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Posted by on Apr 1, 2013 | 7 comments

DSP Anyone?

Photo by flickr user jm3

Photo by flickr user jm3

April is here, and with it comes our next featured topic. This month, we’re going to be delving into the world of DSP environments…Max/MSP, Pure Data, Supercollider, Csound, etc. These tool-sets all have a bit of a learning curve, but they present an opportunity to do something truly different from the typical processors we use every day. What’s spectacular about these is that they let you build your own tools.

There’s no doubt that getting into them requires a different mind-set than the standard tools of our trade, but the flexibility and creative opportunities they allow…and often foster…can go way beyond the everyday. If you were dedicated to the idea, you could probably even build your own DAW inside one of them. So, this month, we’re going to show you just a little bit of what these tools can do. Hopefully, we’ll inspire some of you to take the leap. The water’s pretty deep, but there are some amazing sights beneath the surface.

Next month, we’ll be going a bit looser with the theme, “time.” As always, guest contributions are heartily welcomed. If you’d like to contribute to this or next month’s theme, then contact shaun at designingsound dot org.

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Posted by on Mar 31, 2013 | 2 comments

Please Thank our March Contributors

March was kind of a banner month for us wasn’t it?! There was a lot of enthusiasm about exploring the intersection of sound design and music. So please check out all of the excellent contributions from the community, and leave a comment to thank those people who donated their time to the subject.

Like I said, an amazing response from the community. Thanks to everyone who contributed! Remember to contact us if you have something you’d like to share with the community. Tomorrow beings an exploration of DSP environments. While some other sites will be having their “April Fool’s” fun, we’ll be staying out of the shenanigans. Thanks for a great March!

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Posted by on Mar 5, 2013 | 2 comments

Collaborating with the Music Team – An Interview with Randy Thom

When we talk about the blurry lines that exist between sound design and music, it’s important to remember that we don’t work in a vacuum. Media is collaborative. The more effectively we work with our counterparts, the greater a project’s potential becomes. So, I asked Randy Thom to discuss the ins and outs building a working relationship the music department.

DS: I know you’ve had the opportunity to work with certain composers on multiple projects, but I think, if you don’t mind, we’ll discuss that a little later in the conversation. I’d like to start out talking a bit about those projects, in general, where there’s been returning staff. Same music department, same sound staff. On these films with returning teams, have you found yourself working with directors who foster interdepartmental collaboration, or is it more common that you’ve had to work to establish that yourself?

RT: Well, I think it helps if the sound designer and the composer make a push, or lobby on each project, to coordinate their efforts as much as possible. But some directors are definitely more open to the idea and tend to foster it more than others. Bob Zemeckis has always been a great advocate of coordinating the music and the sound effects in his movies. It’s one of the things that I like very much about working on his films.

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Posted by on Mar 1, 2013 | 9 comments

The Intersection of Sound Design and Music

…bonus points if you can figure out the song those two measures on the top staff come from!

This is a conversation topic we see pop every once in a while…the blurring lines between music composition and sound design. When you stop to think about it for a bit, it’s a somewhat predictable occurrence. Many of the tools that modern composers and sound designers use are very similar; often times, exactly the same. As the two disciplines have spent more and more time in the digital realm, and feeding off of tools developed for one another, the pallettes once exclusive to each have turned into a single ocean of possibility. If the potential is shared, where do the boundaries exist? Should we even be concerned about boundaries any longer? What do we have to gain from one another, both technically and aesthetically?

That’s what we’ll be exploring this month of March.

You’ve probably seen it before, and you’ll definitely see it again. That’s right, we encourage guest contributions to the site. Designing Sound is by the community, for the community. If you have something you’d like to share, whether it’s in line with our monthly featured topic or not, why not drop us a line?! Contact – shaun [at] designingsound [dot] org – if you’d like to propose an article, video, or other piece of content. Oh, and next month is going to be devoted to DSP Environments (Max/MSP, PureData, Supercollider, etc.). If you’re a guru in any of those, we definitely would love to have you contribute!

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Posted by on Feb 28, 2013 | 0 comments

Thank You to our February Contributors!

The month is wrapping up, and tomorrow we start a new featured topic. It’s that time, once again, to thank all of the wonderful people who contributed guest articles and participated in interviews with us here on the site.

Thanks again, one and all.

Remember that we are always open to guest contributions, both on and off topic. If you have something you’d like to share with the community, contact shaun [at] designingsound [dot] org. Tomorrow begins a focus on the intersection of sound design and music.

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