Show 123 – Sound design and film sound and more

This week we talk about doing sound for film and in the Rapid Fire section we talk about: Setup time; Our next studio upgrade; and Latest trick we learned.

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15 thoughts on “Show 123 – Sound design and film sound and more

  1. Guys, I was somewhat surprised you didn’t reference any of my comments regarding the 4 mic method, panning, etc., especially considering Dave Rumsey, the guy who sent you the drum recordings verified my comments. I like the show obviously because I listen and respond. However, I think you do your listeners a disservice not responding to issues where maybe you didn’t get it quite right. None of us are right all the time, some of us are rarely right. But when you are doing a podcast that is trying to explain and/or recommend specific techniques, you owe it to the listeners to get it right. And if your explanations need a bit if “tweaking” because someone has pointed out a flaw in your description, I would think you would want to make an effort to go back and explain the correction/difference in opinion/etc. While I generally agree with you, personally, I think you dropped the ball on the whole 4 mic drum recording technique and have not given it its fair do. But then again, it isn’t my show……

  2. Great show again. Your conversation of sample rates caused me to ask this question (2 parts). #1. What sample rates to do guys record at? #2 – I learned that when recording anything intended to be CD quality you should always record at 44.1k or a multiple – 88.2, etc., due to the math required when finally bouncing to 44.1k for CD quality. Is there any truth to this? I never hear anything about multiples of 44.1k though. It’s always 48k or 192k. As a result I’ve been setting up my sessions at 24 bit, 44.1k.

    Thanks, Dan

  3. Re Gobbler. (yeah weird name)
    Love it!
    What I do, to keep individual uploads lower, is set get Gobbler to find the project early (at set up) and then just allow it to pick up daily or session changes so the uploads are broken down into smaller chunks done more frequently rather than one large single backup.
    Makes it quite efficient. Although large takes and adding huge sample files or audio tracks in a session do take time that is OK, IMHO, to ensure an offsite backup. One that is over and above a local “in-house” backup via say Time Machine on my Mac.

    What I love is that it is designed for Pro Audio and DAW’s and DAW/pro Audio aware.


  4. Here is a link for FC1 MkII

    Great segment on sound design.

    Way back in 9. grade i did a video project where i got a lot of the sounds by taping a Dictaphone to the outside of my backpack and recording while working through the city. The result was horrible, but it was really fun. Also in music, DJ Premier actually used sampled bird song in the drums for “Nas Is Like”.

  5. Jon was dead on in regards to what I was getting at with the Line6 amps. In the world of practice amps, they will perform well by comparison in a variety of styles. Five to Ten years ago I had to mic up 15-80w solid state practice amps for clients when they brought them in (Peavey, Fender, Behringer). The Line6 almost always mic’d up better, keeping in mind that a $150-$600 practice amp will never come close to sounding like a $1500+ amp. Also, Ryan made a great point that these days, plugins are a better choice than the L6 amps for decent sound on a budget.

  6. Just got tuned into the show and love it. I heard you mention the Pre-73. Who makes that? Also, would it be better to get that or a digimax D8 for more pre-amps. Is there a dual pre you would recommend?


  7. Jon, Ryan, et al: I know you guys re-amp a lot and I thought I would pass this tip along to you and the listeners. If you already know this, please excuse my redundancy. I recently purchased a Focusrite ISA 1 preamp and while it is a very high quality pre, that it also has a complete direct circuit makes it that mush more versatile. What I didn’t know and am very excited about is the unbalanced “ext” output (which is essentially a link output), can be used as a re-amp out into a guitar amp. So if you are in the market for a really nice pre, it turns out with the ISA 1 you end up also getting a very high end re-amp unit. Just thought I would pass this along.

  8. Hi guys; loved the show. It’s good to see the occasional segment focusing on the non-music side of audio engineering. After all, just because it’s audio doesn’t mean it’s musical; but enough about drummers!

    Ryan, kudos for your segment on postproduction. I listened multiple times. I like your idea of using ambient sound to put underneath dialog etc for realism. In your postproduction speech hacking, do you ever try to sculpt a space for the speech (impulse-response-based rooms etc)? I found an IR library put out by Audioease engineers, and there was an IR library of outdoor spaces. Literally they took sine sweeps of forests and cityscapes (see link below).

