Luca Fusi Sound Design | Implementation


An Introduction to Film Sound

I love you.

They're always switching it around, but for our class, Term 3 was our first time getting our hands dirty with production sound and the challenges of recording on a film set. Over the last month, we all spent around 8 12-hour days collaborating with students from the school's Film Production program, trying to make short movies - WITH NO ADULT SUPERVISION. Woo!

It was the first time we'd really been out from behind the editing desk in several months, and a super eye-opening experience. So much so that I'm no longer so sure of where I want to end up, audio-wise. The whole world of sound is just so damn awesome! I thought I'd give a little rundown on some of the things I learned from this experience, plus some background info on how sound for movies happens (as I understand it so far).

Fair warning: the more you learn, the more you'll want to pay attention to it at the expense of, y'know, actually enjoying the film.

How Sound Gets in Your Movies

A beautiful American morning.

Let's take a fairly typical, yet morbid film scene:


GEORGE is heading out the door for work. He picks up his briefcase, turns the knob and opens the front door, walking out into the sunshine.


BIRDS are chirping. Here he encounters his neighbor, MRS. DANIELS, trimming the hedges.

Morning, George!

GEORGE gets into his car, throwing the briefcase onto the front seat, and drives off.


GEORGE is driving along LISTENING TO THE RADIO. He takes his eyes off the road to adjust his part in the mirror, and suddenly hears a loud HONK. He looks down to see a car heading straight at him.



GEORGE's entire life flashes in front of his eyes.


GEORGE CRASHES into the car in front of him and dies.

You can pretty easily imagine how these scenes will sound because, besides the effects that'd accompany his flashback and the life-ending car crash, it's full of things you experience in everyday life. As a result, you probably never stopped to think about how they got into the film.

Before I started into this program - or way back, before I knew I wanted to do it - I wasn't thinking about movie sound much at all. If I did, I probably I still naively thought that maybe the actors were just wearing little microphones that captured everything that happened, and maybe there was a guy at a big mixer with a lot of faders who made sure everything was at max volume before they finally shipped the film.

What Really Happens

The "existence of tiny microphones" and "guy at a big mixer with a lot of faders" have some basis in reality, but the rest of what I knew was completely off. Looking at that scene again from a "where did the sounds come from?" perspective, it might go something like this:


GEORGE is heading out the door for work. He picks up his briefcase, turns the knob and opens the front door, walking out into the sunshine.

George's footsteps (the ones you're hearing, anyways) were recorded after the film was shot on a Foley stage by a very coordinated guy in a pair of near-matching shoes on a near-matching surface. This would've been done by a team of at least two people: a Foley Recordist there pushing the buttons to make sure all the audio was captured while the Foley Artist walked the scene out.

Afterwards, these footsteps plus everything else would've been sent to the Foley Editor, who would clean up those recordings (edit out clicks and pops, put the best takes in place) before submitting to the Mixer (guy at the faders), that places it in with the rest of the film's sound and decides how loud he wants it to play.

Hand Touches
The sound of George's hands clasping around his briefcase and his touch on the doorknob would be Foley'd as well, using either a real briefcase or a prop that sounds like one. Same process.

The swishing cloth of George bending down to pick up the briefcase? Also Foley, done like this:

Working hard!

The Door
The door opens, creaks and closes (every door in Hollywood must squeak like the most unique door in the world) etc. were probably selected by an SFX Editor, who could've pulled the sound of any random door from his personal library or one of the many professional libraries available. He trimmed the length of this door sound effect to match exactly what the door was doing in the scene itself (or just tried to get close, depending on his schedule) and eventually sent this material along to the Mixer.


BIRDS are chirping. Here he encounters his neighbor, MRS. DANIELS, trimming the hedges.

Morning, George!

GEORGE gets into his car, throwing the trunk onto the front seat, and drives off.

