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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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Posted by on Aug 24, 2010 | 8 comments

"The Sounds of Star Wars", New Book Written by Ben Burtt and J. W. Rinzler

Sound designers, editors, mixers, geeks and Star Wars fans. Our day has come! Ben Burt has presented “The Sounds of Star Wars“, a new book written with J. W. Rinzler. Inside it you’ll find all the secrets behind the making of the sound effects of Star Wars, and also the book includes a sound module with speaker and external output for playback of 250 different sounds (pretty amazing, huh?).

Guests at Celebration V in Orlando were honored with a rare appearance by legendary sound designer Ben Burtt. Burtt should be a familiar name to fans from his iconic work on all of the live-action Star Wars and Indiana Jones films. His accolades include academy awards for A New Hope, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and nominations for many more. As panel moderator Pablo Hidalgo puts it, “He’s the reason so many of us have high-end surround sound systems in our home theaters.”

Burtt came to discuss his latest book project, The Sounds of Star Wars. Written with New York Times best-selling author J. W. Rinzler, Sounds tells the intimate details behind your favorite Star Wars sound effects. From the majestic hum of a lightsaber to the lowly chitter of a Jawa, every effect has a story. This lavishly illustrated tome is more than just a book, it includes a sound module that lets you listen to over 250 original sounds from the Star Wars series in high-quality stereo as you read along.

And if there’s not enough, check this out:

This book has more than just sounds from the films; it also includes sounds taken from the original recordings that are only available here. It includes all of the growling and snarling recorded for the reptilian bounty hunter, Bossk, most of which was not used in The Empire Strikes Back. Burtt mixed recordings of himself growling into a microphone for most of the effects. “Paul Hirsch, editor on the film, was up to that scene where the bounty hunters are briefed by Vader. He just needed something quickly so I just went down and made that sort of snarly, vomit-producing [growl].”

It’s not just the sound designers themselves being recorded, often it’s the sound designer’s friends and family. After playing a booming, growling sound that reverberated through the auditorium, Hidalgo explained, “That is the sando aqua monster, one of the largest creatures in the Star Wars movies. Where did that sound come from?”

“That’s my lovely daughter, Emma,” Burtt beamed. “When she was about three months old, she had a growly, little cry. Of course, I recorded it because it was interesting. I thought, ‘I have to use this for a monster,’ so I slowed it way down to match the size, the mass of the creature. It’s a performance, it’s her wanting milk… or maybe a diaper change.”

Well, more than a must-have for me. What about you? Do you want to get it? If so, It’s only $60 and it’s available to buy right now at Chronicle Books.

UPDATE! It’s available on Amazon at $37,80!

Via: @usoproject

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