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Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 | 3 comments

The Neglected Topic

Photo by Edward Webb. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Photo by Edward Webb. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

This is going to be an odd month, because we’re not going to talk about sound. Not directly anyways.

There’s a broad range of topics that are often neglected in discussions of our craft, and that’s the business side of things. Media production programs in Colleges and Universities are practically a dime a dozen now…though they certainly don’t cost a little more than a dime. How many of them bother to teach anything relating to the business skills one might need to survive in such a competitive industry? I know mine didn’t, and that was a Master’s program.

It’s probably obvious, but we can’t teach even a tenth of what one might need to know with regards to this topic. None of us studied business. You do pick up a few things along the way though, and maybe we can help a few of you avoid some hard lessons. And maybe a few of you can help us avoid some we haven’t encountered yet.

Care to share?

If you haven’t seen this usual blurb in italics before, we ALWAYS encourage contributions from the community. It doesn’t matter to us who you are, or where you’re at in your career. If you’re interested in contributing to this month’s theme, next month’s (…will be “restriction” by the way), or going completely off-topic…contact shaun {at} this website.

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Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 | 2 comments

Failure…

Photo by Gustavo Veríssimo, used under a Creative Commons license. Click to view source.

Photo by Gustavo Veríssimo, used under a Creative Commons license. Click to view source.

…and the fear of it. Some worry about it more than others, but we all face it sooner or later. There are varying degrees of failure, and then there’s the old line that helps to put things in a relevant light:

“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” [Stephen McCranie…according to Google]

Failure is a part of development and growth. It’s unavoidable, and not necessarily something to fear. So this month, we’re going to try to bring a little perspective to this idea of failure.

For instance, it’s also not necessarily career related. After all, the sound Ben Burtt used to bring a little character to the Millenium Falcon failing to to go into light speed was an inertia starter failing to turn over. Failing devices can sound amazing! So we’re not necessarily going to be all philosophical this month.

It should be an interesting exploration…or maybe we’ll screw it all up. As Adam Savage always says on Mythbusters, “Failure is always an option.” ;)

We here at Designing Sound ALWAYS encourage contributions from the community. If you have a story, thought or technique you’d like to share, let us know. Contribute to this month’s theme if suits you, maybe next month’s topic (when we’re going to focus on the business side of sound design), or go completely off-topic. Anything is fair game! Contact shaun [@] this website to get the ball rolling!

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Posted by on May 1, 2015 | 2 comments

Destruction

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the only down side is the clean up

Sound design is fun, and sometimes…on the good days…it can get messy. Really messy. There aren’t a lot of jobs where you get the opportunity to engage in acts of constructive destruction (can we even really say that’s a thing?), but sound design is one of those where, occasionally, the practitioner gets to loosen the leash on the reptilian side of the brain a little and delight in the simple joys of tearing something apart.

…all in the name of art, of course!

So that’s our theme this month. Destruction. What stories of hack, bash, slash and smash do you have to share?

As we recently reiterated, this site is by the community, for the community. We always encourage contributions from the community. It’s impossible to track down all of the potential stories and thoughts that might be out there. Please don’t wait for us to come to you. Whether it fits this month’s theme, next month’s (Failure) or is a topic unto its own…contact shaun [at] this website to get the ball rolling!

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Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 | 0 comments

Forget the 1s and 0s…

Photo by flickr user .tungl. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Photo by flickr user .tungl. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

We may be firmly in the digital age, but analog signals are always going to be a major part of our work. After all, unless you’re using a digital microphone using the AES42 spec, we’re at least going to be dealing with the signal path from the mic to preamp to AD…not to mention the reproduction path of DA to power amp to speaker. Analog will never truly go away, nor do people want it to. The resurgence of modular synthesis and the growth of vinyl sales are both evidence of that. We also still have techniques that we can apply to our digital workflow that were practically a necessity in the days of analog. [ed. …something I’ve posted about in the past.]

This month we’re turning our focus to analog to remind ourselves of how relevant the “older” technology still is, and the many ways people are still using it today.

As always, we encourage guest contributions here on Designing Sound. We’ve got something a little different planned for next month, which we’re keeping under wraps for now. April’s topic will be Comedy. If you have something you’d like to contribute to this month’s topic, April’s, or something off-topic…please don’t hesitate to reach out through our contact form or directly to shaun {at} this website.

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Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 | 0 comments

It Never Ends…

Photo by Matylda Czarnecka. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

Photo by Matylda Czarnecka. Used under a Creative Commons license. Click image to view source.

First off, happy new year to all of our readers!

We’re going to kick this year off with a slightly different topic. We’re going to take a look at education. There will be some discussion of academic programs certainly, but that’s not necessarily the sum total of this topic. I know that personally, I’ve learned far more since finishing my “formal training” than I did during it. The courses I took certainly got me started and greatly affected the way I’ve approached my career, but it’s important to realize that your education never ends. Well, maybe it does, but it shouldn’t. Folks progress to the head of our field by shutting their brain down once they’ve got a piece of paper. The really good practitioners, and this is true in any field, continue to train, experiment and challenge themselves throughout their career.

So, what do you do to step up your game?

…and that’s not a rhetorical question. If you’re not new to the site, you probably already know that we always encourage and welcome guest contributions from the community. If you’re interested in adding to this month’s discussion, contact [shaun {at} this website].

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