The Birds
Sad news, these birds weren't real. I mean, they were real at one point, but for this scene they were selected from a library by a BG Editor, who is responsible for selecting all the ambient sounds that tell you where the scene is happening. The wind noises, the distant traffic - he picked them too. If there was an off-screen clock or a fridge hum in George's house, he would've been responsible for all that. When the BG Editor is done with all his stuff, he sends it along to the Mixer again.

Mrs. Daniels
Mrs. Daniel's Oscar-winning dialogue was, actually, probably recorded right there when they filmed the scene the first time, maybe even by one of those tiny microphones. Score!...

...Unless there was a plane passing overhead every time they tried to record it (common), or some crazy hobo yelling in the background, or a loud car passing by at the worst moment, or her performance just plain sucked. In these cases, Mrs. Daniels' actress would be called in to record ADR and redo her lines in a studio somewhere after everything was shot. She would be coached through this recording session by an ADR Supervisor while an ADR Recordist pushed buttons in the booth to capture every take, as Mrs. Daniels watched herself mouth the line on screen and tried to deliver it in sync, with the same emotion she did in the original scene.

This line, and any other ADR that needed to be done, would be sent along to a Dialogue Editor, who would choose a best performance from Mrs. Daniels' actress (or combine several), trim the little clicks, pops and mouth noises out of her speech, and subtly time-stretch or compress that audio to match her lip movements perfectly.

Ah, but Mrs. Daniel's line now sounds like it's been recorded in a vacuum, and is totally unbelievable when played sitting by itself in that scene. So the Dialogue Editor's got to take some isolated bunch of ambient noise (more like "ambient quiet") and make it into "fill," which doesn't sound like anything but a mash of what the audio on set that day was like. And that's the point. He puts this bed of "fill" under the re-recorded line from Mrs. Daniels so that it sounds more like it was recorded on set, and when he's finished, he'll send everything along to the Mixer again.

"It's digital, right? We can just take that sound out?"

Everything Else

Foley: George's outdoor footsteps, the hand touch on the door, the sound of him tossing his briefcase onto a car seat, the sound of him sliding his suit against the seat and maybe even his seatbelt buckling. Mrs. Daniel's hedge trimming snips would get recreated either in Foley or selected/edited from a library by the SFX Editor - or possibly done by both parties, leaving the Mixer to choose which version he liked the best.

SFX: the door close, for one. That same SFX Editor would also have to take some combination of a car starting, gear shift, engine reverse, tire crunches, engine accelerations and pull-away sounds from his library of hundreds or more and mangle them into sync with the picture. Easy enough for a car pulling out of a driveway, but imagine being the Sound Supervisor on The Fast and the Furious.


GEORGE is driving along LISTENING TO THE RADIO. He takes his eyes off the road to adjust his part in the mirror, and suddenly hears a loud HONK. He looks down to see a car heading straight at him.



GEORGE's entire life flashes in front of his eyes.


GEORGE CRASHES into the car in front of him and dies.

The slight hum of the AC in George's car and the occluded sounds of traffic outside are work for the BG Editor.

The sounds of George's car revving up, slowing down and driving are from the SFX Editor.

George's clothing swishes and seat creaks as he shifts around, his touches on the steering wheel and mirror, his hand running through his hair - all Foley stuff.

But the music on the radio? That didn't just get thrown in there because it was the director's favorite song. The director might've had a say, for sure, but more than likely a Music Supervisor, with knowledge of the full film, thought hard about what should be playing in this critical moment when George dies. When he had figured all that out, he had to negotiate with the artist or label to get the rights to use that song in the capacity of the film and broker that deal. Finally, when the music has been cleared, a Music Editor will take the piece and select only the part of the song he wants to play in the car scene, trimming the audio to fit.

He will send it to the Mixer, who might add that "futz" effect (the tinny sound of something playing through a radio) to make it sound like that flawlessly produced track is coming out of the dude's little car system.

