Archive

sound design

So, a bit of radio silence recently but I have been away and also… I have been working at the lovely Factory Studios for the last few weeks – one of their engineers Anthony Moore took on a big project and they needed an extra pair of hands.

Last week I took over a job from Sam Robson for BBH and St. John Ambulance – cue a fair amount of music editing and a lot of to and fro-ing over the stuff at the end, and voila, a truly harrowing but worthwhile job.

It’s been one of the fiercest things I have had to work on, but its got a pretty strong message so I figure it’s a good one, check it out:

It was directed by Benito Montorio, created by Dan Morris and Charlene Chandrasekaran, and produced by Matt Towell – nice one everyone, and thanks Factory for getting me involved!

I just finished the sound design on this film directed by Kjetil Njoten for WCRS in London.  It was a nice end result to a challenging task!

This from Mini:

Fresh from recording all 205 National Anthems to be played at this summer’s games, the London Philharmonic Orchestra has teamed up with MINI for one more performance. All stand please for conductor Gareth Newman and the London 2012 Limited Edition MINI’s unique tribute to Team GB. With just 2,012 made, you can test drive a genuine piece of history by clicking here.

Have a look:

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At some point I will elaborate on the technicalities of this but for the time being, thanks to Jack Bayley at WCRS for getting me involved, and also to Peter Maynard from the production company Betsy Works… and to Simon Thompson for helping me out with some top notch recording.

I have been asked a few times to do tunes out of sound effects, a nice idea but often conceptually flawed… in this case Michaela Lowe from the BBC’s idea was a good one as the source material to work with was so rich in terms of pitched sounds. I completed the sound design and musical arranging in my studio before handing a Pro Tools session over to Envy for a final mix with the VO.

The brief was to take the buzzer noises from all the QI shows, and make a stirring British tune out of them. Michaela and I researched various classic British tracks and decided on Land Of Hope & Glory – I suggested that to underpin the sound effects track with a real recording would tie the whole thing together so we chose one and started by making a 60 second edit that would work in terms of buildup etc.

The next step was to take the buzzer sounds Michaela provided (dozens from several series), and edit/load them into samplers within Logic Pro (Kontakt) – I grouped them as per how I deemed they could be used: bells, horns, human, sfx tuned and rhythmic sfx. Then within each group I sorted them in to order of pitch, and then fine tuned each sample to match a note.
From that stage it was a case of trying different sequences out and getting the right balance between comedy effect and musical correctness – and also not giving the tune away too early. After getting the sequence right, I rendered the different tracks and took them into Pro Tools for fine tuning – have a listen to the end result.

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.

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!