sound design

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!


The Unreturning - UK Tour Sound Design - Frantic Assembly

The last few months I’ve been fairly flat out concentrating on Sound Designing  Frantic Assembly’s The Unreturning with Director Neil Bettles Directing a completely awesome company in one of the most collaborative processes I’ve been involved in for some time, it was such a delight to be part of and I felt very lucky to be involved.

This was a bit of a dream working process for me, being in the rehearsal room from day one (for 3 out of 4 weeks of rehearsals) and being part of the creation process even before that with Neil, Andrzej Goulding (Set and Video Designer), Zoe Spurr (Lighting Designer) and Lily Arnold (Costume Designer) and the rest of the team, it’s exactly how I love to work.

The show opened in Plymouth on Monday 24th September and will be on tour around the UK, you can find the dates on Frantic’s website here, and info on the whole team there too.

Bit of rehearsal action in London

Bit of rehearsal action in London

I’m half way through writing up a bit of a series about the equipment and processes I use for workshops, rehearsals and how I use Ableton and QLAB in those situations. I used a similar set up in rehearsals for The Unreturning and eventually programmed everything into QLAB, but will wait to go into detail about that until I’ve finished.

There was a lot of content to create for the show, we recorded the excellent actors for some part of the Sound Design too, and worked with a bunch of different music tracks. It was an extremely good example of how to integrate Spotify into the process, as I suggested in a previous post, it can be such a useful way of collaborating and evolving a musical palette. Our playlist started with Anna Jordan (Writer), who added some tracks as she wrote the piece, which allowed us into her world and how she was feeling about the piece. Then Neil added as he read the and I joined, threw in my own thoughts and we all continued to add to the playlist even up to the final days of previews, it was part of my job to then expand on this and integrate some of the musical palette into the show.

I like to be part of the rehearsal process early on as I enjoy working with everyone in the rehearsal room and allowing the whole team to influence parts of my Sound Design process, and I hope the Sound Design can influence decisions in other departments too, its fair to say it’s not always possible to be around full time, but it’s always super interesting to see what inspiring ideas come out of that collaboration.

Scrapbook #6

INTERVIEW

Mary Anne Hobbs interviewed Ryuichi Sakamoto on BBC Radio 6. Talking about how he began his life in Music and his process. "Spontinety is my faith"...


APPLE

Apple have released an updated Macbook Pro which is able to house 32gb RAM and up to 4tb SSD drive... it comes at a steep price though!

The more samples I've been using recently, the more RAM I've been needing. I'm hoping that one day it will be the portable version of a nMac Pro I've been waiting for, but for now its a movement in the right direction

https://www.macrumors.com/2018/07/12/apple-launches-2018-macbook-pro-lineup/


SOUND DESIGN

One of the shows I Sound Designed which transfered over the NY to St Ann's Warehouse is now available to watch online as part of Donmar Warehouse's initiative to get these shows out to a wider audience. This was the third piece in a Trilogy of Shakespeare plays led by an all female cast of women around the concept of a female prison. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0696f99/the-tempest


INTERVIEW

Jason Graves, the award-winning composer of the Dead Space soundtracks showing his studio and some interesting instruments he's used to create the unique sound of Dead Space...

 

 

Scrapbook 3

PODCAST

Twenty Thousand Hertz released a super interesting podcast a couple of weeks ago featuring the Data Driven DJ. They talk to Brant Guichard, a man who has heard "The Music" during his seizures since he was a young boy. Taking his EEG readings during a seizure and splicing up a mixture of Imogen Heap'sHide and Seek’, philharmonic samples and experimental percussion. The Data Driven DJ (Brian Foo) created this beautiful piece by using the readings representing the seizure to control the dynamics and intensity (That's a huge over simplification) of the layers...


INTERVIEW

Native instruments posted an interview with Ben Frost talking about the methods he used for this new album The Centre Cannot Hold.
 


NOISE

After living in NY for the last two months, I returned home to a strong awakening of how loud it was there. Not just the hustle and bustle of people, but vehicles, sirens, advertising... it reminded me of this article which describes the high dB levels we encounter on the London Underground system... In essence, get yourself noise cancelling headphones or ear protection for the commute!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-42791299


Frogman April 2018

Last week I was at Shoreditch Town Hall with ‘Frogman’ a play I first worked on with Curious Directive last year which took me to Australia for 3 weeks of on site recording for a 360 film that becomes part of a live theatre show. It’s been an incredible learning curve for me to work with VR content, not only that but being able to support 50 audience members having an individual auditory experience whilst also collectively allowing them the experience the live theatre piece.

There are huge hurdles to overcome and still some more to work on as the show progresses, but as an experiment within multi disciplinary theatre its been a super interesting challenge and well worth a watch/listen, especially if you’re interested in VR.

The show just finished a 2 week run at Shoreditch Town Hall and will play at Arts Depot in Finchley for another week. Check it out here:

https://www.artsdepot.co.uk/theatre/curious-directive-frogman

I’ll be posting a little more about the process soon, a few photos and trailer below!

 

 

Scrapbook 2

SOUND DESIGN

I still haven't managed to see it yet, but came across a cool breakdown of the multiple layers of audio in a scene from Bladerunner 2049


FREE SOFTWARE INSTRUMENT

Strezov Sampling have been giving away this beautiful Duduk vst, I've been trying out in a track or two and it's very easily playable and has slotted in around the rest of my template pretty quickly.

Free Duduk VST


MUSIC

As I put Yo-Yo ma into my 1st scrapbook, I carried on listening to his works and to "The Goat Rodeo Sessions" album and found some awesome live studio performance videos.


FREE APP

I came across this Mini spotify player that sits in your notification centre, pretty neat and just stays open, links to the album art of Spotify and will open spotify when you hit play if it's not already there!

 

Sonic Arcade Exhibition NYC Museum of Art and Design

I recently visited the 'Sonic Arcade: Shaping Space with Sound' exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design in New York and it was pretty ear opening. As the name suggests, there was a real focus on the spaces in which the instillations took place and how the audience and exhibits interacted with one another physically.

Naama Tsabar's Propagation (Opus 3), is a guitar like structure on the wall of one room, the wall has a cavity behind it, the guitar strings are amplified through speakers focused into the wall cavity essentially making the room the resonant chamber for the instrument.

Julianne Swartz created blown glass sculptures and found their resonant frequencies using small speakers tucked away inside each piece, they were spread around the room and seemingly randomly resonated. The effect was a beautiful set of sculptures with a physically engaging quality.

In one room you're invited to put on headphones and play on 4 different synthesizers, This part of the exhibition called 'Subject to Gesture' and was curated by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe. The Museum website has an interesting interview with him talking about his take on sound 'For Lowe, voltage is an unpredictable, malleable and living material whose manipulation is capable of carving the air with sound.'

Audio Media International 2017 Interview

Adam Savage. Editor of Audio Media International Magazine wrote to ask a few questions on my work on The Encounter with Gareth Fry, as well as about the challenges we faced on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and asked me to talk a little about the industry as a whole. I felt privileged to be included in the May/June 2017 edition of Audio Media International. Thanks to Adam for getting in touch!

Here's the link to the online version of the interview:

http://www.audiomediainternational.com/interview/interview-pete-malkin/06534