The Flashback
Suddenly, there's a loud honk chosen by the SFX Editor (honk = incoming car crash for the audience) and the screen flashes white and we find ourselves in George's flashback.

What was that sound that played when the screen when white? And where did this low, eerie rumble during the flashback sequence come from? Those were designed by the SPFX Editor, the guy who typically makes the sounds that don't really exist.

He might have reversed the sound of a cymbal, sped up a few whale calls, slowed down some of his own recorded breaths and done a whole bunch of other magic to arrive at these sounds. He can do whatever he wants and most of the rules don't apply to him, because we don't know what "having a flashback" sounds like. I mean, we do, from other movies, but there is no real-world flashback we can go listen to out there and compare, so he gets to personalize things a bit. When he is done, his sounds go to the Mixer as well.

If you noticed, all the voices and sounds in George's flashback were probably all washed-out and echoey sounding. The Mixer did that.

The Crash
And the car crash itself? Probably a combination of the SFX and SPFX Editors, especially if the crash happened in slow-mo. If George screams, the they might've recorded that line in ADR, and the Dialogue Editor will send a cleaned-up version of it to the mixer, or the SPFX Editor might just take a random scream from the library and mess with it until it sounds distressed and awesome.

Our Film Collaboration

With all the sound that comes after the film's been shot, what the hell were we even showing up to record?

Ostensibly, just the dialogue, even though we still need to roll the recorder during scenes where no one talks.

The first day or so we recorded, we had a few scenes like this, where we'd record a minute's worth of audio with only 5 seconds of "stuff that makes sound" happening. It was a little distressing, but as the days wore on, we began to feel a certain pride in even capturing those non-moments in the best detail possible.

I think that's one of the "things" about production audio, to try to record everything as if your microphone was the first and last stop for sound in the entire film. Sure, you really just need to try to get the dialogue, but why not take some pride in it?

The film is probably several months away from post-production and all those extra sounds being added in, and way before then, some producer somewhere is going to want to see progress on the film. And that progress will have a soundtrack: yours.

It's basically a two-part process, creating that soundtrack.


Booming is holding that giant black pole with the fuzzy blimp at the end of it, ever-so-slightly off screen, and maneuvering this into position to capture the best quality sound you can. Before we started this, I thought it'd be pure grunt work, but now I'm starting to see that it's a real art form for the guys who make a living out of it.

You don't just point the thing and stand in one spot until they turn the cameras off. What if the actors are moving around, turning their mouths? Standing up into sitting down? If you aren't constantly tracking the actors' mouths with your mic, a lot of that dialogue will end up getting up recorded "off-axis" (e.g. hitting the microphone from a less than ideal pickup angle), and those lines will lose a lot of body and presence in playback. They will sound "thin." That can be patched up, to an extent, but if it can't, you may be calling those actors in for ADR later. And Mrs. Daniels' rate to fly down to LA and re-record dialogue in a studio is not cheap.

So you move the mic around a lot to follow the actors' mouths (hope you've been studying the script!). But now the director wants to try another shot, start with a wide angle and then come in close, maybe pan around a bit. You need to know what that camera will and won't see at all times and have the good sense to stay out of it - tricky with a lot of motion. Don't forget that your boom pole's probably got a big mess of cables drooping down from it, as well; don't forget that those cables make noise when they clack against it. You'll probably have to find a new position to stand in. You might even have to climb something.


Mixing is holding the recorder (or another few pieces of related gear) shown at the top of this post, pressing record when the take starts and twisting volume knobs to make sure everything is coming in at a good volume. That's the simple version. If it's a nice, quiet indoor shot with little movement, just you and one guy with a boom pole, it can be a pretty relaxing affair.

Now you're doing a slightly more involved shot, and you've got the boom operator's signal plus the incoming feeds of two tiny clip mics to balance against each other, it gets a little more involved. Now you're doing that shot on a dock in the pouring rain** and have to worry about the mics getting wet, sputtering and fuzzing out and ruining the entire take - even the perfectly sound boom track - if you don't turn them down fast enough.

