This article was born out of an idea for a GDC audio talk proposal. Another one of my proposals was selected so I thought I’d turn the core idea of this one into a DS post in case it’s of use to the community.
used under creative commons, click for source
Do you use macros in your music/sound production? If the answer is yes, then this article isn’t for you. Given January’s theme is all about time management, I feel duty-bound to say you should make better use of your time and read one of the many other fantastic articles here on this site. If however, any of the following apply, read on!
- “I don’t know what a macro is”
- “Macros are just shortcuts right, like CMD C to copy?”
- “Macros are only used by programmers.”
As part of our continuing goal of promoting greater cross-discipline learning with media editing site Art of the Guillotine (Aotg.com), we’d like to bring your attention to their recent article Audio Levels and Metering: Pt. 1. While the article is largely focused at educating editors on good level and metering practices in non-linear editors, there’s some valuable information in the article, and it’s a great refresher on metering approaches even if you’re well versed on the subject. It also features a great side-by-side comparison video of four common meter types. Check it out here!
We here at Designing Sound know that any creative endeavor is about more than just the audio. In order for any piece of media to be successful, it needs a unified creative direction, and the support of numerous skilled people in many different disciplines. In the interest of learning more about other disciplines that run parallel to audio in media, we’re teaming up with Aotg.com to bring you interesting and enlightening articles from other disciplines, including editing and creative direction. Our first cross-site offering is Modern Editing Style, which takes a look at both the wide variety of editing styles in modern cinema, as well as a closer examination of some unique editing choices made in modern films.
Charlie Chaplin on ‘City Lights’
“Ideally, for me, the perfect sound film has zero tracks. You try to get the audience to a point, somehow, where they can imagine the sound. They hear the sound in their minds, and it really isn’t on the track at all. That’s the ideal sound, the one that exists totally in the mind, because it’s the most intimate. It deals with each person’s experience, and it’s obviously of the highest fidelity imaginable, because it’s not being translated through any kind of medium.” – Walter Murch
Silence can be sonic; sound can be silent. We’re always listening to both. When we listen to a sound, we listen to a silence. When we listen to silence, we listen to sound. The dualism behind this is just an illusion, because in reality, we only find one thing, a single coin, with two faces, but a single coin.
There’s always sound in silence, always. There’s no such thing as sound without silence. There’s no such thing as silence without sound. Both are always dependent on each other and get differentiated just because of our fantasy of reality. We could think as silence as “absence of sound” but that will not be in an absolute way because there’s no place without sound, there’s no time without sound. Silence is absence just in partial ways, depending on the wave, all the time attached to the context the absence of a particular sounds, or just the choices around the speakers can’t reproduce.
Guest Contribution by Pierce O’Toole
Writer/Director Pierce O’Toole shares his thoughts on music and sound design, and how they play into his creative process.
As a writer and director, my biggest concern on any project is the story. Every project has a story that you are trying to tell. When I approach sound, the lens I view it through – or the speaker I hear it through, I guess – is one of story. While this is true of every element of the filmmaking process, sound is unlike any of the others because it’s the only element that follows me through the entire process.
When I begin writing, music is very important. At first, it’s just something atmospheric or energetic, like The Album Leaf or Daft Punk. As I get further along in the writing process, I get a better sense of the story and the tone. At this point, the music has to match. If it doesn’t, it can make it harder to write. I build playlists that I listen to on repeat. I’ve had several roommates that hate me for this, especially when the playlist is less than ten songs. I don’t ever tire of the music, no matter how many times I listen to it, because that music helps put me in the world of the story. I’m not listening to the music; I’m absorbing it.