» Posts Tagged ‘sound’

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PolyphonyFilm is often thought of as being a visual medium, but sound (especially sound and visuals together) play a huge role in storytelling. This enlightening video essay from two students from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands breaks down the concept of contrapuntal music in film, a technique used famously by Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino that arranges independent, yet harmonious musical and filmic parts, expressing a deeper narrative meaning to the tune of Sergei Eisenstein’s theory of the montage. More »

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ixy_largeOver a year ago, RØDE introduced the iXY Microphone for the iPhone 4, the first device for iOS capable of 24-bit/96k audio recordings, which meant studio quality audio could be collected with a device that could fit inside your pocket. However, iPhone 5 users were pretty much out of luck until today. RØDE announced the highly anticipated update that allows you to use the award-winning mic with your iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s. Now fitted with a Lighting connector, the iXY microphone will provide the same quality audio found in the previous version, but on the latest Apple smart phone devices. More »

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Comparing a One Dollar Lav to Professional MicsWhen it comes to sound gear (like many things), you tend to get what you pay for. Quality microphones and recorders tend to be a little more costly, though there is certainly a price/cost ratio the higher you go. It’s usually a pretty good decision to pick something that the pros use, but how much quality can you get away with on the low-end? DJ Clark with the World Press Photo Academy compared a number of microphone solutions, including lavs, and even compared a $1 mic from China to the professional equipment. More »

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SoundWorks Collection Transformers Age of ExtinctionIt might be the fourth film in a franchise based off a toy, but Transformers: Age of Extinction has now brought in over $300 million at the box office after just a few days in theaters. Though the film has been getting miserable reviews, audiences have still turned up in huge numbers to see it. The one aspect of these films that is always impressive, however, is the sound design. In his newest video, Michael Coleman of SoundWorks Collection goes behind the scenes with the sound design team from the film. More »

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Adobe AuditionFew things in filmmaking are as difficult or headache-inducing as getting clean production audio while you’re on set. Hence the reason that ADR is such a widespread practice throughout the narrative filmmaking industry. In almost all cases, even with the most talented boom operators and on-set mixers, there will be imperfections in the production sound. However, before scrapping the original sound for ADR (which is an incredibly time-consuming process), there are some nifty post production tricks in Adobe’s lineup of programs that could save you hours upon hours of time with just a few clicks. More »

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Raging BullThe visual components of a movie are obviously integral to filmmaking; the images that are the hallmark of our medium allow us to see the narrative unfold. However, cinema is also a medium of sound, and how we use the audible elements can drastically change how our audiences respond to our stories. In this eye-opening video essay from Tony Zhou, the concept of using silence is investigated in-depth, primarily through Martin Scorsese’s use of it in his films, like Raging Bull, to demonstrate how silence can actually speak louder to your viewers than a cacophony of sound effects, dialog, and music ever could. More »

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MaleficentSound design is a multi-layered, rich, and complex art form that isn’t as self-explanatory as we might like. Which is why SoundWorks Collection can be your best friend if you’re trying to wrap your head around aesthetic concepts of sound design. In this new video, Michael Coleman brings us a profile of Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designer Tim Nielsen of Skywalker Sound, who worked on Disney’s live-action fairy tale Maleficent. More »

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mixingboardThe art of manipulating sound is an occult practice, mysterious and daunting to outsiders, though in reality, like almost everything, a little education goes a long way and the information is out there if you look for it; since many filmmakers, though, are taught from the beginning (at least I was), to shoot MOS and concentrate solely on the visual, with sound a distant second, it can be a blind spot in their skill set, but a vital skill. And with the concomitant proliferation of audio technology (specifically DAWs, or Digital Audio Workstations), there’s no excuse for an indie filmmaker not to educate themselves in the art of noise. Click through for five tips on EQing sound, for filmmakers! More »

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Godzilla RoarYou know it when you hear it — Godzilla’s roar. It’s possibly one of the most famous monster sounds in cinematic history, which meant that revamping it for the 2014 remake of Godzilla wasn’t a task to be taken lightly for the film’s sound designer Erik Aadahl and sound editor Ethan Van der Ryn. Aadahl is joined by director Gareth Edwards and producer Thomas Tull in this SoundWorks Collection video that takes us behind the scenes of how the team used an assortment of different sound layers in order to recreate the universally recognized cry of the legendary daikaiju. More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video Creating Cinematic Music for Your Film - No Film SchoolWhile there are plenty of services out there that aim to give you quality music at an affordable price, sometimes the right piece just isn’t out there for the video project you’re working on. Creating your own music has been getting easier and easier over the last decade, and if you don’t necessarily have a background in music, knowing what certain sounds and samples can do for a specific piece can be extremely helpful. Luke Neumann of Neumann Films has been working on a sci-fi film called The Beacon that benefits from custom cinematic music, and he takes us through his process in the video below: More »