You're watching battery levels, always.

The actors go from talking to shouting to pushing each other, thumping one another on the chest right next to your delicate little clip mic, and you have to ride that volume knob the entire way to keep the signal from clipping and becoming distorted.

And if anything in that take doesn't go right for sound, you need to speak up and get it re-shot or let the director know (easy when the director loves the sound crew and you're ahead of schedule; probably not so easy on a multimillion dollar film), or it's your butt on the line when that sub-par sound is playing for the producer in LA who's reviewing the day's takes.

**That rainy scene happened for us, and it was trying as hell. None of us ever want to go back to Cates Park, North Vancouver, ever again.

Final Thoughts

I'm not sure who works harder - production sound guys or editors - and I think it's just safest to say that capturing and creating great sound is equally tough, that you'd have to be equally insane to want to do either one for a living. I can say that I have way more respect for the production sound types after this experience, though.

Film sound guys wake up early, rush around, wait, have to deal with team dynamics, endure shitty weather, stay on their feet all day - but they get paid for it, the weather is sometimes gloriously sunny, and it's sure as hell fun. By the end of our collaboration, our little sound crew was pretty tight with those film students. We had a blast.

Now that I'm back in front of a glowing rectangle and cutting sounds in Pro Tools all day. It doesn't rain indoors, but I can't say which side of the process I enjoy more. I was hoping to rule things out with this program, make my decisions about the future a little simpler, but the doors won't stop opening.

Fingers crossed to land some great work on either end this program's finally out.


Quick BG Exercise

This term continues our focus on film post work - BGs, SFX, SPFX - and the bar's been raised. I'm starting to feel a bit of the frustration that's got to come with (and eventually be overcome to survive) a long-term career in sound, which stems from pouring hours and hours of time into little pieces that may eventually go unnoticed in the final mix, or get a one- or two-word response from a colleague that sends you immediately back to the drawing board. Gotta push through!

Here's a quick clip from a BG (backgrounds, ambience) cutting exercise we did in class last week, from a comedy called The Long Weekend. The only directive here was to make sure the jail felt well isolated from the office scene (instead of just somewhere in the back), to see how we could push the atmosphere of a scene with ambiences and clue the viewer in as to where everyone is before anyone speaks a word.

Have a listen and I'll break down my thought process and ambience, and a few things I thought I could've done better. Learn with me!


My primary directive for the jail ambience was to make it feel very, very heavy, so that I could bring the tone up dramatically in the office and get some easy sonic contrast. Since this is a comedy, I didn't bother with subtlety - yes, that's my take on a guy getting the electric chair somewhere off in the distance - and baked enough reverb into each of these stems to give them some weight even before they hit the mix stage. It was my first day of playing with a rented copy of Waves' RBass plug-in, so I used that on the generator to give the jail BGs a ton of low-end presence, hoping to make this thing feel very deep underground. The futzed cop radio could've made it feel like the place was being very actively patrolled, so I tried to space this out and make it feel more like pages from some sinister intercom. some water drips, some really grungy, gross bodily noises from the nearby prisoners (we had authority to cut walla on this one) and the tried and true fluorescent light bulb buzz rounded it out.

For the office, there wasn't a lot I could do here that would keep my take from sounding like everyone's else in class, but I tried to keep things on the lighter side and make sure you heard lots of laughter. I wanted to give the impression of a late night or a shift change around the police station that had everyone in a great mood, in heavy contrast to our boy await his fate in Room 101 deep below. The exterior traffic sounds are there just to give the scenes a sense of movement with distant car bys, and to position the scene really close to the outside world. Again, contrast.

