One of the main reasons to start this site back in 2008 and also one of the things that keeps me motivated to do this is the impact that some people had in my life; curiously, people who I haven’t met in person, but I’ve deeply met with my ears.
I’m talking about those sound designers who created initial routes for all of us and started to develop a truly amazing way of working with sound, by establishing the essence of this art, not just from a technical perspective but an emotional, narrative and even spiritual one. I’m so glad to make this post about about one of those sound genius, a person that I know many of us deeply admire, Alan Splet.
He had the main faculties any sound designer needs to have, as described by Splet’s widow Ann Kroeber: “attention to detail, nuance, perseverance, ability to vastly influence the mood of a scene by the choice and placement of sounds”.(more…)
Last month my friend Marc Mailand was showing me around his home studio (which is super sweet). We were discussing his surround setup and mentioned needing a surround panner and how expensive they are. I noticed the PS3 controller sitting on his desk and wondered out loud: “There has got to be some sort of DIY solution using a game joystick as a surround panner”. So when it came time to think up an article for this months topic of “Surround” I thought it would be eezy peezy to round up all of the DIY surround panners out there, only to find that it is a mythical beast! (more…)
Let’s talk about surround sound systems for a quick second, shall we?
A modern surround sound system, in its simplest form, consists of six channels; Left, Center, Right, Left Surround, Right Surround, and the Low Frequency Effect channel. The first five channels are all fairly self-explanatory, denoting the location of the speaker itself and the channel’s location in the sound field. That last one, the LFE, is a little bit more complicated. (more…)
The reflections in your control room represents the sound of your room. What sound do you ideally want from your control room? Do you want all the direct sound or straight line sound from your speakers? Do you want to include the sound of the reflections from the room in your mix? If so, how much of the room sound do you want?
Room sound is reflections. Reflections from your room walls, floor, ceiling, and rear wall are all part of the sound of the room. It is present in all rooms and must be managed correctly, if you are to hear all the sounds in your mix. Lets identify the problematic room boundary surfaces that produce these reflections.
It’s been a little while since the last SFX Independence. This month’s round-up runs the gamut of sounds, from guns and rockets, to birds and screams. Plus, there are some get-them-while-you-can offers still on. First up…
Boom Library – Birds of Prey
With their latest release Boom Library continue their tradition of giving early-bird discounts (definitely no pun intended). They are offering a 20% discount on Birds of Prey up until May 10th of €119.20.
HISSandaROAR released a new library this past week. Contact Mic Two is a whopping 12.5 GB of dual mono/stereo contact mic recordings, all recorded at 24-bit / 192KHz.
You can purchase either Contact Mic One or Contact Mic Two for a discount; $129 down from $198 for One, and $74 down from $99 for Two. This special offer ends midnight Friday 9 May though, so you’ve got to be quick.
Diego Stocco’sFeedforward Sound series has been a hit among professional and hobbyist sound design enthusiasts alike. The first tutorial, Rhythmic Processing, looked at generating rich rhythmic textures from one source recording with percussive transients. The second, Convolution Processing, shifted focus slightly toward creating and processing transients and accents that are musically in sync with a main rhythm track.
His latest offering is not a tutorial, but a collection of creatively recorded spaces. Rhythmic Convolutions takes impulse responses to another level, with a set of over 200 responses aimed designed for processing highly percussive sound elements.
At $29.99, this pack comes in a little pricier than the previous two, which is explained by the fact that these are impulse responses that once purchased can be integrated into any sound design workflow.
Audio files are 24-bit/48KHz.
EDIT: The standard price of $29.99 is specifically for the purchase of a music license single user. If your usage falls under any other category (or you’re not sure), you’re advised to check the product website and/or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rockets 2 – Static Burns is the brand new library from Rabbit Ears Audio. Following on from Rockets 1, which pulled together a various rocket ignitions, launches and misfires, their new collection goes one step further.
