Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Recording the Beatles

mixonline reports about a panel discussion which took place in the States the other day in which the authors of the book Recording the Beatles discussed their research for their book. They were joined by an engineer from Abbey Road who worked with the beatles and George Martin.
"While a great many entertaining stories were told, there were also solid audio engineering tips for the audience to apply to their own work. Most practical was when Ryan played back audio examples of the before-and-after of George Martin’s famed half-speed recording techniques on songs such as “In My Life” and “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.” He observed that although this process is still available to engineer/producers today, it remains underused, serving as a solid reminder that we can still channel the recording wisdom of The Beatles as we work within our DAWs."
There is a video available of the session.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008


Gleetchlab is
"a stand-alone software for glitch music authoring and sound design. Gleetchlab is a modular software designed for realtime sound manipulation.
Features include convolution, granular, neural and attractors synthesis, spectral filtering, loop points manipulation, CD skip and wow & flutter simulation, vst plugins hosting, webcam controllers."

I've not had chance to download and play yet, but the features sound interesting and its free!
Might be a useful starting point for anyone interested in starting with MaxMSP to see what kinds of things can be done.

FMOD on iphone

FMOD, a toolkit for the development and creation of interactive audio is now available on the iPhone.
Company quote:
"We’re proud to bring FMOD to this exciting platform. FMOD is a natural fit for the iPhone with its support for sequenced music formats such as mod and midi, compressed samples and small code size. Users can keep it small, or scale right up to take full advantage of the microphone, 3D audio and suite of DSP effects that FMOD natively supports. Being conscious of the budget nature of iPhone development we are also releasing the API at a special iPhone price of $500 per title. This includes the use of FMOD Designer. By combining the power of the iPhone and FMOD we hope to see some really creative programs and hear some great sounding games."

Could be an interesting area for student projects...

Monday, 8 December 2008

Game Audio Explosion

I've just been reading an article posted here which is primarily aimed at game audio, but sould also be useful to people working on sound for film.
Key points:
- It is important that your audio team all understand what their role within the project is and that they all know what is expected of them. This will allow them to focus their efforts more effectively and produce higher quality work. It is fine for poeple to help out with other roles/jobs but ultimately it must be one persons role to oversee each area.
- The planning stage is extremely important. In your planning, think about the characters and locations and the style/type of sounds that would be generated/created by each.
- You can use emotional responses to certain sounds to help people to "understand" the emotional content of a scene quicker and more easily.
- It is very important to consider the frequency response of the sounds that are being created and how these will work when large numbers of sounds are combined. You don't want sounds fighting for the same space within a mix.

The article also contains a few brief tips for creating effective explosion sounds.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Rob Nokes - Sound Seminar

Rob Nokes, a sound recordist and supervising sound editor gives a seminar on sound for film.
He answers the following questions:
What is the job of a sound editor?
In your job what audio is expected of you to deliver?
What happens if you steal sounds?
How do you prove copyright?
In your job what audio is expected of you to deliver?
What bit depth do you record at?
Detail the sound equipment you actually use.
How did you make monster sounds sound real?
What makes a good sound?
Why is it best to record clean?
Is it better to have actors do adr?
Is there another way to avoid adr?
What is 'smoothing' or EQ?
Do you process while you record?
Is it better to have actors do adr?
Is there another way to avoid adr?
What is 'smoothing' or EQ?
Do you process while you record?
What is a series?
How best to record gunshots?
How do you make a sound bigger?
How close to the sound or actor do you record?
Do you change your levels while recording?
How best do you cut background sounds in?
What mic technique would you use to record a room?
How can you control loud sounds?
What is your underwater technique?
How did you create your favourite sound?
Do you record everything?

Ben Burtt - Talks

collider has posted 4 videos of a presentation given by Ben Burtt on the making of the sound for Wall-E.
He demonstrates the sources of some of the sounds used within the film, including the system he used in conjunction with a graphics tablet to create the voice ofthe main character.

get paid for designing sounds

kreativ sounds are offering the opportunity to get paid for designing sounds.
if you have created quality sounds that are not enough to be compiled into a big product, but they are too great to be given for free and you are also willing to sell them for as much as the buyer wants we are very interested in helping you do it through our online e-shop.

Here’s what we are looking for:

* Thematic Loops Packs with at least 25 loops in Apple, Acid, Wav or Rex format;
* Synthesizers Sound Banks with at least 32 patches / presets;
* Reason Refills with at least 64 patches / patches for Subtractor, Malström, THOR, Combinator, NNXT AND / OR NN19. Note that in case of a ReDRUM refill it must contain at least 8 drum kits.

