Category: Sound Design


Wow! Tons of stuff going on this week! Big news from Avid, great stuff from many microphone companies, Izotope, and tons more!

The AES trade show floor was considerably smaller than usual, but there was a lot of cool stuff there. If you spent some time digging and talking to reps, inventors, presidents, etc… there was a lot of cool info to be gathered. I did my best at grabbing pics and info about topics and products pertaining to audio post and field recording / production audio. I’ll cover a lot of it here, but if there’s something I don’t cover that you’re wondering about, feel free to ask me if I happened to come across what you’re curious about!

129th AES in SF

I’m going to categorize my posts by topic, so there will be quite a few between here and Sonic Terrain.

Stay tuned – many posts to come this week!

I’ve just announced the release of my new drag racing library, “My Hart is Racing!”

This heart-pounding library is 1.2gb in size, 46 files wide, and 37 minutes long. It includes, dragsters, jr dragsters, super sport cars, bikes, imports, and more! There’s even a 7 minute qualifying heat included that comes unedited! Tons of good source for some epic sound design!

For this week only, while I’m at AES, I’m offering this library at a discount. Normally it will be $20, but until I return home from San Francisco, you can purchase it for just $10! The trick is that you’ll have to find my promo code to get the discount!

I’ll post it on twitter and I’ll be giving it out to whoever I meet over at AES, so be on the lookout!

Go check out http://hartfx.net for details!

Here’s a demo of some of the sounds:

Some of you may have already attended David Sonnenschein’s 6-week sound design webinar earlier this month (reported on by Miguel Isaza each week, available to read here), but for those that missed it, you can still be a part of it! David recorded all of the webinars in video format and is now offering them for a discounted price. You won’t get to interact with him and others as you would in the actual webinar, but you get all of the information for a great price!

Now, this isn’t your typical video series on sound design that you might find in a DVD extra or somewhere on Youtube. This is legit pro stuff. It’s a series of Six 2-hour sessions, and they are available to watch at the discounted rate of $95 if you register by October 27 (the recordings will be available for you to watch until January 15th, 2011, which is when the next webinar starts). Click here to register now for the webinar!

*FYI, the title on the signup says “September 8th”, which is when the original recording was made. Have no fear! It is the correct link! When you sign up, it will give you access to the recordings.*

Here’s a sample video of what is covered in the webinar:





Here are the topics covered:

1. THE INTELLIGENT EAR – Listening Modes, Sound Qualities and Bipolarities
By deconstructing the listening experience into discrete elements, the grammar of sound design language gives you access for clear and powerful communication.

2. PLUG-IN POWER – Size, Distance, Speed and Non-Physical Reality
Understanding principles of real world acoustics and palette of subjective auditory experiences offers you enlightened use of digital processing tools.

3. RULES OF the BRAIN ROAD – Psychoacoustic Principles and Applications
When the curtain is lifted on how humans process auditory information, you master the art of sonic illusion (creating and hiding) as essential tools in sound editing.

4. SONIC TIME-SPACE CONTINUUM – Soundscapes and Sound Spheres
Creating an effective cinematic space depends on familiarity with your physical and social environment, and the knowledge of how to psychologically orient yourself through audio.

5. AUDIO BUILDING BLOCKS – Constructing Sound Events and Sound Objects
Mastering techniques of sequencing, layering and mixing will infuse sonic fragments (sound effects, words) with meaningful messages (sound phrases, sentences).

6. PEOPLE, PLOT AND PASSION – Narrative Structure and Sound Mapping
Bottom line, how can sound help tell your story? By understanding dramatic elements of character and emotion, the map can guide you to creative and impactful decision-making.

David is a wonderful teacher. He has been a mentor to be for about 6 months now. You definitely won’t regret checking this one out!

After about 8 weeks of non-stop work, I’ve finally launched HartFX.net! I have my first library for sale starting today, my Industrial library! I posted a demo a week ago, but here it is again, for good measure :-)

Check it out over at HartFX.net !
HartFX

Excerpt of the library description from the site:

It’s HUGE. As in almost 24gb of sound. All in 192k/24b. If you played all of the the files back to back, it would take you over 5 1/2 hours to listen to it all. And that’s not even the cool part.
This is kind of a unique library. I recorded with a number of microphone (up to 8 at times) into two Deva V recorders (a single one didn’t like recording 8 channels of 192k/24b!). Then in post, I mixed and matched different mics to make the baddest, beefiest sounding tools I could. But the cool thing is that I’ve also included the separate mics on their own, all time aligned and all, so you can do your own mix, or just chose one perspective you like for a specific sound. So there are over 1000 sounds, but sometimes you have 5 different perspectives of the same sound. Completely customizable! It’s all labelled in the metadata too, so you can search by how many feet the mic was from the sound if you’d like, or from Close, Medium, or Far Perspectives.

