Scrapbook

Sound Design Scrapbook #16

INTERVIEW

I’ve not got around to watching Chernobyl yet, but the soundtrack has had such a huge amount of praise, I cant wait to hear/see it. Here’s an interview I came across with the wonderful Hildur Guðnadóttir talking about her work on the score.

https://grapevine.is/icelandic-culture/movies-theatre/2019/06/07/sickening-silence-hildur-gudnadottirs-chernobyl-soundscape-brings-radioactivity-to-life/


TOOLS

Brian Eno re-tweeted this online ‘Ambient Sound and background noise generator’ called Zen Cast. It’s a really simple way of showing how to create a soundscape using layers of raw material. It’s actually very similar to the way I would set Ableton up for multiple tracks of atmos, then play with the faders depending on what I wanted to tell.

http://www.zen-cast.com/


MASTERING

I’ve been researching into Mastering for online streaming platforms recently whilst working on my side project which will see me releasing a bunch of tracks over the next 6 months to Itunes, Spotify etc, and this article was pretty useful in understanding what Spotify does to a track that has been mastered over a certain LUFS level, essentially promoting the use of dynamics in music rather than just making everything as loud as possible.

https://artists.spotify.com/faq/mastering-and-loudness#my-track-doesn't-sound-as-loud-as-other-tracks-on-spotify-why


PLUGIN

Along the Mastering theme, I came across this metering plugin called LEVELS by ‘Mastering the mix’ which seems like an excellent way to ensure your LUFS readings aren’t too loud.

https://www.masteringthemix.com/products/levels


iLok TIP

My iLok 2 decided to flash it’s blue light when I plugged it in a few nights ago. Turns out that’s it dying on you. I do pay for Zero Downtime which effectivley should mean I’d be without my licences for no time at all, but a handy tip i found online was to put the iLok in the freezer for 5 minutes and try again… I was skeptial… but seriously it worked! At least for long enough to get a new iLok and swap the licences over. Happy days.

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Sound Design Scrapbook #15

SOUND DESIGN

https://www.asoundeffect.com/randy-thom-screenwriting-for-sound/

I really enjoyed this article from Randy Thom about the use of Sound as a Storytelling tool, especially his thoughts on early collaboration and inspiration for Sound or Visuals coming from one or the other. In Theatre the time scale of creating a show and it’s Sound Design is quite different to film, but we also occasionally come across the same points he raises here, scripts that define sounds very specifically can sometimes be less ‘Sound friendly’ than initially thought. The more evocative stage directions, and especially those that suggest we need to relate the emotion of a certain character to the audience, often prove to be more inspiring.

It brings up a couple of thoughts around devised work and working in rehearsals. I’ve done a lot of designing in rehearsal rooms as I love get inspired in there and throw ideas in. Devising lends itself to that style of process, there are opportunities to experiment and explore ideas with an essence of freedom, we’re creating a piece together from the story level up and from a Sound perspective, we are relatively quick at changing content and trying ideas on the spot, in comparison to say trying to immediately change part of the Set Design. In any process it depends on how a Director would like to use Sound in their rehearsal, but I do think that scripted work can still have this level of exploration, even without specifically scripted sound ideas.

In terms of pre-production phases in Theatre I think it’s perhaps in short workshops where we get the opportunity to offer what Sound Design can be used for to a Writer and Director, sometimes just through conversations, but to be able to try an idea on the fly in front of them, can effect what comes out of the writing too. One example I think of is a show called The White Bike Written by Tamara Von Werthern, Directed by Lily McLeish. I absolutely loved the script before we had begun and Sound would be needed throughout, but after a week long workshop Tamara took the script away and began using sound as an inspiration of what she could allow an audience to feel through the main character, so we came back to it much more on the same page as one another, more descriptive thoughts about how a sound might be affecting the character from her perspective.


