Ideas in Sound Design: Semiotics and Language – Part 1

Cross-posting from my personal blog.

Let’s start off with a disclaimer.

I am no expert in linguistics and semantics, nor would I consider myself truly conversant in the many critical models employed in film theory/criticism. Semiotics was something waved in front of my eyes a couple of times during undergrad (where I did not studio audio or film, by the way), then explored in much greater depth during a course in my graduate program. For this article, I’ll be falling back to some of the general concepts of Semiotics. They are the points that have truly stuck with me over the years, and they easily apply to many facets of media. They can help explain the significance of events in a narrative, the choice of words in dialog, or the functions of shot composition and sound design.

So, what the heck is Semiotics? To be honest, it’s a lot of thingsRead More



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Using Shotgun Microphones Indoors

Javier Zumer has a cool post up on his blog about Using Shotgun Microphones Indoors.

I have been researching an idea that I have been hearing for a while:

It’s not a good idea to use a shotgun microphone indoor.

I want to check this question out and, eventually, make some tests. Here we go!

Shotgun microphones

The main goal to these devices is to enhance the axis captation and to attenuate the sound coming form the sides. In other words, make the mic the more directional as possible in order to avoid unwanted noise and ambience.

To achieve this, the system cancels unwished side signals delaying them. So, the operating principle is based in phase cancellation. At first the system had a series of tubes with different sizes that allows the axis signals to arrive in the same time but forces the off-axis signals to arrive delayed. This idea, created by the prolific Harry Olson eventually evolved in the modern shotgun.

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REA_011 Jet Turbines Released

Michael Raphael over at Rabbit Ears Audio has done it again with the release of Jet Turbines.  Blurb:

REA_011 Jet Turbines Released

Raw power and thrust is what REA_011 Jet Turbines is all about. We sought out a series of hard-to-find and unique sounding turbines. We stood dangerously close to afterburners and jet wash so you wouldn’t have to. The collection includes the L39 Albatros (Soviet-era Mig Trainer), home-built Jet Motorcycle, home-built Jet Utility Cart, and several radio-controlled model jet airplanes. Did I mention the Jet Utility Cart? The L39 was not air worthy, but its turbine was pushed at various levels of the thrust on the tarmac. The Jet Motorcycle, Jet Utility Cart, and radio-controlled planes were all pushed during stationary runs and fly bys. This library is a diverse collection of thrusters ready for space travel, other-worldly bys, whines, and low-end raw power ready to be stretched into drones and other design elements.

Gear Used: Schoeps MK4+MK8, Sennheiser MKH 40+30, MKH 60, Sanken Cub-01, Sennheiser 8040, DPA 4060, Neumann RSM 191 Sound Devices 7 Series Recorders.

Introductory Price: The library will be available for only $99.00 for the next 7 days. After 7 days it will move to its full price of $115.00.

All files are available at 24/192 or 24/96 and are embedded with Soundminer Metadata

I have had the wonderful opportunity thanks to Michael to check out this library and I am super-excited about the possibilities.  As always Rabbit Ears Audio libraries give us sound designers material that we otherwise would have no change to get to ourselves. Personally I will get a huge amount of use out of this library and I don’t have the resources available to me to record a jet.

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HISSandaROAR pre-Launch Sale

Don’t pass this up:

For the month of August only;
The first 20 orders get 50% off – use discount code: MINUS50
the next 20 orders get 35% off – use discount code: MINUS35
all other orders in August get 25% off – use discount code: MINUS25

Note: the discount does not apply to site licenses, and all discount codes will cease functioning on September 1st.

Go to and use the discount code when you check out


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