness will be no stranger to the idea of getting in, having gotten in, or wanting to find out how to spend your days doing nothing but the aforementioned sound bathing and Sam starts things off simply enough…

“I get emailed a lot about how I got my first gig and how to get gigs. In the short time that I’ve been involved in the game sound industry things have changed, quickly.”

…and before you know it he’s rat-a-tat-tatting the things that helped him get a leg up and into his current gig doing sound for games. When he says things “have changed, quickly” the more I read I think “the more thing have stayed, the same”. Was he’s taken the time to template-ize for the would be game audio mavens of the world is in essence a testament to his greatest quality: Tenacity. I urge you to read on and find your own determination within to follow your creative muse to a satisfying place of being.

In the meantime, it seems like this “getting in” thing has been happening a lot lately.

Here’s an update from Joe Cavers, another recent game audio acquisition:

“Anyone who follows me on Twitter or reads this blog knows that this is a dream come true for me. I’m still reeling from the fact that I’ve landed what is essentially the start of my career straight out of uni.”

Take some time to peruse his “Into Sound” blog and you’ll find some educational gems that he’s put forward about making sound with the Unreal Developers Kit.

Which brings me to Andrew Quinn, of the “recently hired to Splash Damage” extreme noise maestro who had this to share at a recent speaking engagement covered by Stefan Rutherford (be sure to stick around for Stefans other insightful posts):

“The blog ‘Master Of Sound’ can be accessed from It’s not as regularly updated anymore but head through the archive and you’ll very quickly stumble upon something interesting.”

…and there’s interesting stuff there to be sure, not the least of which being his involvement with The Game Audio Tutorial! I first head of him back when he cooked up an interactive mixer built with Max/MSP. Be sure to head over to his Splash Damage profile page where you can absorb more of his origin story.

So, that’s 3 recent cases of “Getting in” to Game Audio, illustrated and punctuated by their willingness to share these experiences with you. Having watched all of them make their transitions from afar, all I can say is that the gaming industry is all the better for their presence.

Here are a few more resources that you might want to check out if you think you have what it takes to follow your bliss:

Vincent Diamante – Sums up “How to break into Game Audio” over at Game Career Guide.
Leonard J. Paul – From his AES Brazil presentation sums up the state of the industry and details a bullet list of recommendations on slide 16.
Kris Giampa – Shares his insight on “How to get into the Video Game Industry (Sound Designer Edition)

For those of you who have been laboring away towards a career designing sounds or getting your game audio groove on, keep at it there’s room for more passionate people!
Anyone else have any tips or resources or questions? Lot’s of savvy readers out there willing to discuss!

Francis Ford Coppola Talks About the Evolution of Movie Sound

Posted by on Nov 28, 2011 | 0 comments

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As early as the Apocalypse Now movie in 1979 when Francis Ford Coppola and sound designer Walter Murch pioneered a quadraphonic sound system for the film tour, Coppola has made sound and audio technology an important part of filmmaking, including building a dedicated mixing facility, American Zoetrope. In 2010, under the direction of Coppola, Zoetrope was turned into one of the first post-production facilities to install a Meyer Sound EXP cinema loudspeaker system on its rerecording stage and has since upgraded the other rooms to EXP. Tetro and Twixt are two of his movies that were mixed on an EXP system.

In this video, Coppola chats about the evolving role of sound in his storytelling and his sound facility in Napa.

via musicofsound

Harry Cohen Special: Opening Inglourious Basterds

Posted by on Nov 27, 2011 | 6 comments

I got Harry Cohen on the phone to talk about one of my favorite scenes, the opening of Inglourious Basterds. There’s nothing big or over the top in this scene, it just an excellent example of subtle technique in support of the moment. In the course of the chat, we occasionally diverge into some interesting work-flow tangents. Hope you enjoy it.

Designing Sound: The scene was very subtle and had a lot of quiet sounds. It also had a lot of tension. Was this a difficult scene to approach?

Harry Cohen: Technically the hardest part on that was all the production dialog arrived with a lot of hum on it from the generator. Luckily Izotope RX2 had a De-Hum plug-in in it that allows you to dial in the European frequency. That’s how I had to start, was by processing everything with that. You don’t try to get it all out, or it takes too big of a chunk out of the dialog.

After that, we wanted to come up with some background winds and tones that further helped mask that as much as possible…then do a lot of really detailed foley. We get into what we call hyper-reality, especially on a lot of the Tarrantino films. So, as the scene goes on, we start to back off on the backgrounds and the tones and stuff, and bring the focus in on the dialog We had to suck the air out of the scene a little bit, so that it gives you a little more closeness to the characters.

Mainly it was what Cristoph Waltz [ed. Hans Landa character] did with his performance, his eyes and stuff, as he turns from this bumbling almost Clouseau character into the menacing Nazi Jew hunter he reveals himself to be. It was riveting. (more…)

Harry Cohen Special: Collaborating with Oliver Stone and Quentin Tarantino

Posted by on Nov 25, 2011 | 2 comments

It’s still Harry Cohen’s month here at Designing Sound and now is the time to dig into two of Harry’s most celebrated collaborations: his prolific work with Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone.

Harry has been an integral part of the Tarantino Sound Team since the first Kill Bill in 2003 and was the sound designer on Oliver Stone’s three latest films, World Trade Center, W. and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Harry’s partner-in-crime, supervising sound editor Wylie Stateman, has a long history with Stone, though, as they’ve worked together for more than 20 years.

How would you describe Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone as collaborators and filmmakers?

They are very different from each other. To a certain extent, both expect you to know what is appropriate, that is, what their intention is, by looking at the film. Both are very tuned in to every tiny detail of the sound and dialogue, with amazing memories for what they have heard during the edit and mix process. Quentin in particular is a great communicator. He will make reference to sounds from other movies and such. On Kill Bill, he gave me about 7 VCR tapes of old Hong Kong martial arts movies, and would say “I really like the blood spurt sound in this one”, and such. Oliver can be a bit trickier. He might listen to a reel playback and say “you are burying me with sound”, when what he really means is that he doesn’t want anything in the track to trump a certain sound moment that hasn’t happened yet. It can take a while to figure it out, but it always makes perfect sense in the end.

You’ve now collaborated on several feature filmswith both directors. Quite often, sound can be very tricky to talk about – how do you communicate about sound and how has your dialogue evolved throughout the years?

Someone famously said “talking about music (sound) is like dancing about architecture”. A great way to communicate is by referencing stuff in other movies, but I really don’t know if we are talking about the same thing until I do something and they react to it. Face to face meeting is essential: if I am not sure of what they want, then I can ask specific questions to make it clearer.

How early are you usually involved in their films?

Earlier and earlier. On Oliver’s films, there have been times when I have prepared a track that his production mixer will play back live on the set during shooting, to help create an atmosphere for the actors. Then we have our own material come back to us as production sound! At the very least, we prepare sounds or whole scenes for the Avid as early as they are available. We just had a meeting with the production mixer for Quentin’s next film, and packed him off with a 5 channel DPA mic that he is willing to record as much ambience and production sound as he can with, for the next Quentin film, “Django”. We also try to visit the sets and locations when we can, to gather stuff.