We wanted to capture all the glitz and glamour of a beauty pageant. We used lots of quick swooshes to enhance the cuts and analog camera clicks with auto - film forwarding sounds.
The VO needed to cut through a pumping powerful sound track that included a singer. So how do you separate a female voice talking over a singing female voice. We used a gating/ducking, compression method along with a subtle 3K reduction in the music.
When the crown is show we added some high sparkly sounds. The sounds were created using several bells and bell trees.
Decommissioning a nuclear power plant is nasty stuff and not for the faint of heart. We used some of our best sound design to create a feel of importance and danger.
This machine scrapes of the top layer of cement contaminated with radiation then they dispose of it. We felt like spinning machinery worked the best for this along with spraying debris.
For close ups we usually pull back the reverb and add more high end.
This short took place in secret building. Each character has a specific sound design when they appear on screen. This character could not speak so we designed a gumbo soup of backwards whispers and wooshes to create his sound.
Major kudos to the director for creative lighting. Notice the shadow. It almost says, stop, don’t go in there. And that is the sound we created for this outdoor scene. We found some disturbing city noise traffic and loud footstepsand heavy breathing. It gave an uncomfortable feel to the scene.
The drones had a deep monotone pitch that never ended. It runs constantly underneath the entire soundscape. We added a sharply eq’d hall reverb to make the scene cold and metallic.
We wanted this to seem as real as possible. We found the exact same car and recorded the door ajar noise and motor running. Not an easy task but detail is everything.
The theme was “Behind the Scenes”
This nice opening of cold lights getting power and flickering was a fun design. Although today’s modern lights have no sound…no sound is no fun. So we added some buzzes and flickers along with a metallic switch sound.
There was a shot of a metal fan that felt very sci-fi. So we gave it the feeling of one of the tunnels in Total Recall.
Great logo work here. The provided sound design was good but we wanted to really make you feel like the earth is shaking. This is the big ending to a really nice creative. We used lots of metal crashing into each other and even the first part of a massive explosion. All blended in it sounds like a massive metallic space ship.
Dialogue clarity is probably the most important part of any spot. And when the lead character has a mouth full of mayonnaise, well, you can see the challenge.
We used a series of EQ, compression, and mid- range boosting. Our go-to EQ is the NEVE. It has warmth and clarity in the high end range.
We toggle between the SSL and Focusrite compressors. Each one has it’s own sound.
When the logo of the company flashes on the screen we always want to accentuate it with sound. The main reason is this. Logos are the best way to reinforce a brand. And the sound we create for them more than doubles the impact on the viewer.
Political campaigns are super competitive and require as much attention as any other ad out there.
Who doesn’t love fire? This scene required 5 different sounds, fire cracking, fire burning, wood cracking, out door sounds, and a fire extinguisher. The challenge was to match the firefighters movement as he extinguishes the fire. We used panning and volumes curves to get the exact effect.
Sound design can help guide the viewers attention. As the logo flies in we wanted to bring attention to the candidates name. We added a panning medium high pitch swoosh with a soft ending.
Bynum won the race…so yeah, we did our part.
Mountains. Big. No, really big.
If you have ever go on a mountain it will redefine with meaning of the word. Try climbing it? You may not live to tell the story.
So the piece opens with a dramatic quote over pitch black. How do you sound design this scene? We went with a massive boom that you may hear while hiking late at night when an avalanche begins to show the power of a mountain.
Funny story here. The camera zooms in on a guy shaking 2 ropes reaching maybe 100 feet or so onto a ice cliff. So we had to actually find rope and record the sound as we shook it. There were a couple of welts suffered during the process since the best mic placement was near the middle area of the rope.
An ice pic laden boot slamming into a massive sheet of ice. Ok straightforward enough. However, the director cut to super Phantom slo-mo as the boot hits the ice. You see every particle shimmer and fly through the air. Now try to sound design that! Well, this was one of the trickiest parts of this short. We ended up dropping glass particles on cementand for the boot entrance we use a shovel slamming into gravel. Then we brought out the Sony Oxford for the massive color.
Ahh the 80’s. Hard Rock wanted to use a Back To Future theme for this promotion. We were on the actual shoot, which is not something we normally do. However, any time you get a chance to see an outdoor shoot with stunt drivers, fire and loud noises you should go - it is a great experience. Just be careful to not step on any expensive drones like one of our team almost did.
The director wanted some pretty intense sound design on this spot. As Marty enters time travel there is fire on the road, spark, a CGI electrical field, smoke truck engine, tires screeching.
The re-entry was another challenging task. You basically have this massive energy beam that is preceded by an electrical distortion. So our team could have done the normal power plant / lighting SFX but we wanted to have an explosivepunch as the truck breaks through. And then there was the smoke and sparks sounds to design as the truck trails away.
Real trucks coming to a sudden stop don’t always sound real. So we muted the real truck and built a souped up version. The motor was from a souped up racing pick-up. The tire screech was from a car accident. Since the location was under a driveway covering near a huge building we needed to expand the size of the entire sound. So we brought out the trusty Sony Oxford Reverb - Cathedral setting and compressed the entire mix
Comedy is never easy to sound design. It is easy to go one way or the other to far and miss the target. I think the best way to approach comedy is to not try to be funny. It seems like the funniest things in life are the mishaps or unexpected falls.
So when I saw the first frame of the OK Joes BBQ spot featuring a mostly toothless man eyeing a plate of BBQ I decided to counter the entire comedy feel and go hard core serious with the sound design.
The director wanted a throwback sound effect for the ending reminiscent of the old cowboy rawhide days.
This was pretty tricky. The image has glowing iron and sparks flying which seems pretty straightforward until you try to add the wild card whip sound. We finally got it all timed and leveled to where you could almost feel the heat.
The big question in my mind with every video is this. ‘What sound does this image want to have?”
With some images it is pretty self explanatory. When you have wires, cables and a technician you tend to go for the micro tech bleeps and stutters.
And when you have images of heavy machinery or massive pipes you tend to add more space in the sound. Sony Oxford has an incredible Cathedral reverb setting that makes images below feel huge and rugged.