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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Damn them Apples – the approaching death of MobileMe means I am forced to start a new site… so without further ado, here it is!

Rather than re-work my old site, I will aim to keep up with the times by updating this blog regularly with all things I find sonically exciting, and try to put links up to what I am involved in more regularly too.

I can’t promise that initially it will look as pretty as my old site (which was thanks to designer extraordinaire Matt Knott) but content first, pretty stuff next. As a start I have uploaded some new stuff I have written and worked on, and some of my favourite old bits of work too so I continue to have a showreel online.

Keep em peeled…

I just finished the sound design and mix for this, check it out:

It was great to be involved from the start – building a sound bed from the storyboards before the film was shot, recording all the dialogue dialogue and sound effects, through to mixing the final tv versions and supervising the cinema mix (by Jamie Roden at Goldcrest).

I worked closely with Sam Brock (head of radio at BBH) throughout the creation of the sound design, initially recording dialogue with my location kit around London and working remotely from my own studio.  For the final dialogue recordings and sound effects work I dry hired a fantastic sounding Pro Tools room at Goldcrest Post attended by the whole creative team.

I recently finished this promo for director Anthony Dickenson – the challenge in the brief was to make it sound like a pre concert tune-up, unmusical but in a constructive way…

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Most of the sound from the shoot was stripped out and re-recorded in my home studio.  The tune-up was rebuilt using guitars, valve distortion, and pulling drum and keyboard sounds from my sampler.  I close mic’ed some of my own gear to get the thick switch noises and brought this foley along the musical elements together in Pro Tools.

I took the session to Soho Square Studios where I did the final mix with Red Bee and Rainey Kelly in attendance.

BBH got me involved on this radio advert in order to seamlessly morph from Ben Pope‘s composition into the sounds of WW1.  I took the high note of the violin part and morphed it into the sound of a whistling bomb, and from that point onwards I edited the sound of rocket launches, machine guns and explosions to match the rhythm of Ben’s timpani parts that preceded it… that was the idea anyway.

Akin Akinsiku, art director at Nickelodeon UK, has asked me to write three tracks to work across the rebrand of the Nick Toons channel for 2012.

There was quite a lot of variation of pace and style across the animations – I thought that three tracks wasn’t going to be enough so I ended up sending in seven demos and Akin kept them all.  They vary in pace and mood but are all kinda dubstep/breakbeats – check out this compilation.

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This advert was directed by Anthony Dickenson from Pulse Films, with visual effects work by Time Based Arts.

The sound effects work for this involved a lot of laser noise making, mainly using various synth noise generators, and the Ohm Force filter plugin ‘Quad Fromage’ which has a great comb filter.  The comb filter creates most of the metallic movement of the laser noises, blended with electricity fizzling and burning noises to give it that organic edge.

Other than all the synthetic stuff, I recorded a whole load of foley with Graeme Elston at Jungle Studios, and took it back to my studio for editing and mixing.  The foley was essential to give the film that hyper-real quality, and having lots of clean layers of sound gave me more control over the dynamics.

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I tried to blend the sound effects with the track by 16bit, so that hopefully the audience see them as one entity… anyway 16 bit are amazing producers, check their myspace!

This was directed by Chris Cairns for the danish Agency, ‘Thankyou’.  Chris and I have collaborated on quite a few musical projects over the years but this one was a bit different – the final work was always going to be written by Trentemoller (check out his stuff if you haven’t heard it, it’s brilliant).

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Initially I wrote a skeleton track for Chris so that we could time out which order his storyboards would be cut.  Mr Cairns’ idea was to link certain groups or individuals within the film with parts of the track, so with this in mind I created clear themes in the drums, bass and lead parts that would work with certain mechanisms within the film.  This initial skeleton was then passed on to Anders Trentemoller so he would have a template for the visual edit when composing the final music.

During post production and as I built the sound design elements within the film, the visual effects team (Time Based Arts) and I shared our work constantly.  This process helped generate some of the effects that were created, in particular the style of the digital reduction of the dancers.  A lot of the effects I made were using the Sonalksis bit crushing plugin amongst others, and the new GRM Tools plugins that came out in 2011 – they are quite obscure and can produce some fairly nasty sounds!