I wrote some music and did the sound design and mix for a couple of films for Nick Junior recently, and having just filled up a skiff with modular synth stuff I tried to jam as much analogue synth noise into the music as possible. Here’s my synth setup for any geeks who care:
Anyone who knows me personally knows I have a bit of a synth addiction… some like their cars, well… synths are much better and they don’t depreciate.
I should cut to the chase, this film is written and directed by the most awesome Kim Majkut and Akin Akinsiku at Nickelodeon UK, and the lovely animation is by Pierre+Bertrand from Not To Scale. It’s a beauty so have a look:
I have just finished up some trailers for this new BBC wildlife series coming out in January, I can’t lie it was f’ing good fun working on them.
They were directed by Claire Norowzian from Red Bee, and edited by Thomas Ioannou.
I always think of the BBC wildlife series as having really great sound design, hyper real stuff as if the sound recordist has a mic right in the subjects’ faces… in these trailers there was quite a bit of work left to do, so I picked through shot by shot and added details where I thought it would help that sort of macro look on things. I spent a fair bit of time pitching elements of the sound to the track to try and stick it all together… you probably wouldn’t notice most of it but stuff like the pitched cicadas on the flower timelapse and the whale pitched up to match the vocal in the track as we go from the sea to the waterfalls kind of help stick it all together.
I also did a bit of filtering/effecting of the track to make it fit into the scenes – for instance filtered under the water, then a bit of uplifting washy stuff as we come out and over the waterfall. Btw the track is ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ by Roberta Flack… it’s a beauty. Have a look at the teaser here and look out for the other trailers on the telly innit:
Sam Brock and I picked up an arrow at the BTAAs last night for The Guadian’s ‘Three Little Pigs’. Was a great night and was nice to have our work recognised as I thought some of the other work nominated was fantastic.
Here’s the advert if you haven’t seen it:
I spent some time this summer working on a film for Brother Printers with Chris Cairns, Neil Mendoza, Marek Bereza to name a few, and at last it is out!
Firstly, all the sound in the film is real, nothing is faked, re-pitched or re-timed in post production. Ok there are a couple of fake bits, one being the deep pulsing hum at the very beginning, and the other being the paper feeding up in the breakdown shot. It’s not the usual focused, foleyed and tweaked sound that I get involved in, in fact it’s completely the opposite to my normal processes – everything was captured at source and only re-balanced in the final mix. The point of the film was to make a big clanging whirring mess to juxtapose the lovely Brother feller on the end – that’s what I’m saying anyway…
A quick blurb:
Neil, Marek and their soldering army took apart various machines and hooked up whatever motors and mechanisms they could to some custom circuit boards (based on arduinos). The boards were set to receive midi (control data) which I was outputting from my laptop using Logic Pro. I composed / arranged a version of Bob Dylan’s classic tune ‘The Times They Are A Changin’ by mapping out the various machines as an orchestra of sorts. In the early stages of production I used the first test machines that were wired up to approximate what the final arrangement would sound like. As I wrote the arrangement, I recorded the machines in separate passes, one by one, so that I could balance them against each other more musically.
The only day of the schedule I couldn’t work on due to other commitments, was the shoot day. I left the set at 3 in the morning the day of the shoot, drove Chris, Marek and Neil to the local Holiday Inn near the set and waved goodbye hoping that on the day all would come good. I was gutted not to have been able to be there on the shoot day but I had my good friend Tom Belton on hand to cover me – he is a Logic ninja so I knew it was all in safe hands. On set my laptop was sequencing all the machines live from Logic Pro, the midi split out to each group from a Motu Midi Express 128. Have a look at the midi sequence here:
So after the edit, I re-compiled all the recordings I had made pre-shoot in testing and from the shoot day, and did a final mix in Pro Tools at Factory Studios. A lot of lessons learned, some late nights and some headaches but it was well worth it – thanks so much to Chris and co. for getting me involved, have a look at the final film:
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 am working on something pretty exciting, can’t say much until its finished but it involves circuit boards, a lot of electronics, some computer programmers – anyway here we go:
While I was reading up on this stuff, my mate Biffa told me to check out Trimpin – totally amazing work indeed, google his stuff and in the meantime here’s one of his works:
While we are at it, you should probably check out Tristram Carey, one of the original hackers some say. If you have anything mega worth reading up, let me know!
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:
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.