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Posted by on May 11, 2015 | 0 comments Audio Levels and Metering Pt. 1

As part of our continuing goal of promoting greater cross-discipline learning with media editing site Art of the Guillotine (, 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!

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Posted by on May 7, 2015 | 1 comment

SoundWorks Collection: The Sound of The Idealist

In a recent video, SoundWorks Collection speaks to Sound Designer (and Designing Sound Contributing Editor) Peter Albrechtsen and Sound Rerecording Mixer Lars Ginzel about their work on the Danish film “The Idealist”. In the video, they discuss their uniquely sonic approach to the film, which concerns a journalist who exposes the biggest political scandal in Danish history. They also discuss the film’s use of Dolby Atmos and the opportunities it afforded them.

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Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 | 0 comments

Cities and Memory: Oblique Strategies

Cities and Memory: Oblique Strategies, a recent collaboration between sound artists, musicians, and field recordists from across the world, was released earlier today. The project brought these sound artists together to create new musical remixes of field recordings from around the world, using Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies cards as guideposts for their creations. It features recordings from locations across 19 countries, and involved 63 contributors, including Designing Sound’s own Berrak Nil Boya. Some of the pieces can be heard currently at the website, and an album of highlights will be released later this month on the Cities and Memory bandcamp.

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Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 | 4 comments

Just Listen

Louder!Back around the time I was first starting out, I remember opening up a demo of Cubase VST (on my trusty PowerMac 6400) and taking a look through the various menus. Everything seemed pretty standard, but something in particular caught my eye, a menu item labeled “Ears Only”. Curious, I clicked on it, only to have my monitor go completely blank. After a few seconds of panic thinking I had broken everything, I realized that Steinberg had programmed a mode that completely disabled the monitor and forced you to just listen. At first, this option seemed like a strange addition. Why, when I’m creating sound, would I not be listening to what I’m doing? Listening while working with audio seemed like a no-brainer. However, after gaining a little more experience, this “just listen” mode began to make a lot more sense.

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Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 | 0 comments

Noise, Storytelling with Sound, and Visuals on the Radio with Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad

Jad Abumrad at PopTech 2010 - Camden, Maine (Kris Krüg/PopTech via Flickr, used under Creative Commons License)

Jad Abumrad at PopTech 2010 – Camden, Maine (Kris Krüg/PopTech via Flickr, used under Creative Commons License)

I recently had the chance to chat with Jad Abumrad, creator and co-host of WNYC’s Radiolab. Each episode of Radiolab explores ideas in science, technology, and the universe at large through a seamless blend of expert interviews, sound design, and music. Together with co-host Robert Krulwich, the show has covered topics such as sleep, colors, cities, and loops, just to name a few. Recently, Radiolab has taken to the stage, touring around the United States and adding a visual element to the show’s already imagery-rich storytelling. Jad and I talked about noise, sound’s ability to create powerful mental images, and how all of that translates into a live show.

Designing Sound: I’ll start off by asking you about noise. When I say the word “noise”, what does that make you think? What does it mean to you?

Jad Abumrad: Honestly, the first thing I think is a particular style of experimental music which is loud and abusive and cacophonous and hurtful, but which I very sparingly employ in scoring the show. I’m thinking Merzbow and the whole “musical pain posse” that sort of tumbled out of him. I always like the idea that those stabs and bursts of noise could kind of catch someone off guard, almost like an idea that sort of hits you in the face before you’re ready for it. ­There’s something about the storytelling we do where I want those ideas to have that kind of impact. So I think about that kind of music.

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