What Went Right

  • I was pretty happy with the overall balance of sound in the jail scene for sure, all the layers in there were chosen for a reason, and they got that thickness I wanted across. This was me taking some feedback from my last major BGs assignment and trying to put it into action with really careful layer selection, and I think I did a much better job with sound/texture selection here than I had before.
  • The spec BG coughs and grunts worked nicely (though I wish I had set them a little more distantly), and I had a blast doing the electric chair.. it's a bit distracting, maybe, but would be an easy thing to mute if the mix stage didn't dig it, and I was trying to get creative.

What Went Wrong

  • Too much verb! A first pass of mine was completely drenched in echoes, though, and after cutting the whole thing I finally bothered to look back up at the picture I realized that we weren't in the cavernous underground complex I had been scoring. I definitely crossed the line with my first pass, and it would've been something too saturated with echoes for the eventual mixer to do anything with, so I had to dial that back.
  • A couple of my spec BGs (one-off sounds) like the chain clinks and key rattles didn't sound great once I took all the reverb off, so I had to mute a lot of the content I had put in earlier after I took that out. I was running up against the class deadline, so I didn't have time to replace those with fresh sounds.. and so the jail BGs are sparse in some places.
  • The whole office scene feels a little "stock" to me, but I was a bit limited by the library on that one and didn't do a lot of sound design/processing on any of those ambiences. Again, I could've also put a larger variety of spec BGs in there, so one of my goals for next time is going to be to push for more detail.

Thoughts? Leave 'em in the comments!

Promise those train impacts (with some bonus discussion and layer breakdowns, etc.) will be up shortly. It's going to be a great term.

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Term 2 Work, Pt. 3 – Train Car Physics Impacts

Intro to Game Audio


Second set of physics impacts for our Intro to Game Audio class, same rules as the first - five lights (10"), five mediums (10'), five heavys (100'), five supers (100'+, hurled). Impact surface was concrete once again.

Train Car

Early impacts planning for the train car recording.

Early impacts planning for the train car recording.

The biggest goals with the train were to make it big at all levels (while still giving myself room to go up), and make it feel cohesive – not like a big pile of assorted junk. I really wanted the sounds to make you feel like a giant hunk of metal was moving around, so I thought a lot about timing.

Since I couldn’t record any sounds from an actual train car and nothing I could get from our props room felt “big” enough to get that vibe across, I resigned myself to using the Foley room stuff for high-mid and high detailing, possibly a little bit of color for the low mids if the pitching worked out well. I suspected I’d be using some really large metal groans to give my sound its defining shape, and that premonition was dead-on.

From what I recorded myself, the car door and some sheet pans were the biggest contributors to the final sound. The car door impacts didn’t do much for me, but I got some great stress sounds by standing on the thing and slowly shifting my weight around. When pitched, these gave a ton of character to the longer impacts. The sheet pans were used for high, ear-splitting scrapes across the concrete that I pitched and used later to convey a really stressful, fatiguing sound of this giant car sliding across concrete.

Had a lot of fun with the supers on this one, as well. Listening to some other students’ impacts inspired me to try to take really novel approaches to the intro/stinger of each super.

With more time, I would've given a little more attention to shaping the overall mix - there's a lot of really aggressive, nasty mid-high frequencies in here that made the impacts mixing a physically fatiguing process. I could do to strip some of that down a bit for repeat listening in a game environment. As well, I would've spent a little more time sculpting the low-end of these sounds to make it feel as big as a real train car might. These sounds in particular are definitely best listened to with a good set of speakers or cans.

All are provided below for your enjoyment!

[Light Impacts]

[Medium Impacts]

[Heavy Impacts]

[Super Impacts]


Term 2 Work, Pt. 2 – Bowling Ball Physics Impacts

Intro to Game Audio


Definitely the longest assignment of the term - each student was given a pair of objects (not literally, just assigned in name) to design 20 impact sounds for at different forces. Five lights (10"), five mediums (10'), five heavys (100'), five supers (100'+, hurled). Impact surface was concrete, with some flexibility here. We had a few weeks for this one and were encouraged to record as much original source material from our Foley/props room as possible.