Featuring an assortment of large-scale rocket motors, both dry propellant and commercially available, each motor was recorded from up to 8 perspectives at 24-bit / 192KHz.
Rockets 2 is currently priced at $79.00 (usual price $99.00) and, for a limited time, customers can pick up Rockets 1 and 2 for discounted price of $135.00 (usual price $169.00).
Another recent addition to the Rabbit Ears Audio library is Typewriters. Also priced at $70.00, this collection features seven different typewriters all recorded from 4 mono perspectives; close; distant; under keyboard (close) and; under type bars (close).
All files are recorded at 24-bit / 192KHz and are availble to purchase now via this link.
FullAuto is a collection of two sound libraries (Part 1 and Part 2) from sound designer Watson Wu, featuring various recordings from full automatic rifles of different calibers. Recorded from a number of different perspectives, FullAuto also offers a range of shooting modes such as Singles, Bursts, Mag Dumps as well as gun foley sounds.
Each library is priced at $249.00 and is recorded at 24-bit / 96KHz.
Broken wax cylinder containing the ‘first’ film soundtrack circa 1894-1895
In ‘broken’ month I wanted to find out a little more about what’s being done to fix (and preserve) some of the broken pieces of film history. The story of the Dickson Experimental Sound Film (link to view at the end of the article) seemed to be a good way into the subject and I am indebted to Ken Weissman, supervisor of the film preservation lab at the Library of Congress, Jerry Fabris, museum curator at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park and Paul Spehr, author and film historian, for their help putting this article together. (more…)
We’re happy to announce that we’ve got another Designing Sound Discussion Group coming this Sunday! We’ll be hosting a live chat with Noah’s Craig Henighan and Coll Anderson. Given this month’s theme, we’ll be focusing in on a discussion of the impact of Dolby Atmos on their work for the film. Of course, we won’t be restricted to that, so make sure you come with your questions too!
The broadcast will be hosted through Google Hangouts on Air at 4PM, U.S. Eastern Time, this Sunday (May 11th). You can watch the live stream here on the site, but you’ll have to head over to our Google+ page if you want to ask questions/participate in the discussion.
Don’t forget that you can check out all of our previous Discussion Groups in our Archive, including our last web-panel with the audio post team for Orthodox: Remote Collaboration and Maintaining a Consistent Voice.
There was a time when people argued that theatrical (even home) sound has long been three dimensional. Maybe there are still some that make that claim. With the rise of binaural audio, Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D, sound actually is entering the third dimension. This is just a small semantic argument. Surround sound, in its traditional 5.1 and 7.1 formats, wasn’t technically three dimensional. It was still a two dimensional plane, but that plane was perpendicular to the screen. In a way, it made the viewing experience three dimensional. Here we had the 2D screen on the vertical plane, and the 2D sound on the horizontal. The world of the film could extend away from the screen to envelop the viewer. As the presence of three dimensional image grows in our media consumption experiences, it’s become even more important to make good use of the surround technology at our disposal. The visual experience is now as immersive as the aural.
With that fact in mind, we turn our focus this month to the topic of “Surround.”
Next month’s featured topic will be “Silence.” As always, we want your guest contributions. If you have an idea you’d like to explore, or something you want to put in front of the community, whether it be as part of our monthly topic or something further afield, please contact us. Email Shaun, or use our contact form to get the ball rolling.
As April comes to an end and we wrap up our topic for the month, “broken”, I wanted to take a moment and share something that I learned when I was first starting out, and something that I find myself having to remember quite often: how to react when everything starts to break.
We depend on a lot of complex technologies in our day-to-day lives, some more intricate and convoluted than others. As sound designers, we often find ourselves using even more complicated and specialized gear and equipment, adding to the complexity. While a lot of time and effort has gone into making these technologies work perfectly, the simple fact of the matter is that things have a tendency to break, often when you need them the most. As an old friend of mine likes to say, “Murphy was an optimist!” (more…)