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Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 | 0 comments

Medieval Weapons Sound Effects Library – Kickstarter Announced

The team that brought you the Free Firearm Sound Library is running another kickstarter, this time looking to provide the world with a completely cost free, high quality collection of CC0 licensed medieval weapon sounds. The project aims to include just under 500 unique sound effects, each with multiple takes, designed for use in all kinds of film and video game projects. For more information, or to contribute, check the Medieval Weapons Sound Effects Library Kickstarter Page.

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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 Jun 28, 2014 | 1 comment

Designing Silence

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Charlie Chaplin on ‘City Lights’

“Ideally, for me,  the perfect sound film has zero tracks. You try to get the audience to a point, somehow, where they can imagine the sound. They hear the sound in their minds, and it really isn’t on the track at all. That’s the ideal sound, the one that exists totally in the mind, because it’s the most intimate. It deals with each person’s experience, and it’s obviously of the highest fidelity imaginable, because it’s not being translated through any kind of medium.” – Walter Murch

Silence can be sonic; sound can be silent. We’re always listening to both. When we listen to a sound, we listen to a silence. When we listen to silence, we listen to sound. The dualism behind this is just an illusion, because in reality, we only find one thing, a single coin, with two faces, but a single coin.

There’s always sound in silence, always. There’s no such thing as sound without silence. There’s no such thing as silence without sound. Both are always dependent on each other and get differentiated just because of our fantasy of reality. We could think as silence as “absence of sound” but that will not be in an absolute way because there’s no place without sound, there’s no time without sound. Silence is absence just in partial ways, depending on the wave, all the time attached to the context the absence of a particular sounds, or just the choices around the speakers can’t reproduce.

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Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 | 2 comments

Silence is the Sound of Listening

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R. Murray Schafer at “listen” short film

“One can look at seeing but one can’t hear hearing” – Marcel Duchamp

As you may know, silence is the topic chosen for this month here at Designing Sound. One may think silence is not existent if we value it as an absolute sonic absence, but here I’m going to examine its role and possibility towards the act of listening to sound, silencing, not as that state of complete sonic deletion but as a force able of letting sound to be. Here’s not about asking “what is silence?” but just creating an invitation to be silent and just listen.

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Posted by on May 30, 2014 | 2 comments

Art of Surround

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Acousmonium, INA-GRM, 1980. Photo by Laszlo Ruska.

Surround (Oxford Dictionary)

  • (verb) [with object] – Be all round (someone or something)
  • (noun) – A thing that forms a border or edging around an object.
  • (adjective) (Surrounding) – All around a particular place or thing.

Based merely on a technological approach, one might think that Surround sound is just the technique of reproducing audio signals in a particular array of speakers that distribute sound around space in order to give a three-dimensional illusion for the ears…

Surround is not visual really, is not something we can see. Surround is not just a technique of distributing sound, but the consequences of it. It’s a characteristic of sound itself, natural to the sonic phenomenon and responsible of the entire notion of the “auditory field” which is more than simply one dimension of space, but a multi-layered, multi-dimensional representation of sound.

In this article I aim to explore different experiments and perspectives toward the use of surround sound and the experiments between space and form, getting out from the image/film relationship in order to explore how sound “alone” can be enriched by the process of multichannel distribution, which has been deeply explored aesthetically, psychologically, musically, etc.

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