soundscapes

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.

DSC00513-2.jpg


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…