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Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 | 1 comment

Expectations of Noise


(This one fell through the cracks for our noise feature last month, we bring it to you now…better late than never. ;) SF)

I’ve spent most of my engineering career (the last 13 years or so) doing my best to eradicate noise from my work. Working to tape as a music engineer I became well acquainted with noise gates and expanders (equipment I haven’t made any serious use of in the last few years), but that was only one small part of the noise spectrum I had to cope with. Noise, in its infinitely varied forms, would creep into my signal chain through poorly maintained mics, badly thought out cable runs, and inadequately insulated recording spaces. 

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Posted by on Oct 19, 2011 | 1 comment

Ben Burtt’s Sound Lab for “Forbidden Planet”: Artifacts from the Krell

Ben Burtt explains how the electronic score of “Forbidden Planet” was created. The video is at the right side of this page.

Prior to the screening, Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Craig Barron and Oscar-winning sound designer Ben Burtt investigated some of the secrets behind the making of the film. Barron examined the film’s breakthrough effects sequences that used miniatures and matte paintings, as well as explored how Joshua Meador created his animated “id monster” effect and combined it with live-action photography. Burtt explained how the electronic score was created, using newly discovered source tapes from the film’s composers, Louis and Bebe Barron (no relation to Craig).

via @vfxblog / @usoproject

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Posted by on Sep 29, 2011 | 0 comments

ARTSEDGE: Ben Burtt on The Sounds of “Star Wars”

This is one of a series of podcasts exploring the ways sound and sound effects can be used to help bring stories to life.

Meet Ben Burtt, Sound Designer for films like Star Wars,Raiders of the Lost Ark and WALL-E. Learn how he comes up with sounds that complement the amazing things seen on the silver screen – from laser blasts to whirring, buzzing lightsabers. Find out the story behind some of his signature effects and how he first got interested in sound design.

Listen here.

via @usoproject

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Posted by on Jun 28, 2011 | 1 comment

The Sound of “Super 8″

New article at M.P.E.G featuring the sound crew of “Super 8″, including sound designer/co-supervising sound editor Ben Burtt, co-supervising sound editor Matthew Wood and Re-recording Mixers Anna Behlmer and Andy Nelson.

For the pivotal train crash during Reel 2, Burtt faced a major challenge – how to sustain the tension without overwhelming the soundtrack. “My thought process was: How do you build to a climax when the first sound in the sequence is justifiably equally as loud as the last?” he offers. “I wanted to leave spaces in the sound effects so that the audience could appreciate discrete events without it becoming too muddy [as sounds build on one another]. I had a range of metal crashes and explosions that I time-stretched, pitch-shifted and processed to create choreographed sequences that continually build [as the full extent of the crash is appreciated]. My final decision was that there should be no overlapping sounds; each element would have a specific start and finish.”

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