I FINISHED IT!

My Industrial sound library, that is. The Complete HD version is 23.54GB! That’s HUGE!!! 281 files, over 5.5 hours of sound! I will be releasing it very soon, so check back for details in the next day or two. For now, here’s a demo of some of the sounds from the library!

INDUSTRIAL 001 Complete HD Samples by Colin Hart

Let me know what you think!

Yesterday I announced my first sound library release, “Workshop”, under “HartFX.net”. I am currently still working on building the library, and it has been a blast! I’m sitting at 9gb of sounds right now, and I’m expecting to be at 20gb once I’m finished recording.

Gear List:

2x Sennheiser MKH800s (M/S)
2x Sanken Cub (Usually spaced pair, sometimes spot mono)
2x Sennheiser MKH60 (mono, one close up, one room)
Sanken CSS-5 (Usually in wide mode)
Schoeps CMXY 4V
Countryman B6 Binaural Setup

Everything recorded into a Deva V and a Sound Devices 744T at 24b 192k.

Here are some of the tools included:

Mitar Saw (Articulating Saw)
Table Saw
Panel Saw
Table Sander
Router
Drill Press
Grinder
Band Saw
Hydraulic Tools
Hydraulic Compressor
Hand Saws
Drills
Shop Vac
and more!

The tentative release date for the library is September 15. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted!

FYI: HartFX.net is still under construction and won’t be up and running for a few more weeks. I’ll announce once it’s up!


Workshop Library from Colin Hart on Vimeo.

David Sonnenschein – author, scholar, sound designer, and friend of mine – is hosting a 6 week webinar series. I’ve attended a number of his seminars in the past and they are wonderful. I was able to present some of my work during one of the sessions and got live feedback from David as well as many of the other designers attending online. It’s cool being able to get feedback from other professionals in that manner.

Anyways, here are the details for the series:

SOUND DESIGN FOR PROS – Free Intro Webinar Aug. 24
presented by David Sonnenschein, author
Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema

Live and interactive on Tuesday Aug. 24, 9-10:30am PST
Recording available to view anytime after Aug. 24.
FREE Registration here: sounddesignforpros.com/webinars/

This free Intro Webinar will give you an overview of topics essential for the creative, professional sound designer that will be covered in detail in the upcoming six-week webinar series beginning Sept. 8. You will see and hear audiovisual demonstrations that will stimulate your auditory mind and sharpen your abilities to produce powerful soundtracks. We will also have an open chat for your questions related to sound design.

* Master theory and application of your audio craft to become an in-demand professional
* Discover tools and tricks to find an expressive voice and maximize your creativity
* Impact the audience effectively on intellectual, emotional and visceral levels
* Build successful communication skills with job-hiring producers and the post team

WEBINAR TOPICS
1. THE INTELLIGENT EAR – Listening Modes, Sound Qualities and Bipolarities
By deconstructing the listening experience into discrete elements, the grammar of sound design language gives you access for clear and powerful communication.
2. PLUG-IN POWER – Size, Distance, Speed and Non-Physical Reality
Understanding principles of real world acoustics and palette of subjective auditory experiences offers you enlightened use of digital processing tools.
3. RULES OF the BRAIN ROAD – Psychoacoustic Principles and Applications
When the curtain is lifted on how humans process auditory information, you master the art of sonic illusion (creating and hiding) as essential tools in sound editing.
4. SONIC TIME-SPACE CONTINUUM – Soundscapes and Sound Spheres
Creating an effective cinematic space depends on familiarity with your physical and social environment, and the knowledge of how to psychologically orient yourself through audio.
5. AUDIO BUILDING BLOCKS – Constructing Sound Events and Sound Objects
Mastering techniques of sequencing, layering and mixing will infuse sonic fragments (sound effects, words) with meaningful messages (sound phrases, sentences).
6. PEOPLE, PLOT AND PASSION – Narrative Structure and Sound Mapping
Bottom line, how can sound help tell your story? By understanding dramatic elements of character and emotion, the map can guide you to creative and impactful decision-making.