Note 1: The more sounds a product contains the chance to sale better and for a higher price is increased.
Note 2: If your product does not fit in the above categories, please drop us a line and we’ll see what can we arrange.


* The rates are 50% - 50% from the sale price! All the PayPal and promotion fees are supported by Kreativ Sounds!
* The minimum payment accepted for a product is 1 EURO (or the currency equivalent).
* Transparency in sales is absolute! You’ll receive automatic emails when one of your products is sold with the amount of money payed so you can calculate for yourself the profit made!
* The Payments are made through PayPal between 1-7 of each month with a minimum of 50 EUR in profits. If the profit for your product(s) exceeds the 50 EUR limit before the month ends, you can request the money any time!
* The product must contain copyright free sounds, patches or loops!
* If the product contains in full or in parts sounds, patches or loops from other products you created, please specify this!
* The product is non-exclusively distributed through Kreativ Sounds websites!
* The product remains entirely yours and you can retire it (if you wish so) after 1 Year accepting the distribution contract.
* Kreativ Sounds is committed to help you promote and create graphics for the product(s) at request, free of charge.

Thursday, 4 December 2008


auditorium is an online flash-based music game.
The idea is to direct the flow of particle streams to "fill up" some auido level meters. By doing so you increase the volume of different audio tracks and produce a finished piece of music to complete the level.

The game uses flash-based audio and so this side is not brilliant - it only plays audio loops and these are quite obvious when they loop.
However, the game is still only a prototype and so the audio side of things may well get better as they developers continue to work on the game. Visually it's very good!

Wacom tablets

Here's a video of two australian academics in their research/rehearsal space discussing and demonstrating their use of wacom graphics tablets to control digital audio.

Getting one of these tablets working within maxmsp is pretty straightforward and you can use it in a variety of different ways...


Wednesday, 3 December 2008

EQ tips

audiotuts has little tutorial giving some tips to help you with the EQ-ing of tracks and mixes.
There's nothing new here, but EQ-ing can be a hard thing to get right and it takes a lot of practice to be able to quickly achieve the desired result.

The most important tip they give is:
"Don't fix it in the mix"


speaking of taking yourself too seriously...

Here's a video where the maker of a wii-mote based theremin explains how it works. He's using the infra-red sensor of the wii-mote to determine the position of two markers (one on each hand). He then maps the position of one marker to pitch, the other to volume to create a theremin type instrument.
It doesn't have to stop there - the mapping could be done so that the two markers control any parameter of the sound - giving you expressive control over any sound.

Grainface laptop performance

Here's a video of a german laptop ensemble giving a performance.
The music is quite 'ambient' with long sustained tones and then short percussive elements introduced throughtout - there's also some vocoding going on.
Musically, it's not everyone's cup of tea and the performers do look like they're taking themselves a little too seriously at times. But they use wii-motes as gestural input devices to control the sound and the link between their actions and the sounds being generated is pretty obvious - so worth a look...

Monday, 1 December 2008

another free DAW

mu.lab is a free cross platform DAW. It's not exactly packed full of features, but it looks pretty easy to use and allows you to host VST's so could be used as a basic audio editing package.
" MU.LAB is an alternative, state of the art software application for OSX and Windows, transforming your computer into a real music studio!

It does not overwhelm you with a complex feature set, in which you can get lost.

On the contrary, MU.LAB is a user-friendly yet rock-solid musical tool designed to create, finetune and play Your Music!

MU.LAB's core feature set:

* Audio Recording & Playback
* MIDI Recording & Playback
* Flexible Composition & Sequence Editing
* Supports Audio and MIDI VST Plugins
* Powerful Audio and MIDI Plugin Routing (up to 100% modular if you want)
* Integrated high quality synths, samplers and effects
* High quality Audio Engine
* Sample Accurate Sequencing
* Available for OSX (Universal Binary) and Windows"

free chat application

Chat rooms can be pretty handy when your doing group work as they allow you to discuss ideas online as you work.
stinto is a free web-based web application that allows you to create your own disposable chat rooms. You can set up and control a number of different parameters to do with your chat rooms.

Free Drum Samples

orange tree samples has released a free set of jazz drum samples for use within Kontakt.
"In celebration of this month, I’ve decided to release a free jazz drumset sample library. This sample library features unique and rare drums and cymbals and has an excellent tone suitable for jazz and funk."

direct link to the .rar file

via synthtopia