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SoundWorks Collection TranscendenceMichael Coleman is back with another SoundWorks Collection video, and this time it’s the sound team from Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence. The sound team talks a lot about the dynamic range in their audio mix, where they utilize very quiet sounds all the way up to very loud sounds in order to maximize the effectiveness of both. Check out the video below and learn why silence at the right moments can actually improve your sound mix. More »

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Film Riot SoundIf you’re just starting out as a filmmaker, or more specifically, a sound designer, you might be looking for a little guidance on how to create foley. In this video from Film Riot, sound designer Rob Krekel, who helped create the sound for The Last of Us, walks us through the basics of capturing (cheap) foley, like setting up your recording devices, arranging your mics, and choosing the materials that will give you some great sounds. More »

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Video thumbnail for vimeo video Sound of The Hobbit - No Film SchoolMichael Coleman is back with another terrific SoundWorks Collection video. This time we’ve got the sound team from Peter Jackson’s second film in the Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. With such a large and expensive project, there is a lot that has to go into making the movie feel as large as it should, and the sound designers, mixers, and composer play a huge part in that. Check out that video below, as well as some more involving the sound from both films. More »

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Sound DesignSound design is an incredibly imaginative, resourceful, and complex art form. The unique process of creating sounds is something that, like all creative endeavors, can’t fully be taught in a class or tutorial, but felt, explored, and discovered. Sound+Shelter produced an intriguing profile of sound design artist Ali Lacey, in which we get to see the peculiar method and tools he uses to produce sound, giving us a closer look at the wider world of sound design. Continue on for the video. More »

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Documentary InfographicGetting started in documentary filmmaking is a lot like getting started in narrative filmmaking — most of the time you’re just picking up gear that is cheap and readily available to you. But, if you’re looking to find out what the pros are using, PBS’s POV, the longest-running showcase of documentary films on TV, asked working documentarians about the tools and equipment they used in their projects. Continue on to check out an infographic — a comprehensive equipment list of the cameras, lenses, microphones, and post-production software (and more) used by the pros. More »

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Doc Kane 2There are plenty of reasons why a filmmaker may need some ADR (Automated/Additional Dialog Replacement), whether it’s because of unsalvageable production audio or a flubbed line that went unnoticed. (Or maybe you’re making an animated film!) Whatever the reason, it takes a highly talented and intuitive artist to correctly lay down your audio tracks, and one of the best ADR mixers in the industry, Doc Kane, talks to SoundWorks Collection about his process, the tools he utilizes, and what it’s like working with some of the biggest names in film. More »

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Video thumbnail for vimeo video SoundWorks Collection Takes You Inside the Sound of J.C. Chandor's 'All is Lost' - No Film SchoolWhen a movie decides that it’s only going to focus on one character through its entirety, there have to be elements that keep the audience’s attention and draw them into whatever struggle the character is going through. In the case of Academy Award-nominated J.C. Chandor’s new film All Is Lost, that element is keeping you inside Robert Redford’s head as much as possible, and showing things from his perspective — which doesn’t just include what you see, but also what you hear. Check out the brilliant SoundWorks Collection video from Michael Coleman below for an insight into the sound design of All Is Lost. More »

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Rode VideoMic GoLike most areas of filmmaking, recording sound is a valuable talent as well as a complex science, which is why the knowledge of sound professionals is so important on your film projects. However, depending on budget constraints and the nature of your film, you might want something a little simpler with less of a learning curve. RØDE has just announced its light and compact “no fuss” VideoMic GO, designed to be portable and easy-to-use. It’s geared more toward hobbyists than seasoned professionals, but take a look at the sound quality and judge for yourself if RØDE’s new mic is worth the your hard-earned cash. More »

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Lights Film School SoundUnderstanding the limits of what you can do when recording sound will help inform your decisions from the very beginning — making your job easier and your work better in the end. Lights Online Film School is currently open for enrollment in their online film courses, and they’ve shared some material to give filmmakers a taste of what the coursework looks like in the form of several sound tutorials. Check them out after the jump. More »

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Hearing HorrorThere are a great number of things that can go wrong while making a horror film, but nothing is quite as bad as making one that isn’t scary. In a previous post, we talked about some basic and general concepts, like achieving atmosphere and suspense, to keep in mind while you put your scary movie together, but Movies.com has shared an episode from PBS Digital Studio’s It’s Okay to Be Smart series that sheds some light onto one aspect of horror that may be the key to unlocking the horror potential of your film: sound. More »