Much of the below taken from my project post-mortem. Enjoy!

Bowling Ball

The first thing I did when you assigned this to us was to start conceptualizing all the different layers that’d be involved in each of my objects’ impacts, so I had a checklist to work from when it came time to record.

Early impacts planning for the bowling ball recording.

Early impacts planning for the bowling ball recording.

Approach here was to really imagine what was going to happen to the surface itself at the higher impacts, since the ball itself is a pretty one-dimensional sound source. Other than that, I just knew I’d want to record the ball dropping on multiple surfaces so that I could stack and vary the balance of those impacts to fatten up or thin the ball drop sound.

[Light Impacts]

The biggest challenge was trying to get the really impactful, transient crack I wanted for the higher impacts (as the ball would literally split the concrete), while still keeping the hollow thud of the ball sound there as well. I mixed the three different surface drops with some short LFE accents gave me the roundness of the ball, and then tried to use some snappy sweeteners like walnut cracks to give the impression of the concrete breaking. I couldn't find anything nicer than this in our library to fit the task; with a little more time I might've gotten luckier.

[Medium Impacts]

I focused on making sure that the listener was able to tell that this was, in fact, a bowling ball – and not just some solid heavy object – at all velocities. Structuring each fall as a series of bounces helped this a bunch, as did the tail-end rolls I had recorded.

[Heavy Impacts]

I started work on this guy before the train car to try to get my chops up before moving onto the more complicated sounds. Unfortunately, this meant that I was designing these without the aid of a ton of the tricks we'd later learn in Intro to Post Audio Editing, so making variations was slow.

[Super Impacts]

With some extra time, I would've put more effort into varying up the supers - I left off after the first one to get onto to other projects, and by the time I returned I was totally sapped for inspiration, so they're not *quite* at the imaginative level of my train car supers.

My other object was a train car - I'll have those recordings and a little retrospective up in a few days.


Term 2 Work, Pt. 1

Intro to Post Audio Editing


Without a doubt, this course was the term's heaviest hitter (and most prolific source of assignments), running us through the basics of selecting sound for an editing BGs (backgrounds, uninterrupted sounds that flow throughout an entire scene, like birds and wind), SFX (on-screen sounds like a rushing waterfall, a car crash, a heavily layered punch) and SPFX (perceptual or mood setting sounds, otherworldly stuff without a distinct source, sweeteners for dramatic moments).

Opening statement: It's been a long time since I was in school, and it's been longer since I've known a really life-changing teacher, but our instructor for this class has almost single-handedly inspired our class through this term. Really dig his work ethic and emphasis on organization, and it's clear that he loves what he's doing. So, a look at what I managed to produce while under his wing for a couple of weeks.

Son of the Dragon - Fight Scene 1 - SFX

Day one SFX exercise, pretty standard stuff - lots of whooshes and several layers to cover lows, mids and highs for the different hits. You might think that sync is a big issue with fight scene SFX design, but it was the easiest part of the process for me. If I could do this again, I'd get more highs in there and make the table drop a bit bigger.

I didn't do enough EQing to scoop out the bassy frequencies that were going to stack up here, so the final product lacks a lot of punch that would be there with better mixing. The compression on this really dulls it out; early lesson learned.

Son of the Dragon - Arrow Fly - SFX

Second SFX exercise of the term, tough because of the toolset we were still restricted to at this point. Key points we needed to hit were 1) the sense of some mechanism firing the projectiles from far off and 2) good, synced audio cuts between the arrow approaches (rising pitches) and bys (doppler-like effects as they crossed the camera). Used some pitched up F1 car bys for the arrow whizzes, re-used some of my favorites sweeteners and impact sounds from the previous SFX exercise, and slowly raised one resonant part of the EQ on a few wind tracks to give the whistling sense of the arrow getting close. Far-off catapult/arrow launcher guy deal was constructed from a couple of pieces like clanking metal, rattling chains, wood groans and arrow twangs.

