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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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Posted by on Feb 9, 2011 | 1 comment


“Mixing is a performance. You sit down at the console. You’re alert, and you’re playing parts in the picture: You’re a robot, you’re a door, you’re a laser gun. And you get into it. You should be breathing hard and sweating when it’s over with.”

Ben Burtt

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Posted by on Dec 13, 2010 | 0 comments

"The Sounds of Star Wars" – Interview with Ben Burtt and J.W Rinzler

Courtesy of Lucasfilm

NPR has published an interview with Ben Burtt and J.W Rinzler, discussing several things about “The Sounds of Star Wars” book.

It takes only a few seconds of sound — a spaceship launching, the familiar clash of lightsabers — to know that you are positively not in Kansas anymore. These are the sounds of Star Wars — from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, three-dimensional in a way that envelops you and that has changed the way movie soundtracks get assembled.

Now the most celebrated of these sounds have been collected for a new book-and-audio collection, The Sounds of Star Wars, written by J.W. Rinzler and including a foreword by the architect of that audioscape himself: renowned sound designer Ben Burtt.

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Via Sound Design Yahoo Group

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Posted by on Oct 18, 2010 | 1 comment

"The Sound Behind The Image" Lecture by Ben Burtt at AES 2010

Ben Burtt will give a lecture called “The Sound Behind The Image” at the 129th AES Convention.

Much has been documented about the technical history of motion picture sound. We know a lot about the story of microphones, loudspeakers, and optical, magnetic, or digital recording processes. Very little has been said about the aesthetic history: Why do sound people do what we do? What have been the creative achievements? The great ideas? How has sound been used to enhance the image and give vast dramatic power to the feature film?

“The Sound Behind The Image” will walk us through cinema history from the silent film to 1977 when Burtt designed sounds for Star Wars. He will talk more about the ART of film sound than the SCIENCE. He will pinpoint and show the moments in American film history that inspired and allowed him to learn his craft in sound design. Burtt believes a Language of Sound developed in the classic era that is still the basis for all our creative sound work today. Let us study, learn, speak, and enjoy that language together.

For more information about this lecture and the rest of the activities of the event, please visit the official AES website.

Via @RandyCoppinger

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Posted by on Sep 8, 2010 | 2 comments

Wired Magazine: Ben Burtt Talks "The Sounds of Star Wars" Book

Wired has published an exclusive video featuring Ben BurttRandy Thom and the guys behind the sound of “Star Wars: Clone Wars” (Matthew Wood and David Acord)  talking about the recently announced “The Sounds of Star Wars” book from J.W Rinzler and the legacy of the Star Wars sounds. There are also several video footage of the original recording sessions that Ben and Randy had in those days (Pretty nice to se those tapes rolling, huh?).

We have some issues with the video embed codes, but you can see the video here.

By the way, I received my copy of the book some days ago, and its really fascinating!! It’s a must-have for any on this sound design and recording world. You’ll find tons of amazing stories from Ben Burtt, lots of pictures and beautiful graphic content, and 256 fantastic sounds. The quality of the speaker is ok, but it has an external 1/8″ connection, so you’ll hear the sounds pretty well.

The Sounds of Star Wars

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