    I guess that never crossed my mind: sinesweeping a non-enclosed space?! What do you think about this idea? Would you ever play around with something like this in your post work?

    Best line of the show: “It hertz so good!” (that’s what she said)

    Ride the Lightning! (just not with q-tips)

  9. James, I have a question about the IR from Audioease. Is there a version that is free or doesn’t require owning an Altiverb? I tried the link and it asked for my Altiverb authorization. I’m not complaining, just wondered if there was access to an open version I missed. Thanx! e.

  10. PS: Jon and Ryan, I’m really not a shill for these companies! It’s just as I’m sure you are aware it is often hard to find honest and or accurate reviews and/or comments about products at a lot of forums and web sites. Even pro magazines can be biased because they take ads from the companies and if nothing else while they may not praise a product, they might not be as specific as needs be if it is a questionable product. I just feel like your show and forum is a really good one and so if I have had good luck with or a product I use is really nice, I like to pass it along. When I read someones comments here, I usually feel fairly confident it is a fair and realistic opinion. Keep up the good work! e.

  11. @e.scarab:
    The convolution reverb that comes with Logic has deconvolving capabilities; but that assumes that you have purchased Logic. So I guess it’s a toss-up as to whether or not that’s free. I’ll have to see if you can download just the deconvolver for OSX.

    Voxengo has Deconvolver; but I thinks it’s Windows-only. Also, I think it costs $40 or something similar to the rest of Voxengo plugins; and I’m not positive if it generates it’s own sine sweep.

    Trust me, I’m trying to find a good IR solution for myself. I’ll certainly pass along any info (assuming I find anything).



  12. @Anthony Trimble
    The Pre-73 is made by Golden Age Project.
    I have yet to see somebody that wasn’t happy with it, sure it’s not a 10K preamp and it doesn’t sound like one neither, but it’s a decent pre at a decent prize. I don’t know how it comes out of a shootout with Digimax D8 as i don’t know the D8.

    If you need a dual chennel pre, i heard good things about the FMR RNP, i have only spend a minimal amount of time with one myself, but i didn’t have any problems, nor have i found any on the wild west web.

    Hope my answer helps and aren’t to late.

  13. hey guys, recently found the Home Recording Show and I love it. I’ve gone back and listened to tons of old episodes and have a whole pile of new tips and tricks I want to try now.

    In reference to episode 123 where you heavily discussed creating sound for movies, I’ve actually got a nifty little trick to help give different feels to a video project using sound effects.

    Back in 2003/2004 my drama club decided that instead of preparing and performing a stage production, we would make a short (read 45 minute) student film using some very modest equipment and honestly, no one knew what they were doing. Aside from being a grand fun time and actually talking our local dollar theater into letting us to a red-carpet opening (with a real red carpet and all our friends, families, and classmates) we actually found a degree of success in our sound effects.

    we used a digital recorder and a consumer level shotgun mic but the success was less in the sounds we recorded, rather how we used the sounds.

    Various scenes in the film took place in high suspense environments, everything from breaking in to a locked facility, to a epic snow-ball show down, to a daydream of one character interrogating another. In these scenes the the sound effects were turned up to a larger-than-life degree to emulate the way a person hears everything louder and more clearly when pumped full of adrenaline.

    we did the opposite in introspective or conversational scenes where the dialog was more present and the sound effects were washed out and lower in the mix.

    We even used sound as props in situations such as one location the script called for a character to flip a light switch and turn on the lights, but there was no switch, so we added the sound of a light switch and used a cue to turn on the battery operated lights we brought with us then moved on. It’s been one of our little insider moments ever since.

    the take away was to think of foley sound in regards to what the character would hear. If he’s on a beach talking to the love of his life, he won’t notice the sound of the ocean, so bring it down in the mix and focus on the dialogue. If he’s quietly reflecting on the beach about things past, use flash back visuals while maintaining the ocean sound in the mix to keep you grounded in the actual location.

    It’s touches like this that even tv-show audio guys bypass and I figured the HRS army would appreciate the tips.

    Much love for the show, ride the lightning

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