Guest contribution by Douglas Murray
I was inspired to finish this write-up after reading the feature list of the new Zynaptiq UNFILTER plugin. Their web site says:
You can also apply the measured filter response from one recording to another – placing the two in the same acoustic “world”. Or you can create roomtone to fill editing gaps, by applying a measured filter response to noise.
Then I read Shaun Farley’s tweet on the subject and saw that it was quickly followed up by Mike Thornton’s Pro Tools Expert YouTube video: Using Zynaptiq’s UNFILTER Plug-in To Create Room Tone From Pink Noise. I am looking forward to trying UNFILTER for this and its many other promising features. Meanwhile, there is another way to “create room-tone to fill editing gaps” which only requires a convolution reverb plug-in many of us already own.
It’s been a great month here on Designing Sound! We took a gamble in November with the new monthly features format, and it’s been paying off in spectacular fashion. This site would not be so special without the support and contributions of the community it serves. A hearty round of thanks goes out to this month’s guests:
Tomorrow begins plug-in month. That’s a little vague, I know, but the full description of how and what we’ll be exploring is on its way. If you have something you’d like to contribute, don’t hesitate to get in touch. As you may have noticed, guest contributors are in good company!
Guest contribution by By Douglas Murray
OK, here is the ugly truth for film post, or really any surround sound work… Most reverb plug-ins do not sound natural for applications using greater than 1 or 2 speakers. What you don’t want: a reverb that jumps to completely different speakers from the source. What you do want: a reverb that spreads out from the sound and helps localize it and define the space it’s in. While I haven’t tried every reverb or surround reverb plug-in for Pro Tools, it’s a very exceptional reverb that sounds localized around the position of the source signal without having to pan the reverb return’s output. The focus of this article is localization of reverb in post for sound effects, dialog, and other discrete sonic events. Localization is of less concern for more enveloping sounds such as ambiences or music, which seem to tolerate more general spatial spreading.
In this article I’ll describe:
- why it is desirable to have the early reflections and reverb bloom outward from the direction of
- the source signal as in nature,
- how these principles must be exaggerated for the theatrical film sound environment,
- how stereo reverbs require panning to work in a multi-channel world,
- how most multi-channel reverb plug-ins largely disregard the direction of the source sound,
- how to simulate reverb localization with existing plug-ins in Pro Tools (more work and less accurate than it should be, today),
- And finally, I will describe a reverb plug-in that does what I want it to do. It seems so simple and obvious! Why is it so rare?
We just wanted to take the time to thank our guest contributors this month:
For our featured Backgrounds and Ambiences articles…Chris Groegler, Chris Didlick, Douglas Murray, and Tim Prebble…Yann Seznec, Peter Chilvers, Robert Thomas, and Stephan Schütze for discussing interactive mobile applications…and thanks to Chuck Michael and Craig Henighan for sharing their thoughts on Dolby Atmos (as well as Josh Gershman and John Loose from Dolby for providing us with a little more data). And a big thank you also goes out to Ariel Gross for sharing his thoughts, and Brady Dyck for his interview with Rob Bridgett.
Thanks again gentlemen!
Remember…this is a site for the community, by the community. If you would like to contribute in the future, drop us a line.
Guest article by Douglas Murray
photo by flickr user Bo47 (Bo Nielsen)
Remember, all rules are meant to be broken! With that principle in mind, let’s scratch the surface of the grammar and possibilities of an aspect of film sound design: backgrounds (also called BGs, atmospheres or ambiences).
Backgrounds offer a powerful opportunity to use sound for maximum impact. Movies essentially need to have background sound at all times. By adding background sounds to a scene we define what the scene is, where we are, and what’s happening around us, even off screen. We can also suggest to the audience how to feel emotionally about a particular scene by giving subtle or direct sonic cues incorporated into the background sounds.