McDSP has published a new user profile, featuring sound designer David Farmer.
“When I’m designing new sounds, I build in premix tracks that get bussed down to auxes, and those auxes then get bussed down to a composite. I almost always have an instance of Analog Channel on those premix auxes, and often an ML4000 too.”
“It’s hard to put into words why McDSP products sound so good to me. When I listen through a McDSP plug-in, it sounds like the plug-in has been listening. So many plug-ins just sound like they’re crunching numbers, but McDSP sounds like they’re actually listening to the audio.”
To get things rolling on this month’s featured sound designer, here’s a little introductory interview with Coll Anderson.
Designing Sound: How did you first get interested in sound?
Coll Anderson: My Mother was a DJ at a country radio station in Des Moines Iowa. She did that and was a VO artist… I started hanging out at the station when she was doing her show, and then hanging at sessions… That led to playing with stuff, the record players, making mix tapes, faders… I was like 12… I mean I was a little kid playing with cutting 1/4” and stuff to make my mix tapes. Then one day I got the microphone to work… That was it. My brain just exploded. I recorded music for a while, played the drums for a while but it was always that microphone thing that illuminated so much for me. Then Allison Humenuk asked me to record sound on her thesis documentary and the two ideas, recording sound, and working on movies just came full on. (more…)
I’m pleased to announce a new special guest on Designing Sound: Coll Anderson.
Coll Anderson has been working with sound for 24 years. His work includes recording, editing, designing and mixing, and spans indie art house classics, award-winning documentaries, and many studio films. From Documentaries including Errol Morrisʼ Oscar winning “The Fog of War”, Sundance Grand Jury Prize winners “Frat house,” “Manda Balla,” or “Restropo”, to Feature Films like Universals Studioʼs action classic “Death Race,” and 20th Century Foxʼs Martha Marcy May Marlene, Coll has helped to sharpen the focus and story of films with the creative use of sound.”
Coll Anderson on IMDb
C.A. Sound Inc
New article of Mix Magazine featuring sound designers Craig Berkey and Erik Aadahl talking about his work on “The Tree of Life“.
Pity the poor journalist who has to write an article about a Terrence Malick film before it’s released. The notoriously publicity-shy director isn’t talking, the official synopsis is tantalizing but sketchy, the actors are purposefully vague in interviews and the one authorized trailer is frustratingly enigmatic. When we reach supervising sound editor/sound designer/mixer Craig Berkey and co-supervising sound editor/sound designer Erik Aadahl in late April to talk about The Tree of Life, they’re both extremely careful not to reveal any plot points. So we sort of talk around the story and instead get into some of the particulars of how the film’s soundtrack was put together and Malick’s always intriguing work methods.
Today we’ll be touching on the interactive side with this months Featured Sound Designer David Sonnenschein regarding his Sonic Strategies: Animal Sounds Memory Game.
This is one of many Sound Games to be created by Sonnenschein that open ears and minds to hearing the world in new ways. Focusing on the neurobiology of audiovisual input and memory, the game draws upon film and music theory, and provides one of the cornerstones for creating story, character and emotion with audio. It uses the memory flip-card model as one example of gameplay.
This game challenges the player to move from visual to audio awareness and memory in four variations that gradually bridge one sensory input (sight) to another (hearing). See how fast you can complete each level, and how many cards you need to turn over each time. How does your performance compare when aided by sight and/or hearing?
Have fun! See if your friends have the same or different experience. This is the first of many Sound Games to come that will open your ears and mind to hearing the world in new ways and learning to create story, character and emotion with audio.
What follows is an discussion between myself (DK) and David Sonnenschein (DS) on the topic of sound interactivity and the work he is doing to further our understanding of how we related to the world around us with sound.
New GameSoundCon seminar announced. Here’s the official info:
April 28, 2011 Seattle, WA – SoundCon, LLC announces the addition of Los Angeles, CA to its list of 2011 locations for GameSoundCon, conference on game music composition and game sound design. GameSoundCon 2011 LA is an intensive full-day seminar for composers, sound designers, recording engineers and other audio professionals, teaching the unique creative, technical and business challenges of working in the game music and game sound industry.
