Categories Menu

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 | 3 comments

Review: iZotope Insight

insight_header-1

Thoughts by Ian Palmer:

Anyone who knows me will know that 4 years on I am still madly in love with iZotope’s RX noise reduction package. So it is rather exciting to see what else this company can do. I had high hopes for this meter after hearing about its launch. If only I could do this review in three words, as in “It’s bloody good”!

Just to note, that I am reviewing Insight on an iMac running OSX 10.7.4 with ProTools 10.3.3, in stereo and from the point of view of a Dubbing Mixer in Europe using the forthcoming R128 mixing specifications.

Installing and registering the plugin is very simple and straightforward, as was finding it in the Sound Field folder. I easily located the preset folder and changed the settings to R128. Or BS ITU1770 Loudness Meter with History Graph EU. It’s easy enough to add my own presets and name them, but for the inexperienced I think the names could be simplified.

Screen Shot 2013-06-09 at 1.28.58 PM

I really like the UI of Insight. Whilst it is busy, it is also easy to navigate quickly. It is customisable so that you can also make it as crowded or simple as you wish. The display options are Levels, Loudness History, Spectrum Analyser, Sound Field and a Spectrogram. It’s really interesting to see things that previously I had to listen for, like a mix being bass heavy. Tis is useful for those of us in smaller rooms and with smaller speakers wher such things can be difficult to hear. I welcome the phase meter in the Sound Field, something lacking from the likes of Waves’ WLM. The Loudness History gives you the ability to quickly identify where in a mix a problem might lie. Clicking on the plus button expands (any) the display where you can take a screenshot or even copy a very long list of measurements. Great for attaching to a mix delivery to placate those evil number crunching bureaucrats in QC.

Read More

Posted by on Dec 31, 2012 | 1 comment

Thanks to our December Contributors

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!

Read More

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 | 5 comments

Creative Uses of Reverb

Guest Contribution by Ian Palmer

There are a lot of technical articles on Designing Sound so I thought I’d try to balance that with this month’s theme of Reverb. We all know that reverb is used to create realism. Adding the correct or appropriate reverb to ADR will instantly make the dialogue fit better into a scene and remove the artifice of the replacement. However, we can use reverb in a creative way and in a wide variety of techniques. We must remember that what we do with sound always serves the narrative. Here is a small collection of examples in no particular order.

Emotional Effects

I’ll begin with a well known example from Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List (1993). After an argument over a building’s foundations, the camp commander Goeth orders the execution of a Jewish engineer. A guard pulls out his pistol and shoots the woman in the head, instantly killing her. We hear the initial bang of the gunshot very clearly, we are also fairly close to the incident. Immediately after, we hear the gunshot bounce around the hills that surround the camp. Obviously, guns are loud but would a small pistol really create so much echo? I would argue that the echo is at least enhanced and deliberately exaggerated. The reason is that this is a very shocking and emotional moment and the echo exaggerates the shock that the audience will feel. This is a heightened reality where we are focused on a single element of that event through the sound. This link will play a clip of that scene, skip to 2:50 for the execution.

Read More

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 | 1 comment

New November Sound Effects Libraries

We’re always happy to see new independent sound effects libraries pop up on our radar, and there are a few new ones that are definitely worth noting!

Aldbourne Bells is a collection of antique bells recorded by Ian Palmer, an occassional contributor here on Designing Sound. This set of sounds is all comes from his father’s personal bell collection and is delivered in high-res. 24/96 files. There’s something cool about a family built library.

It’s also very reasonably priced at £30 (about $50 U.S.). In the very least, give the preview file a listen by following the link above.

I recently did a review of Sonic Salute’s Analog Cameras library. Mikkel Nielsen has been a busy man apparently, because he’s just released a new library called Shake, Rattle and Rumble ($60). This library is interesting in it’s approach to collecting these sounds: self oscillation (such as with vehicles), hand controlled shakes, and objects placed on a subwoofer. He really was looking for some interesting ways to pull all these sounds together. Examples are ready for your audition over at Sonic Salute.

If those types of libraries aren’t your cup of tea, how about some aircraft fly-overs? Andrew Lewis has put together a library of sounds collected at the Bourenmouth Air Festivalin August of 2011…simply enough titled, BAF2011. The collection of 40 high res. files is a mixture of engine types, and only costs $30. Anyone out there need to cut sounds to an airshow? ;)

Read More