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The Sounds of films competing The Oscar 2013

The Sounds of films competing The Oscar 2013

We put together a video selection from Soundworks Collection about the development and creation of the sound and sound effects in the films there were nominated for the Oscar 2013. The Sound of ARGO The SoundWorks Collection talks with Sound Supervisor and Sound Designer Erik Aadahl to discuss the sound of Director Ben Affleck's Argo. The Sound of Zero Dark Thirty In this exclusive SoundWorks Collection profile we talk with Oscar winning Sound Re-recording Mixer and Supervising Sound Editor Paul Ottosson about his work on Director Kathryn Bigelow's film, Zero Dark Thirty. The Sound of The Life of Pi The SoundWorks Collection talks with the sound and picture team behind Director Ang Lee's newest film, "Life of Pi". Interviews include Eugene Gearty (Supervising Sound Editor), Tim Squyres (Picture Editor), Doug Hemphill (Sound Re-recording Mixer), Ron Bartlett (Sound Re-recording Mixer), and Erich Stratmann (Music Editor). The Sound of Lincoln The SoundWorks Collection talks with Skywalker Sound's Sound Designer Ben Burtt about his work on Steven Speilberg's new film "Lincoln". The Sound of Brave In this exclusive SoundWorks Collection sound profile we talk with Director Mark Andrews, Re-recording Mixer and Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom, Supervising Sound Editor Gwen Yates Whittle, and Sound Designer E.J. Holowicki. The Sound of The Hobbit In this exclusive SoundWorks Collection sound profile we visit Park Road Post Studios in Wellington, New Zealand to talk with the sound team of Director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. Soundworks Collection -

Sound Design: Mechanical Roof Tweaks Concert Acoustic in Real Time

Imagine a concert hall that adapts to each performer, during the performance. Since humans started building large buildings, we’ve been obsessed with the acoustics of our theaters and concert halls. And despite all that time to get it right, we’re constantly deploying new materials and computer-calculated designs to create perfection in the sound of live performance. Resonant Chamber feels like architectural acoustics has, at last, met its natural conclusion. In a huge collaboration spearheaded by design firm RVTR, engineers, composers, and designers have constructed what are essentially transforming roofs that can adapt to the sound of performers and reshape themselves to complement and amplify the audio. “The goal is not ‘perfect’ acoustics, but rather variable acoustics for different applications,” explains RVTR’s Geoffrey Thun. “To enable a single venue to provide ideal conditions for a range of music performance and audience configurations would be fantastic.” The system is described best as “rigid origami,” a collection of triangle panels that hang from a track, driven by motors to shift positions on command. The panels themselves come in three varieties: One is bamboo plywood, which reflects sound. Another is porous polypropylene, which absorbs it. And the third is actually a hollow panel that’s been filled with a speaker. With these three counterbalancing tools at its disposal, the Resonant Chamber can play chess with sound waves, creating a strategic structure to match any style of performance. But the real promise of the system is its potential to go live. “We are currently developing a customized software interface that can track, control, and predict the physical systems performance in real time,” Thun explains to Co.Design. In this next model, microphones follow various frequencies to make immediate tweaks to the physical and aural landscape. Imagine a rock concert that could add a real chamber reverb to select songs, or an orchestra that could accentuate a melody without changing the volume at which it played. As of now, RVTR is also looking to scale their prototype, with the goal of creating a 1,000-square-foot installation. “Our early system simulations suggest that the system is scalable,” writes Thun. “We also anticipate that specific geometric patterns utilized to date will likely be modified as will the actuation logics moving forward--that’s why we iteratively prototype.” So the Resonance Chamber of today may look much different than that of tomorrow. Ultimately, with such a duplicable and adaptive system, RVTR could take over, not just the concert space, but any live environment in need of dynamic adjustment (busy restaurants come to mind). But until then, we’ll all have to do what we always do: ignore that obnoxiously loud bachelorette party at the next table over, and pretend the band we’re about to see won’t inevitably sound worse than they did on their studio album. Write by Mark Wilson on…

Sound Design: Ok Go Needing/Getting VideoClip

Ok Go is a band that always innovative in their music videos. This time, the new music video from OK Go, made in partnership with Chevrolet, is a masterpiece and made entirely through sound design techniques. OK Go set up over 1000 instruments over two miles of desert outside Los Angeles. A Chevy Sonic was outfitted with retractable pneumatic arms designed to play the instruments, and the band recorded this version of Needing/Getting, singing as they played the instrument array with the car. The video took 4 months of preparation and 4 days of shooting and recording. There are no ringers or stand-ins; Damian took stunt driving lessons. Each piano had the lowest octaves tuned to the same note so that they'd play the right note no matter where they were struck. For more information and behind-the-scenes footage, see and Director: Brian L. Perkins & Damian Kulash, Jr. Director of Photography: Yon Thomas Editor: Doug Walker Producer: Luke Ricci

