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Posted by on Aug 1, 2011 | 0 comments

August’s Featured Sound Designer: Tim Nielsen

It’s a great pleasure to introduce this month’s featured sound designer at Designing Sound: Tim Nielsen. Mainly located at Skywalker Sound, Tim has a long, diverse and impressive credit list, working both as a sound designer, supervising sound editor and effects editor, and he will share lots of articles, tips and thoughts with us. Enjoy!


Tim Nielsen was born in 1971 and his fascination with film sound started at the University of Southern California where one of his student friends was Addison Teague who years later became a close colleague at Skywalker Ranch.

Tim Nielsen was actually Skywalker guru Gary Rydstrom’s first summer intern back in 1996, and since then there’s been no going back. Two years later Tim got his first proper sound effect job at the Ranch and has since then worked on a number of films and projects, of which the ones mentioned below are just a few selected highlights.

Tim’s fascination with sound effects recording has also led to the release of an iTunes-collection called ‘Natural Sounds for Sleep and Relaxation’. There’s not been much relaxation for Tim himself, though, as he’s been keeping constantly busy – at the moment he’s the sound designer for John Carter, a new action-adventure by Wall-E director Andrew Stanton.

Welcome, Tim!

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Posted by on Nov 2, 2010 | 4 comments

November's Featured Sound Designer: Jamey Scott

Wow, this year is almost over! One year ago I started with the exclusive sound design specials. It’s amazing to see the incredible persons that have visited us each month. And November will not be an exception. It’s an honor to announce the visit of a very talented sound designer: Jamey Scott.


Jamey Scott is a multi-talented, creative sound engineer and post-production facility owner in Burbank, CA. He’s been working as a creative sound designer, re-recording mixer, foley artist, dialog editor, adr recordist, game engine designer and implementer, and composer for the last 17 years, contributing pivotal roles in excellent independent films, award-winning animated shorts, and some of the most successful and influential video games in the industry’s history.

Jamey began his career as a “creative engineer” when he was very young, beginning his musical training on the trumpet at 10 years old. In high school he began playing guitar and studied Jazz and improvisation; a passion that would carry him through his college education where he studied under Rick Helzer at San Diego State University as his primary coursework for a Bachelor of Music degree with emphasis in Jazz studies and composition. Jamey was a celebrated Jazz guitarist who played alongside many outstanding and famous Jazz musicians.

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Posted by on Sep 1, 2010 | 5 comments

September’s Featured Sound Designer: David Farmer

Photo by "Jean H. de Buren"

New month means a new special on DS. I’m very glad to announce the visit of one of my favorite sound designers out there: David Farmer. He will be sharing a lot of interesting stuff, including articles, interviews, videos, and more! I hope you enjoy it.


David Farmer grew up in the little town of Gladys, Virginia. He was always interested in music growing up, and played drums, guitar, and bass in his youth. Drums actually come the most natural to him, but he wanted to write songs in their entirety, so picked up the guitar. He  would record a drum part to a cassette, then play guitar along with that cassette while recording the composite mix to another cassette. Rinse & repeat with other instruments until the song is done. This is far from how songs are actually made (using multi-track recording), but was all he had access to. More than just music, he found he was actually interested in sound itself, which led him to my career in sound effects for feature films.

Condensing the next phase of his life, he wound up in Burbank CA working on films, such as Mortal Kombat, The Mask, Dumb & Dumber, etc…. After that, he started working on films out of Skywalker Ranch, including The Arrival, Armageddon, Con Air, Space Cowboys, and so on. He wound up as the Sound Designer for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Clearly this was a dream job for someone in this field.

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Posted by on Jul 14, 2010 | 0 comments

Cinesonika, The First International Film and Video Festival of Innovative Sound

The first international festival dedicated to sound on film and video has arrived. It’s called Cinesonika.

This first annual festival will showcase international works of film and video with fascinating soundtracks, idiosyncratic sound design, eclectic scoring and innovative approaches to the sound-image relationship. These works will be screened in a two weekend festival at the Westminster Savings Credit Union — Simon Fraser University Surrey Theatre, which feature’s one of the most advanced digital theatres in Canada, with 4K HD 3D capable digital projection utilizing a Lightyear Digital system.

More info…

Via The Sonic Spread

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Posted by on Jul 2, 2010 | 3 comments

July’s Featured Sound Designer: Bruce Tanis

New month and new guest! For July I’m glad to announce the visit of Bruce Tanis as our special guest. He is a veteran sound effects editor who will share his knowledge with us. We will have a fantatic month with several articles on sound effects editing and design. Hope you enjoy it!

Bio (written by Bruce)

I was born in Oakland, California in 1959. My father was in the Navy at the time so after a couple of weeks to get used to being on the planet, we moved to Corpus Christi, Texas. Several moves later, my family had moved to Reno, Nevada. I went to high school and college in Reno, ultimately receiving a bachelor of science degree in Forestry from the University of Nevada at Reno. Sadly, this was in the early 80’s after a decade of students deciding they wanted ecological jobs in the great outdoors so my prospects for employment weren’t great in an already full marketplace.

Fortunately for me, one of my professors in the Art Department at UNR was also the local film critic for the CBS TV affiliate in Reno and he was able to help me get a job there as a studio camera operator. This was an entry level position and quickly led to running the audio console for news broadcasts and specials. I like to think I was somehow drawn to the audio position as a matter of life choice but it was probably more a matter that no one else wanted to do it! I stayed at the station for a few years and it turned out to be a great education in sound work which allowed me to go on to the next step of my career. I already had a B.S. at this point but in order to get into film school in L.A., I had to begin again since no school I applied to wanted a student with a background in audio, whether I could recognize trees or not, as part of their graduate program. I began classes for a general film arts degree at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Ca. in 1989.

Our Department Chairman at that time was Jim Jordan who had directed a lot of the Pillsbury Doughboy commercials among other things and I always thought that was kind of fun. I spent one year there and my film editing teacher told me they were looking for an assistant editor at Cannon Films in the TV spot & Promos Department. I applied on a Friday and started working at Cannon on Monday. Cannon was a good place to work in one respect: being non-union, although they didn’t pay well at all, I could walk into any room and ask whoever was there to show me what they were working on. Sound cutting, mixing, & picture editorial; it was all done in the same building on San Vicente Blvd near Wilshire in Beverly Hills. The people were great about explaining what they were doing so it really was a great place to learn all about post production.

From there I went to Todd-AO on Seward Ave. in Hollywood to work as a department assistant. I started as a television assistant moving units to and from stages, both foley or ADR stages and dub stages, and helping with whatever the editors might need in the way of delivering materials to them or helping with cue sheets or whatever. Two years of schlubbing heavy two-inch multitrack tape cases around was enough so I spent my time after work learning how to run one a Synclavier which, at that time, was the workhorse of Todd-AO’s fx editing rooms. I never made a conscious decision to edit effects instead of dialog but that’s the way it worked out. Todd-AO had basically divided it’s department into one or the other based on the gear installed in each room so I went down the effects path. I started cutting as a real job in 1992 and now, in 2010, I’m about to start work on, approximately, my 87th feature, “Yogi Bear” for Warner Brothers. Whew!

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