BBC PROMS: THE SOUND OF SPACE

BBC Proms are always inspiring but this in particular was awesome to get to hear. I couldn’t get to the live performance, but this is still up for 10 days so wrap your ears around this:

BBC Proms, 2019: The Sound of Space: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0007f52 via @bbciplayer 


MUSIC | AVA - WAVES

I had the pleasure to briefly meet Aisling Brouwer and Anna Phoebe of AVA at the latest Spitfire Audio event recently which led me to their beautiful album Waves. An incredibly powerful mix of Piano, Violin, Percussion, Electronic elements and Soundscapes making such a rich instrumental world in each track.


MUSIC | BON IVER - i,i

The latest in Bon Iver was out this month and it’s been on repeat for a little while now…

Sound Design Scrapbook #14

BIOLOGY

I came across this diagram on Twitter a few days ago and I’m getting a little obsessed with where the sound of my voice is coming from, try it out yourself…

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TUTORTIAL

I’ve been starting to catch up on Rick Beato’s Youtube channel recently and came across this gem. I have no real desire to create a songwriter demo, but there is so much useful info ripe to pick from this video, just like all his other videos


RADIO

A friend recently put me on to BBC sounds late junction from BBC Radio 3, which is absolutely bursting with interesting music from far and wide. I’m finding it’s expanding my listening into completely different places. I’ll be honest, theres the occasional stinker I can’t stand, but even then, hearing the music of so many cultures and artists is always interesting.


BLOG

I’ve been a Randy Thom fan for a while now and he’s started to blog about his thoughts on ‘Ways to Give Sound a Chance’ which he is able to explain in such a seemingly simple and precise way, that also seem to give me inspiration for the theatre too, taking the idea of a close up and concentrating focus on one particular part of the stage, whilst sound can lead the story of what is outside of that focus point for example. Check it out here…

https://randythomblog.wordpress.com/


Sound Design Scrapbook #13

PODCAST

Here’s a podcast with Steven Price, Oscar winning Composer talking a about his work on the Our Planet series of films, a little on Gravity and working with Edgar Wright.


SOUND EFFECTS

Some interesting new sounds from Hiss and Roar, continuing to bring new sounds to the table in imaginative ways!


INTERVIEW

Came across this insightful article from the Wall Street Journal, an interview with Qianbaihui Yang, a Sound Editor at Skywalker Sound. Interesting to hear about her journey through the different roles of Film Sound and the exciting world of recordings, creating and editing Sound for film. Check it out here

Photo: Cayce Clifford for The Wall Street Journal

Photo: Cayce Clifford for The Wall Street Journal

Sound Design Scrapbook #12

SOUND DESIGN

I came back across this super informative interview with Olivier Award winner Gareth Owen the other day talking through some of the basic principles behind Sound Design for Musicals. Congratulations go to Gareth again this year winning the Olivier Award for ‘Come From Away’ - Full Article here: https://variety.com/2019/legit/podcasts/broadway-sound-design-gareth-owen-1203160482/


TONBENDERS / SOUNDGIRLS

Soundgirls.org support women across the sound industry from Theatre Sound to Film post Production and beyond. In this Tonebenders podcast talks more about that and how they are making that support available. Followed by a panel discussion moderated by Anne-Marie Slack, and on the panel is Karol Urban, Kate Finan, Onnalee Blank and April Tucker. Talking about how they began in Sound, share stories and advice.


SOUND DESIGN

Ben Burtt talks through some of the famous sound effects from Star Wars in lots of detail…


SOUND EFFECTS

Hiss and Roar have put together this amazing sounding library of Thunder Sheets. Check it out here.

Sound Design Scrapbook #11

COMPOSER

Sherri Chung is a Composer based in LA, Soundiron have done a pretty in depth interview with her about the process she goes through on a project and her career trajectory to date.


SOUND DESIGN

The School of Sound is an annual, multi day event with lots of industry leading speakers in the world of Sound Design and Music. Generally focused on Film and TV. They’ve started uploading talks by speakers from the last 11 years worth of events and this is the first 9 speakers. Just starting to listen through them and it’s an incredible resource!

http://www.schoolofsound.co.uk/sos/audio-and-video-archives/


VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS

I’ve tried to steer clear of buying new samples recently and try and use what I have. I went through a stage of purchasing, but not listening properly to what I’d bought. Having said that this new piano from Native Instruments based around Nils Frahm’s sound, does sound lovely and certainly looks well sampled!


