spotify

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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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…

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.