Son of the Dragon - Fight Scene 1 - SPFX

Day one SPFX exercise, strung together quickly as king of a kung-fu stinger from some reverse cymbals, piano string scrapes and a rattlesnake tail. Ran a few elements through a lo-fi filter to try to give it that 70s sound. Neat idea, maybe a bit too musical, and definitely more towards the subtle side of SPFX design. The temptation to go big all the time is definitely there - especially since that's our teacher-mentor's style - but I like going towards the less impactful side of things with SPFX design and letting the punches, kicks and sword shings handle the big sounds. At least for this style of film. We'll see if my tastes change.

Born to Raise Hell - SPFX Moment #1

Early SPFX exercise, we were to choose a couple of visual effect-y moments from a clip and throw some abstract SPFX over them. Short and sweet for this one, made from a scream and a couple of resonant metal impacts.

Born to Raise Hell - SPFX Moment #2

Layered here - several breaths (pitched up and down), metal impacts, a bowed cymbal, some repurposed metal shing noises and low rumble (source unknown). Was pretty happy with the way this one turned out.

Son of the Dragon - Market Chase and Fight Scene - BG, SFX and SPFX

Final assignment for the course, three rolled into one - we were responsible for all audio here, with the BGs running most constantly from front to back. Anything missing SFX is likely because it was out of the bounds of the assignment. I mixed these together (they were submitted independently) after the fact to see if they'd all mesh up; usually, you won't have the same person responsible for BG, SFX and SPFX design, but I wanted to see if having one person (me) in all those three roles meant that I'd leave myself some good holes in one mix to fill up with another, maintain cohesiveness of sound sources, etc.

Tons of layers here, with the SFX being the most complicated and the session a total nightmare to get under control when it came time to bounce. This is the first project we'd been able to use elastic audio (dramatic pitching/time-stretching tool) on, and I used it to create the slowdowns and ramp-ups during the water impacts. Tried to differentiate the henchmen and the main character with different tonalities for their whooshes using some hissy sounds for the bad guys and low, raw animal sounds for the good guy's incoming swings.

With the SPFX, tried to keep these as kung-fu themed as possible again by sticking to Eastern and natural sound sources instead of going all the way to The Matrix side of things. I wanted to create the sense of the main character channeling some mystical power source for his moves, hence the spiritual chants. I think they went a little towards the subtle side again, but I'm good with that! SPFX for the table jump-up, slow-mo jump kicks and flying scenes were done with: reversed and crazy echoed Buddhist chants, a lion, dove flutters, monkey chittering, a 909 chap, a bullwhip, finger cymbals, reversed gongs, rattlesnakes and some sine wave rings.


Intro to Sound Designing


TC Drug Sequence - SPFX

( Vimeo screwed up with this one and appended about 28 seconds of still video to the front of this clip. Skip to 0:28 for the start of the sequence. Sorry! )

Final assignment for our (too short!) Intro to Sound Designing class. I had a vision for this one, and it came together really quickly - very happy with the end result. Recorded several layers of breaths, whispers, gasps and crazy mouth noises, chopped them up and stretched them a bit with elastic audio and went very heavy on the echoes, delays and panning to create this chorus of voices in the guy's head. The siren was elastic audio'd a bit as well to get the pitch wind-down in there and has a chorus effect laid on it. Synth undertone is from an Absynth patch, tuned to fit the 909 bass kick hits at the beginning.

Other sounds include a manipulated lighter, pill bottle, heartbeat and some broken glass. I found myself thinking a lot about frequency content ahead of time on this one, why is probably why the mix came out so balanced.

In the next post, I'll go through my Game Audio impacts and give a quick look at my temp mix for a short section of a student film we had for our Mixing II course.

**All of these were just roughly mixed/mastered before I threw them up - any out of whack levels etc. are intentional in that that's where I am right now. We can watch my mixing ear improve as the year goes on!