———————-

David Sonnenschein’s book is legendary, and the interactive webinar which presents and analyzes examples of the theory, truly brings the material to life. – Nathan Moody, NoiseJockey.net

David gives a lot of fantastic theory and examples about the emotional and technical side of sound design with detailed explanations, presentations and audiovisual material. If you enjoyed David’s book you will love his webinars. – Miguel Isaza, DesigningSound.org

David Sonnenschein is without a doubt an expert on sound design for film, television, and multimedia projects. His impressive knowledge and easy-going personality make his classes both informative and enjoyable. – Joel Krantz, Sound Editor/Mixer and Author, Pro Tools Post Production Techniques

———————–

If you can’t make it to the live event, you can watch the recording anytime after August 24. Registration is the same for the live and recorded webinar.

This free event is an intro to a six-week webinar series that will begin on Sept. 8. For more info go to sounddesignforpros.com.


I hope to see you there!

Fireworks!

Tim Prebble has released a new sound library through Hiss and a Roar! His 4th Library, Fireworks, is amazing! Recorded over 2 days, with 4 recordists, $600au of specially selected fireworks, a few weeks of tender love and editing, and voila! A new library is born! And it took a bit of dedication too. Here’s an excerpt from Tim’s blog on the experience:

FIREWORKS is a library I have been planning for well over a year. Here in New Zealand fireworks are only sold for one week each year (Guy Fawkes is November 5th) and most years I would buy a bunch of fireworks & record them for my library, and I noticed how often those sounds were handy for all sorts of purposes…. So in November 2009 I contacted a number of fireworks importers and asked them to hand select an arsenal for me based on sound. Six hundred dollars later I had a serious fireworks selection but summer was starting & I knew I would have to wait for winter & the fire risk to not be an issue. So I stored my potential library away & waited…

Lots of Fireworks!

Not only am I very excited about the quality of this library (24b 192k!), but I am very jealous that Tim got to shoot off that many fireworks!

Tim didn’t only record raw fireworks, but he did a lot of perspective and “prop” recording too!  Here’s a bit of what he had to say about it:

Apart from 3 big plastic bins of fireworks one of my goals with capturing the fireworks library was about context: these sounds are very useful when designing weapons and I was very interested in reinforcing this aspect by releasing fireworks in metal pipes of various sizes. Earlier in the week I visited a great junkyard and bought a number of different size pipes, from a 2m long metal drain pipe to short narrow pipes to a larger air conditioning vent; all great sources of resonance!


Go check out Tim’s blog on the experience and download a copy! There are 5 versions, ranging from $9 to $99, and a free one too! The $99 version is pretty sweet: 210 sounds, multichannel, 24bit, 192k. Great deal!


Credits:
Tim Prebble – Sound Devices 722 with two Sanken CUB mics
Dave Whitehead – Sound Devices 722 with Sennhesier 8050 and DPA4006
Matt Lambourn – Sound Devices 722 with MKH816 and my MKH70
Ray Beentjes – Sound Devices 744 with quad rig: Sennheiser MKH50+30 LR and MKH816 x 2 LsRs

Check out Tim’s blog on the library here.


You can purchase and download the library here!

So, as many of you know, one of my favorite shows on Television is “Fringe” on Fox. It is an absolutely terrific show.

As you probably know, the Emmy nominations came out a few weeks ago, and I was thrilled to hear that Bruce Tanis was nominated in the area of Sound Design on “Fringe”, as well as for an HBO film he worked on. I’ve been getting to know Bruce over the past few months (amazingly nice guy). You can read an interview I did with him a while back on the sound design of “Fringe” here. Anyways, Bruce just finished up writing for Miguel for a month over at Designing Sound, so I figured while his fingers were still warm I would ask him to write up a blog about what his nominations meant to him and to write a bit about each of the pieces that were nominated.


So here’s what he had to say:

Hi Colin. As you know, I was lucky enough to be nominated recently for a Sound Editing Emmy Award for this past television season. Actually, I was even luckier and received TWO nominations! One was for sound effects editing on “Fringe” and the other was for the HBO movie, “Temple Grandin”. That was a terrific project and I was really happy to be a part of it although it couldn’t have been much more different in terms of material than “Fringe”. “Temple Grandin” is a biographical film about a real person named Temple Grandin and who has autism but still managed to go through her professional life becoming a highly respected professor and researcher in animal husbandry. The film is very straight forward and takes place mostly in the sixties and seventies with a few whimsical montages that illustrate how her mind sees things that the rest of us take for granted. It’s a terrific story about a very inspirational person.

“Fringe”, on the other hand, is all about alternate Universes, monsters, and things that go bump under your bed. Things like two foot long hookworms and horribly destructive viruses and mind control. I think the part that interests me about these two shows, taken together, is that they represent two very different points along the sound spectrum. One is a very literal film where sound helps tell the story of what actually took place in a particular location and time and the other uses sound to create things that don’t exist anywhere. Both projects use sound effects to tell their story but in completely different ways. I have to admit, I was surprised to be nominated for “Fringe” since there are so many other worthy shows out there but I’m really glad and excited that we made the list!