“We began GameSoundCon in Los Angeles in 2009, and are thrilled to return,” said Brian Schmidt, Executive Director of GameSoundCon. “Since then, GameSoundCon has attracted attendees from five continents to learn the information critical to let them hit the ground running when they land their first game audio job.”
“Writing music for games is different from anything most composers have ever come across; game sound design also presents challenges that are technically and creatively unlike those for film, tv for music production,” continued Brian. “Although many schools teach music composition and sound design, few cover the additional technical and aesthetic skills needed to compose game music and create sound effects for interactive video games.”
GameSoundCon 2011 LA will be held on June 6, 2011 at the Dolby Labs screening theater in Burbank, California.
More at GameSoundCon.com.
New video of SoundWorks Collection featuring Marie Ebbing and Jonathon Stevens who talk about their work on removing noise from recordings.
Marie Ebbing & Jonathon Stevens offer advanced noise removal services for music and film post production using a suite of tools by the software developer Algorithmix. These noise removal tools are divided into 2 categories, broadband — including surface noise, hiss & hum; and transient — including camera hydraulics, coughs, page turns and other instantaneous noises.
Their use of these tools extends into the non-standard as well. They can remove unwanted dialog and music from stereo or multi-channel master recordings. Rebalancing or complete removal of instruments in a master recording is also possible and on occasion pitch correction to a specific instrument in a mix. All of this is done with the utmost respect to the sound quality of your original master.
Projects that have benefited from their noise removal services include:
Tron: Legacy, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Capitalism, Public Enemies, San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score Series, The Lord of the Rings: Complete Music Boxed sets
This is part 2 of the conversation David and I had about aesthetics. Part 1 can be found here.
Designing Sound: So, we’ve been talking about ways to identify and develop your own personal aesthetic. I’m just wondering, do you feel it’s important to track changes in your personal style over the years? Is it beneficial to consider how your aesthetic has changed over the course of your career?
David: It’s been an interesting observation. I’ve made intentional changes from being a classical musician, to one that can improvise. That’s one of the major changes, stylistically, for me. But more than just style, it’s been a way of training my ear/finger coordination as a musician, not just eye/finger coordination. While being a very strong sight-reader and classical musician, that shift opened me up stylistically to many things that would have been “wrong” as a classical musician. It allowed things to come in as not “wrong or right,” but interesting…and an exploration of different ways to make sounds with the same kind of instrument. That was one tracking that I did.
The other went beyond even the Western ear, and was listening to other cultures. Listening to the speech of other cultures, their musical scales…getting used to the micro-tonal scales of India and Bali…the use of “beat frequencies” in Balinese music that helps induce the trance in their dance and masked dramas. Those things influenced me and influenced my styles. I’m noticing that I may come full circle and come back to explorations and styles, and they now have a richer contribution to what I can do. (more…)
David and I sat down for another interview, this time to talk about aesthetics and personal style. We tried to focus on a discussion of one’s personal stylistic approach in the contexts of self-development and collaboration. It was a long and interesting discussion, so I’m going to break this up into two posts. Here’s part 1 of the transcript…
Designing Sound: I wanted to take the opportunity to talk with you this month about aesthetics: developing a personal style, and meshing that style with other peoples’ in a collaborative project. I thought you could bring into scope some interesting perspective for our readers, since you have experience as a sound designer, a producer, a director and a writer.
David Sonnenschein: It’s really a very specific role that most sound designers take in a project, where they’re serving a bigger vision than their own personal aesthetic. How does that work so that you can collaborate well, so that you can get the jobs and so that you can have some room for creativity? I’d also like to touch a bit on the idea of “free reign” and where you might be able to find those open grounds for exploration. (more…)
New article at the official website of “Star Wars: The Old Republic”, featuring sound designer Scott Morton.
Hi, my name’s Scott Morton, and I’m one of the audio designers who helps create the soundscape for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. I spend half my time coming up with new sounds for different parts of the game (explosions!), and the other half conceptualizing technical approaches for getting sound and music playing in the game engine. The art of sound design can sometimes be a little mysterious; audio is always a supporting element and tends to be secondary to visuals in the player’s mind. Yet audio’s importance in helping craft the aesthetic feel of a player’s actions and experiences shouldn’t be underestimated.