Sound Design: Contact Mic Recording and Water Foley

Following our Sound Design series, today we bring to you two ways to capture sounds that work perfectly in harsh environments. Contact Mic Recording and Water Foley. Contact Mic Recording Concept: "Contact Mic Recording is a form of microphone specifically designed to pick up audio vibrations in solid objects. Normal studio mics are all built around the principle of detecting vibrations in the air but Contact mics are different in that they are designed to pickup surface vibrations." Water Foley Concept: "Foley is a term that describes the process of live recording of sound effects that are created by a Foley artist, which are added in post production to enhance the quality of audio for films, television, video, video games and radio". The videos were made by Tim Prebble - - Prebble is a film sound designer & supervising sound editor based in Wellington, New Zealand. While most of his waking hours are spent working on film soundtracks, other interests include making ambient/alaetorical music, collecting records, playing double bass, messing with his modular synth, making electronic dubwise beats, planting sunflowers & wishing he was on holiday in Japan.

Sound Design: The Sound of Drive and Transformer: Dark of The Moon

This week, supervising Sound Editor Lon Bender shares his thoughts on the creative process behind the acclaimed sound design for the movie DRIVE. The project was also mixed at Sound One by Re-recording Mixers Roberto Fernandez and Dave Paterson. Sound Studio: Sound One In the next video, the director Michael Bay and Producer Steven Speilberg return for the third film in the Transformers franchise, Tranformers: Dark of the Moon. The amazing visual effects in this film are complimented by the talented efforts of the sound team including Re-recording Mixers Greg Russell and Jeff Haboush, and Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designers Ethan Van der Ryn, and Erik Aadahl. This is the first 3D film of the series and will also be presented in regular 2D, Real D 3D and IMAX, featuring Dolby Surround 7.1 sound. Sound Studio: Sony Studios