INTERVIEW

I’ve not seen the film yet, but here is a very in depth interview with the sound team behind Alita: Battle Angel.

https://bit.ly/2CJYk8a

Sound Design Scrapbook #10

PODCAST

This is from a while back. Soundworks at it again with an insightful and inspiring podcast with Composer Ludwig Göransson and supervising sound editor Steve Boeddeker talking about their collaboration of score and sound design on Black Panther. The mix of traditional African rhythms and instrumentation, alongside the futuristic wakanda tech.


RADIO / VIDEO GAMES

I randomly tuned into BBC radio 6 on Sunday, having not listened in months, to come across ‘A history of video game music episode 2’. It’s super interesting and explains a whole bunch about developing new sounds based on the games emotional storyline and taking inspiration from the visuals of a game too. Some top composers offering some insight into the process.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002y9q 


TV SOUND DESIGN

I’ve been watching ‘The Good Place’ recently and am officially in awe of D'Arcy Carden and Janet. Particularly the ‘Jane(s)’ episode where she plays all the other main characters, as Janet, as well as a good place and neutral Janet … which is a ridiuclous feat. Thought I’d share a small piece of Sound Design which took me by suprise!


Sound Design Scrapbook #9

SOUND DESIGN / MUSIC

If you don’t follow the work of Diego Stocco already, check out this video he’s put together showing off the new instruments he’s built. He tends to pull sounds out of all sorts of found, built and natural objects and record them in experimental ways too. There are also some beautiful photographs to go with it…

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THEATRE GEAR

Yamaha announced an update to the Rivage PM Digital Mixing system last week, adding ‘Theatre mode’ - check out the full announcement here

“The Theatre Mode facilitates scene and costume changes with four banks that can be used to store different EQ and dynamics settings for individual performers. In Theatre Mode, rather than storing EQ and dynamics settings in the console’s “scenes,” only the bank number is stored so that any adjustments made will apply to all scenes that use the same bank.“

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MUSIC

I don’t know how I’ve missed these for so long, but thankfully found the NPR Tiny desk series of concerts recently and they are awesome… https://www.npr.org/series/tiny-desk-concerts/?t=1539811025167

Sound Design Scrapbook #8

PODCAST

Another Twenty Thousound Hertz Podcast, this time it’s a peak into the world of writing, recording, designing and producing their podcast. Being an audio based podcast, they go the extra mile to make it as slick as possible!


MIXING MASTERCLASS

If you’re interested in Mixing Orchestral music, the marvelous Jake Jackson is here on stage at the 4th Annual Mixcon event in New York. I’ve seen Jake do a number of these run downs on his mix process for Orchestral work, and they’re always super useful and insightful. Excited to continue learning about it as I spend some concentrated time mixing a bunch of my own tracks over the next couple months.


SILENCE / EXHIBITION

Last year I stepped in for 59 productions to record 2 minutes of silence in a primary school assembly, this amongst a whole array of different recordings has culminated in this beautiful exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, Sound Designed by Gareth Fry.

http://59productions.co.uk/project/moments-of-silence/

 https://www.instagram.com/p/BocAMPcFsfx/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=u62jsdh1aa06

‘Moments of Silencee’, IWM London. Created by 59 Productions © Photo: Will Weisner

‘Moments of Silencee’, IWM London. Created by 59 Productions © Photo: Will Weisner

 

Scrapbook #7

YOUTUBE

Paul Thomson of Spitfire Audio has started his own Youtube Channel with an offering of some super detailed videos already! Here’s a intricate look at Reverbs…


MUSIC

Olafur Arnalds released his latest album re:member last month and it’s went stright onto my monthly playlist. It’s another beauitful album. He’s also been working with a generative mechanism where his piano plays itself based on the notes he plays initially, looks like it’s triggered from some Ableton fun, you can here it in action on the album and see it in the video below too. Excited to see him and his team live later this year again!


PODCAST

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Tonebenderspodcast.com did a brilliant interview with the award winning sound team behind Arrival, one of my favourite cinematic experiences last year. Check out how Sylvain Bellemare & Bernard Gariépy Strobl work…