The episode that got nominated is called “White Tulip” and it features Peter Weller (“Robocop” and “Buckaroo Banzai”), as a time traveling scientist named Alistair Peck. He’s come up with a type of Faraday Cage wiring system that has grown into his body and arms and he uses this mechanism to propel himself through time in an attempt to go back and save his wife from a fatal car crash. He earns Walter’s respect because his design, as disgusting as it is visually, is actually a success. The picture editor wanted some sounds to cut in for the time travel sequences as they developed the episode and their temp opticals were fast-cut fluttery images of Peck as he built up in intensity to the moment of making the “jump” and then winding down on the b-side. I knew his device was electrically based so I came up with some sparking and zapping sounds that I pitch bent up to the moment of jumping and then brought them back down as he arrived at his destination time. These sort of made a wave that crested as he disappeared from out time and washed away as he re-appeared as he re-entered the time stream somewhere else. Since the nature of time jumping is that the jumper moves along the timeline but doesn’t usually move anywhere else geographically, I wanted to try and sell the effect by using vocals that made it seem like he was jumping over other people who occupied the same physical space as him but simply at a different time. I took some pieces of the production dialog and, again, pitch bent them to wind up and down and also treated them to have a delayed chorusing so that they vibrated a bit in the same was as the picture. There were also the regular whooshes and echoes to heighten the moment of transference even further. At various points during the episode, Peck “jumps” to a time moment that we’ve already seen but each time it’s just a little bit different because Walter has begun to piece together what Peck must be doing and, as he understands more and more, he begins to affect the time jumps as he gets closer and closer to catching Peck in the act. This was handled by using the exact same elements each time but adding something slightly different so that we know that, very subtly, even though we’ve seen this exact set of events before, this time the sequence is unfolding just a little bit differently . . . .

This was a really fun episode to be nominated for because time travel is such a staple of science fiction programs. Certainly, each “Fringe” episode had something interesting in it but I like this one because it goes so far back through a lot of terrific films and TV programs as one of the Grandfather story devices. I love the irony that this show got nominated for a time travel machine that was first used so long ago and has now looped back on itself!

Thanks so much Bruce for sharing!


You can download this episode of “Fringe” here. (iTunes link)


NOTE: I do not get any procedes for click-thru’s or purchases. I support “Fringe” because I’m a loving fan!)

P.S. I have not forgotten about my boom operation post! It is almost finished and is coming soon!!!

Just met up with Gary Rizzo and had lunch with him and a few friends. Lots of cool stuff to talk about in a future post, but I had a chance to ask him today what his favorite moments were in Inception.

I’m going to watch it tonight, and wanted to know what to listen for. I didn’t record the questions, nor did I have anything to write his answers down with, so I’m just going to paraphrase:


I asked him; “What are your favorite sound moments in Inception?”


He replied (in my words…). There are a couple of great moments in the movie. The first one is this sequence that happens in Paris. You are down on the street in Paris, and all of a sudden things start exploding around you. But not a fiery explosion. It’s just all air, as if there was some kind of pressure making everything explode. It starts small and then everything around you is exploding, but there is never any fire. Some of the shots start for half a second in real time, then switch to slow motion. There was this news stand that starts to explode. I had a lot of low rumbling, and some air pressure sounds, and then some paper sounds and everything. There are also some cool animal sounds mixed in there. There are no incendiary or concussion explosions in there at all. It’s really cool.

Another one is where this van throws into reverse right before it crashes over a bridge. As is goes over, it switches to super slow motion. There’s this synthy really low rumble sound that sounds really cool. It’s pretty much silent except for that sound. Really cool.

Gary’s final words though about watching the movie was not to listen to the sounds. Not to watch the effects. Just watch the movie. He mentioned that you will be completely and utterly confused for the first reel or two, then by three, you’ll kind of get it, and by 4 you’ll be moving right along for the story. Every moment counts in this one. Don’t leave to go to the bathroom or popcorn. Don’t bring someone with you that will ask you questions every two seconds. Pay attention to every moment or you’ll be lost.


Good stuff!

I’ll follow up after I see the movie, and I have some more from Gary. My computer is going to die in 4 minutes, so I better post this quick.

Let me know what you think, and enjoy!!


Also, go check out this promo for SoundworksCollection’s Inception profile: http://bit.ly/9kw02q