[This was originally posted a year ago and has been republished because it fits in with this month's theme - Varun]
Inspired by Miguel’s ‘SFX Lab‘ series, I thought it would be nice to start a series on using conventional plugins to design sounds.
With many of us primarily working off DAWs with a mouse pointer and plugin windows, there isn’t much room for ‘hands-on’ experimentation. Happy accidents are fun – accidentally turning a knob on a real (I mean hardware) piece of equipment and finding that awesome sound (which usually also results in losing track of time!).
Today’s post is about using Logic’s test oscillator and flanger plugins. I usually open up a bunch of plugins, route their outputs to a track and record as I ‘perform’. I also make it a point to not think much and just turn knobs and sliders. It’s important to not monitor too loud as you could blow your ears if you hit (click) the wrong switch!
Here are a few sounds selected off a recording pass that lasted about 8 minutes (some of these sounds can be loud, so go easy on your volume control):
Dreambase is the result of Alex and Mark’s (two ex-Dolby employees) desire to setup their own post-production sound facility and work in the more creative side of the film industry. Dreambase is located in the former GWR radio studios with two edit rooms and a VO Booth/ Foley Room between the two rooms.
I visited there last year simply to say hello and was surprised to learn that they were editing and mixing feature films using Logic. Inspired by the recent Mix article I thought I would write this article to find out why they are using the DAW instead of the industry standard Pro Tools.
Ian Palmer: You’re a relatively new studio. What made you choose the Apple/Logic platform?
Alex Hudd: Initially it was for cost reasons. I had used Pro Tools since 2000 for music recording but as a Mac user was aware of what Logic was capable of, and the extensive tools it possessed out of the box. The software is so intuitive and the audio library browser is well integrated with the package that track-lays for sound design and composition are very quick to rough out and start working on. Of course Logic’s strength is the ability to compose and this had also been very useful in some projects that I have composed music for. The recording take management in Logic is excellent for ADR sessions as it’s very easy to find the best lines from multiple takes, compare them and bounce out to a composite.
IP: What have been the advantages of such a decision?
AH: We saved money on the initial start-up costs which for a studio can be quite considerable, especially as we had overheads like rent to pay each month.
IP: Have there been any drawbacks?
AH: Lack of compatibility with studios running Pro Tools exclusively is a drawback but the projects we have worked on have been mostly ‘in-house’. At the end of the day we can bounce out any number of stems to take to another studio and import into their own systems but not being able to pass over automation or plug-ins is a disadvantage time- wise.
Editing is not as quick as with Pro Tools as Logic doesn’t posses the equivalent of a ‘Smart Tool’. Also the I/O setup is pretty basic so complex bus routing is not as easy as it is in Pro Tools. We use both Logic 9 and Pro Tools 9 at the studios depending on the project we are working on. And with OMF/AAF interchange it’s easy to exchange files between the two systems.
IP: What hardware are you using?
AH: We use an RME Fireface 800 as the main I/O which is used with Logic and Pro Tools, plus a Rosendahl Synchroniser. We use the Euphonix Artist Series as hardware controller with has excellent integration with both Logic and Pro Tools.
The Jim Stout special was two months ago, right. But it doesn’t stops the Jim’s interest for sharing his knowledge and techniques with Designing Sound readers, so here is a new exclusive video tutorial, this time on making impact sound effects.
Jim finishes his great special with another video, where he talks about his favorite software tools for sound design, answering several questions asked by the readers during this month. All the answers to the reader questions will be published on Monday.