Recently, game audio industry vet Jeremy Rogers launched a new SFX library store & blog at www.thesoundkeeper.com. While the blog is still new, he’s already putting out some interesting articles, including his most recent “The Top 5 Must-Have Plugins for Sound Designers“. Check it out for Jeremy’s plugin recommendations, as well as some brief descriptions on how he uses them in his own work!
As many of our readers know, sound design is frequently overlooked when people start talking in-depth about media production. It’s no surprise, then, that we here at Designing Sound get pretty excited when we find out someone is taking a closer look at an element of the craft. In that spirit, we wanted to bring your attention to a Kickstarter for Actors of Sound: A Foley Art Documentary. This film by director Lalo Molina and his team (listed on the KS page) seeks to bring attention to the human and performance elements of foley, as well as the fantastic artists who do it, but they need your help to produce the movie. Head over to the KS page and check it out, but do it soon; at the time of posting, there’s only 16 days left!
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!
Exercising listening in a public outdoor space.
Sound designers by nature have an inherent curiosity towards sound. We explore the way sounds work every time we approach a project. With each new opportunity to design a sound, we ask ourselves questions such as: What object/event produced the sound(s)? Where is the sound source located in relation to the listener, and just as importantly, how does (or how will) the sound impact an audience’s emotional state when heard?
It goes without saying that the sheer act of producing our own sonic work, and by critically listening to and dissecting the works of others (as Berrak Nil Boya explored and extrapolated on in her recent post) will inherently make us stronger and better critical listeners. Though along with these practices, it is invaluable to also step away from evaluating completed, produced works and critically listen to some alternate sound sources, and in some potentially new ways; just like exercising a muscle, the more angles you can target your critical listening “muscle”, the stronger and more well-rounded it becomes.
The question then must be, other than by evaluating an already existing game or film’s audio as it was intended, how, and what, can we listen to in order to hone our listening abilities?
This post looks to add to this conversation by offering a few exercises I’ve picked up and augmented over the years and still use to this day. Once again, just like any exercise routine, training your critical listening is an on-going responsibility for any sound designer (though vitally important early in your career, continued practice is essential to maintain a high level of critical listening fitness).
As April comes to an end and we wrap up our topic for the month, “broken”, I wanted to take a moment and share something that I learned when I was first starting out, and something that I find myself having to remember quite often: how to react when everything starts to break.
We depend on a lot of complex technologies in our day-to-day lives, some more intricate and convoluted than others. As sound designers, we often find ourselves using even more complicated and specialized gear and equipment, adding to the complexity. While a lot of time and effort has gone into making these technologies work perfectly, the simple fact of the matter is that things have a tendency to break, often when you need them the most. As an old friend of mine likes to say, “Murphy was an optimist!”