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Posted by on Jul 19, 2012 | 9 comments

Exclusive Interview: Bryan Jerden on Trailer Sound Design

For quite a few years, sound design for trailers has become increasingly creative and interesting. For blockbusters in Hollywood, an imaginative trailer campaign seems to be more and more important and sound is quite often utilized in inspired and inspiring ways.

One of the top sound designers of Hollywood trailers is Bryan Jerden who has worked on prominent movie trailers such as Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises, Harry Potter, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Inception, among many others. Bryan has also done a large amount of game trailers including titles like Hitman, Syndicate and Dragons Dogma. In this interview, he talks about his background, creative methods, the interplay between music and sound and why silence is such an important tool for sound designers.

Designing Sound: How did you get involved in doing sound design for trailers?

Bryan Jerden: My work in the trailer world came as result from working for Tim Gedemer who is now the owner of Source Sound Inc. A little more than 10 years ago I started working with Tim as a sound editor and studio technician. It was a great match for me because I had spent almost 10 years prior to that as a sound engineer and music mixer recording rock bands. Tim is an accomplished guitar player as well as a real music guy so we hit it off in a way I could not have done with someone who was purely a post sound personality.

Right away I was attracted to trailers because I saw it as a mixed skill set. I liked the fact that it involved working directly with music. I loved that it had opportunities for designing sound, that it involved skillful sound editing, working with feature film tracks, dialogue and other disciplines all in the same package.

Sound design became a passion for me, something I just loved to do. When I could I would listen to other sound designers tracks always trying to figure out the different processes. When I was on editing jobs I would always sneak in my own designs just to see if they would stick. If I didn’t have enough time to do my editing job and try sound design, Tim would let me come in and try stuff out on my own and if he like it he would keep it.

In the last several years creating sound design and cutting sound effects for trailers and even video game cinematics have become my life, but with that there is always the inevitable music editorial and dialogue work.

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Posted by on Jul 13, 2012 | 4 comments

“The Dark Knight Rises” – On the Sound Stage with Christopher Nolan

For someone who considers themselves the ultimate Batman fanatic (I freely admit, I’m a bit of nerd when it comes to this), just the opportunity to meet Christopher Nolan would have been enough. To visit the sound stage, where “The Dark Knight Rises” sound-mixing took place would have been enough. Even just getting to see the movie a few weeks ahead of everyone else definitely would have been enough. But getting to do all three? I don’t know if I can even put that into words.

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Posted by on Jul 11, 2012 | 3 comments

Review: S-Layer, The New Sampling Creature of Twisted Tools

After several fantastic effects, sequencers and sound manglers, the crazy minds at Twisted Tools have released a new sampler called S-Layer.

It’s basically a sampler for Reaktor focused on the interaction and control between sound layers, allowing you to rapidly create all kinds of sonic combinations. S-Layer allows to add up to eight layers of sound and manipulate the way they get combined and modulated using different processes. Each layer has its own controls and options, including envelope functions, effects and modulation.

Personally, I was thrilled with the idea. It’s pretty crazy no matter if you’re trying to get something specific with it or you’re just randomly playing with the stuff. I contributed with some sounds and snapshots, so I’ve been working with the instruments since early stages. Below I’ll share some of my opinions about it, plus sharing experiments and comments from sound designers who work on the instruments, including Richard Devine and Jean-Edouard Miclot.

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I’m not going to explain you the instrument in detail, but give you some ideas and opinions. If you need a short description, I’d say this is a dream tool for any sound designer who wants to be surprised by controlled “accidents”. S-Layer is an infinite box of happy accidents. It’s an instrument any sound designer will enjoy, since allows not only to create intended sound effects and sequences, but also random and suppressive results. It’s amazing the amount of usable material you can obtain with this thing.

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Posted by on Jul 4, 2012 | 3 comments

The Sound and Music of La Source

The SoundWorks Collection is pleased to feature an exclusive behind-the-scenes feature about the sound and music of La Source. Narrated by Oscar nominated actor Don Cheadle, Directed and Produced by Patrick Shen, Co-Producer and Co-Cinematographer Brandon Vedder, Composer Matteo Messina (Juno, Thank you for Smoking, Up in the Air), and Re-recording Mixer and Sound Design by Steve Bessinger.

In La Source (pronounced lah-soos), Haiti water does not come easily. Each day, villagers of this small, rural community must choose between enduring a long, treacherous walk to retrieve clean water or drink contaminated water from a nearby river. For over 30 years, the villagers have attempted to address this problem by constructing a means of channeling the water from a natural spring in the mountains, but with limited funding and an unsupportive government their attempts to provide clean water were to no avail.

Since he was a teenager, Josue Lajeunesse, along with his brother Chrismedonne have dreamt of remedying this problem for their people. In 1989, Josue moved from La Source to New Jersey where he found employment as a custodian at Princeton University. His custodial work and second job as a taxi driver, which total close to 20 hours a day, allows him to send money home to La Source so that he and Chrismedonne, a bricklayer in La Source, could properly channel the water from the mountain into their village.

Our journey to La Source takes us on an adventure as the Lajeunesse Brothers work together to rally the support of a group of Princeton students, a Los Angeles-based charity called Generosity Water, and the people of La Source to fulfill their dream of improving the conditions of their impoverished village. La Source is not simply a movie about clean water and community transformation. It is a story of one man, empowered by a vision, who was able to ignite the passion of people thousands of miles away to change lives in La Source forever. Where water runs, life flows.

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