Sound Design: BMW Tunnel Experience by Andrew Spitz

Sound Design for the BMW Tunnel Experience by Andrew Spitz This time, I want to get into the more technical stuff of the Sound Design and illustrate with an Interactive Sound Design project. Andrew Spitz is a designer, interactive designer and lecturer based in South Africa. To find out about Andrew, please visit his website - The Project Few months back, Andrew was invited to participate on a great project for BMW. BMW announced they would sponsor the South African rugby team – The Springboks. with Mann Made Media. The brief was to simulate the feeling a rugby player would experience as they walk into a packed stadium. The brief was well received and we were finalists at the Loerie Awards 2011. General Overview Participants enter the event through a dark 30m long tunnel. As they walk, the sound builds from a distant stadium stomping their feet in unison, to the South African anthem being sung. As they go deeper into the tunnel, the sound keeps developing and getting more exciting, loud, and present. Around the bend, a motion detection system picks them up and the whole “stadium” erupts sonically and visually. We had six LCD wall panels displaying a stadium full of animated people standing up and cheering. We also hacked the flashes of disposable cameras to augment the experience. Check out this video to get a feel for the installation as a whole: BMW Tunnel Installation from Mann Made Media on Vimeo. sound design The goal was to quickly and effectively give participants a feeling of excitement and pride. I was going for an army-like collective – a stadium is the perfect venue for this. There’s nothing quite like a packed stadium cheering and singing an anthem to unify a country. Fortunately the Soccer World Cup happened recently, so I had lots of material. Also, for the commercial I had gathered a small crowd of 20 to sing the anthem and also had them stomp their feet together, which is the sound stomping you hear in the first two mixes below (with lots of processing). All and all, each loop is made up of a gazillion layers! I used a combination of sounds I recorded specifically for this, sounds from my personal library (mentioned above), and I crowd sourced a little on Social Sound Design to fill up the stadium crowd stuff. These sounds were donated by Rene Conorado and Kurt Human – Thanks so much guys! I also found some really useful sounds in the blastwave FX library. For general rugby crowd sounds (eruptions, claps, screams, singing, etc.), I did a recording trip to a rugby match. My gear consisted of an MKH 418s, a stereo pair of DPA 4060s, and a Zoom H4n (which turned out useless). I have to say, those little DPAs sounded amazing with crowds – beautiful spatiality and clarity! I have two Sound Devices 702, which is handy to split up perspective. Thanks to Wesley Mace for helping me record! Here are the loops. They really don’t give any justice to the experience, as they were mixed specifically for the space and to the system in the venue. There’s some serious low end going on, which massive subwoofers were dealing with. When listening in the venue, the loops sound a lot more accurate to how it would actually sound. Distant South African anthem. At the entrance of the tunnel. As you’re waiting in the reception area, you can hear this sound very distantly. BMW - Distant Shosholoza by SoundPlusDesign More present South African anthem. From one third into the tunnel. Synced to first loop. BMW - Shosholoza by SoundPlusDesign Picking up the pace and excitement with this loop. Close to the exit of the tunnel. BMW - Wild Loop by SoundPlusDesign The climax as you step out of the tunnel and “onto” the pitch. This loop is triggered by a motion detection system. BMW - Climax by SoundPlusDesign This transition allows the loop to reset itself and go back to the idle “excited” state. BMW - Transition by SoundPlusDesign Software I programmed the software to control the loops in Max/MSP. Each section controls several speakers lining the tunnel. Below is a screen grab of the program. The tricky bit was to have all the loops work rhythmically and sonically together, transition smoothly, and not be too obnoxious so that people already inside don’t go crazy from the repetition. I also had to create a basic dynamic mixing system to avoid all the sound just piling up on top of one another and creating a wall of noise. Our control room, I’m on the left, Stephen Buchanan (realtime graphics programmer) on the right: sound in the venue I sent the sound engineer six channels, and we distributed it to a total of 12 speakers and two subwoofers lining the tunnel. The tunnel was made of material that diffused the sound and made the speakers sound way less directional – handy! Once out of the tunnel, when the stadium erupts, we had a speaker array right above them. Sadly, because of the position and huge cost of the LCD panels, we could only safely fit one set of speaker arrays, so we didn’t get that big and wide surround feel I wanted. It still sounded alright. It was tricky getting all the levels and frequencies right, as each section had to not conflict with the next, and not be too loud for the people that have either already experienced the tunnel or waiting in the entrance. Link to Andrew's Portfolio - Andrew's Twitter - @SoundPlusDesign Andrew's Blog -

Sound Design: Red Bull Academy World Tour

To celebrate the Red Bull Academy World Tour, the Academy produced a music film that encompasses musical styles from around the world. It was produced 8 soundtracks for some of the cities where the event will take place. The Sound design work was done by Elias Arts The visual design work was done by Passion Pictures ( Berlin The soundtrack for this clip is inspired by one of Hansa’s iconic album’s Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life. Like the creation of the music in the studio, the cityscape is built from the many organic, analogue musical artifacts used in the recording studio. Tape creatures climb across the concrete city jungle towards the Berlin Wall – a nod to the studio’s physical location. Berlin: Hansa – Das Studio der Mauerstadt from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo. Paris The visual inspiration for the Parisian leg of the tour is an collision between the flesh and blood textures of the African soul and funk that comprised the concert, and the architectural backdrop of Paris – the home of the Afrobeat Picks event. Musically, the rhythm builds and the acoustics echo and bounce off the city walls as we travel across the avenues. Paris: Questlove’s Afro-Picks from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo. Detroit Inspired by the Detroit automotive industry, from the start the viewer is immersed inside the iconic TR 909 drummachine – a nod to the intersection of man and machine central to the city’s musical innovation. As we travel through a CG circuit board city, the cyclical nature of the assembly line process is increasingly apparent transitioning us from the hey days of Motown R&B to the minimal stylings of techno. The theme of repetition was also carried through to the construction of the musical score. Detroit: Motor City Frequencies from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo. Toronto The animation style here is directly referenced from the iconic soundclash album Scientists meets the Space Invaders. The four superhero characters battle it out across the streets of Toronto – each one representative of one of the four soundclash crews competing in this event, Afrika Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation, Mad Decent, LuckyMe and Toronto All Star. The beginning of the battle is marked by the sound of the airhorn, a nod to the dancehall musical score underpinning this piece. Toronto: Culture Clash from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo. Melbourne The bright, visually rich palette of this section is inspired by the coastal location of Melbourne city. Like the experimental nature of the event itself, the narrative of this film explores the relationship between sound and space. The audio of the Melbourne tram chimes set off a wave of fluid illustrated animations that bounce around the screen, visually inspired by traditional aboriginal paintings. Melbourne: Notions of Sonic Space from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo. New York When hip-hop first emerged in the 70s it was the ghetto blaster that amplified the sound of New York streets to the world. To pay hommage, the setting of this film was built from the original tape deck devices. We see a Hudson River constructed of unwound mixtapes. The trains all disappear to one of the five boroughs, a nod to the albums and boroughs celebrated in this event. New York: Five Out Of Five from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo. Rome Italy and the Cinecitta studios are credited for producing some of the most influential cinematic masterpieces ever. To celebrate this we created a film that paid tribute to the different genres, from comedy to spaghetti western, 70s cop films & blood-filled horror flicks to psychedelic animations, in one narrative mash-up. A Spaghetti Western inspired track provides the aural backdrop as we pan across the scene culminating in a classic Sergio Leone shot. Along the way we reveal a chaotic assortment of villains, ghouls and policeman all participating in one comedic battle conducted to the tunes of a dead Mexican mariachi band. Rome: C’era Una Volta A Roma from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo. London Inspired by the event theme, Revolutions in Sound, we wanted to create a dominating creature that visually embodies the innovative qualities of the event itself. As the camera cuts around the robot’s CG body we see it is inspired by components of modern London architecture. His head is a pulsating subwoofer, an iconic musical artifact central to London’s influential bass music scenes and inside his chest we see the magnificent London Eye, the heart of the event itself. London: Revolutions in Sound from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo.

Sound Design: The Sound of Real Steel and Black Swan

Craig Henighan is a well known and established sound designer. He has worked on several big budget movies such as Night at the Museum, X-Men: The Last Stand, Sin City, Jumper and others. In the video below, Craig Henighan (sound designer, sound re-recording mixer, supervising sound editor), Skip Longfellow (first assistant sound editor), Warren Hendriks (sound designer), Rob Nokes (sound effects field recordist), and Dan O'Connell (foley artista), talk about the sound of Real Steel, one of his most recent productions. SoundWorks Collection - The Sound of Real Steel from Michael Coleman on Vimeo. In a totally different context, Craig Henighan talks about the challenge of working on the sound design for the movie Black Swan. SoundWorks Collection - The Sound of "Black Swan" from Michael Coleman on Vimeo. Enjoy and if you are a sound designer, send us the link of your site, portfolio or work.

Sound Design: Elements of Nature

Today I would like to introduce you to a very creative technique to create sounds from elements of nature and day to day objects. I will share with you a few really cool videos. The first one is from a japanese TV ad and what is interesting about this one is the way that the creators of this piece went all the way back to the very beginning of sound design to recreate a classic from J.S Bach. Touchwood - NttdoComo The second video was created by Julian Smith from and it is called Techno Jeep. The shooting took 7 hours and all sounds are from a Jeep. Julian Smith - Techno Jeep The next videos are from Diego Stocco Diego is a sound designer, composer and performer that creates eclectic musical experiences with custom built instruments and experimental recording techniques. He's one of the principal creative sound designers for the multi Award winning virtual instruments AtmosphereTM, StylusTM RMX and the new Power Synth Omnisphere®. Diego Stocco - Music from a Tree Diego Stocco - Music From a Dry Cleaner Diego Stocco - Music From A Dry Cleaner from Diego Stocco on Vimeo.

Sound Design: The Wizard Ben Burtt

Today I will post about the work of Ben Burtt, one of the wizards of Sound Design for the movie industry. Burtt has worked for a staggering number of awarded movies including such as Star Wars (1977), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Indian Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) among other classics. I am, particularly a huge fan of sound design for animation movies, in which the director has to use all his/her creativity in order to create sounds out of nothing and give life to the characters or objects. Below you can see some videos in which Burtt reveals some of his sound design secrets used on the Disney - Pixar animation movie: Wall - E(2008) Ben Burtt Creates the Sounds for Wall-E (Part 2)

Sound Design: Need For Speed - The Run

Sound Design is a weekly series of articles we will post trying to share the best works about audio creation. From movie soundtracks, video-games, sound effects, audio branding, sound design techniques, pretty much everything related to creating audio. In our first post we had to start with something fun, and nothing better than sound design for video-game, especially for this one Need For Speed - The Run. The Audio Director of the game is Charles Deenan, who has worked on more then 200 game sound design and dozens of movies and trailers. Charles reveal some very interesting details about miking techniques that enhance the game sound effects giving to the players a sensation of being inside a super car such as a Lamborghini Aventador. Driving The Sound Capturing The Sound Anatomy of a Scene