Lunch and Learn: Surround Panning For the Sound Effects Editor

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Lunch and Learn: Surround Panning For the Sound Effects Editor

I’ve been very fortunate to have the unique opportunity to see both sides of the post production coin, if you will. Being this sort of sound effects editor/re-recording mixer hybrid has really propelled my understanding of the post production sound process and has expanded the depth at which I create that sound tenfold. I’ve come to find that the two roles compliment each other and I find myself using skills from one discipline in that of the other (and vice versa) on a daily basis. First and foremost, I will always have an affinity for sound effects editing. The single most mixer-related skill that has improved that affinity, and one that I cannot edit without, is panning automation. More specifically, panning automation in a 5.1 or surround space.

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Inside Sound Design:  Creating the Sound of an Evil Portal!

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Inside Sound Design: Creating the Sound of an Evil Portal!

In this month's interview post we chat with Mak Kellerman, one of our talented sound effects editors here at Boom Box Post.  Mak has worked with Boom Box Post on Future-Worm, Pickle and Peanut, Penn-Zero: Part Time Hero and many other exciting animated shows.  Mak is expert at creating interesting sci-fi builds and today he was working on creating the sound of an evil haunted portal!

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Found Audio: Build Up Your Sound Effect Library With On the Fly iPhone Field Recordings

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Found Audio: Build Up Your Sound Effect Library With On the Fly iPhone Field Recordings

As sound people, sometimes we hear something so unique we just have to capture it. A lot of sound designers (myself included) carry around mini recorders for just such an occasion. But we can't always be prepared. There are moments when you need to capture a sound in an instant. Like if a bird with a crazy call lands on an open window. We don't always have professional recording gear at hand. Most of us however do have a cell phone nearby.

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Lunch and Learn: Granular Synthesis

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Lunch and Learn: Granular Synthesis

Granular synthesis is one of the most versatile tools available to sound designers and an absolute favorite of mine.  I love using simple sounds like whooshes or taking a steady sound like an electricity buzz and creating something completely new.  From eerie drones to big sci-fi whooshes, granular synthesis can help you accomplish it all.  For this demonstration I used the Soundmorph Dust plugin. We’re going to have a look at the plug-in's user interface and explore some of the methods I used to achieve some fun sounds.  First let's take a look at what Granular Synthesis is.

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The History of Sound Design

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The History of Sound Design

Although the term “sound design” has been around for nearly four decades--and the practice has been pursued for much longer--its use has only recently become nearly ubiquitous.  A day cannot go by that I do not see #sounddesign appended onto the end of a multitude of tweets from around the world.  We now have the invaluable website DesigningSound.org which distributes information about our community’s adventures, musings, and technical inquiries.  And our own Boom Box Post blog often touts titles such as Creature Speech Sound Design Challenge or Smoke and Mirrors: Unexpected Sound Design Sources.  

Why this sudden renaissance of the term “sound design”?  This week, I decided to take a closer look at the history of the term, the differences in how it is used across the film and television, interactive and immersive media, and theater industries, and its use and abuse.

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Inside Sound Design: Creating Haunted Vehicle Sound Effects

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Inside Sound Design: Creating Haunted Vehicle Sound Effects

For this month's interview post I sat down with Brad Meyer, a sound effects editor here at Boom Box Post.  Brad spends a lot of his time designing exciting, signature sound effects for his shows, especially vehicle sound effects, using both custom recordings and sound library material.  Brad sat down with me to talk about his process for creating the signature sound effects for a demonic race car that is possessed by monsters.

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Sound Effects Microphone Shootout!

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Sound Effects Microphone Shootout!

Here at Boom Box Post we do a lot of wild sound effects recording.  In the last year we’ve recorded props as varied as children’s ball pits, seed pods from trees, laser swords, metal impacts, metal screeches with dry ice, christmas lights, human and non-human screams, zombie moans, body drags, two different Ford Mustangs and of course: farts.  We’ve used a wide variety of different equipment to accomplish these recording goals.  For our most recent vehicle recording(blog post coming soon) we rented a few additional microphones and took advantage of the new gear to set up a brief microphone shootout.  The microphones we compared were the Sennheiser MKH 8050, a compact super-cardiod condenser, the Sennheiser MKH 8060, a short shotgun based on the same capsule as the 8050 and the Neumann KMR 82i, a highly directional short shotgun.  All three are popular choices for sound effects and film production recording.  We wanted to test the timbre and character of each microphone as well as how they interacted with the acoustics in our edit bays.  To test the mics we recorded a variety of sample material similar to the type of recordings we make.

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Lunch and Learn: Waves Morphoder

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Lunch and Learn: Waves Morphoder

The Morphoder is Waves' version of a vocoder.  A vocoder combines two audio signals in a specific way to get a unique effect.  Most commonly the vocoder is used to create robotic, alien, or other unusual sounding vocal or speech effects, but it can also be used as a sound design or musical tool as well ('musical', referring to other-than-speech or vocal uses).  In this post, we're going to give a quick run-through of the plugin's GUI and parameters, then give a few examples of how it may be used.  Hopefully after this intro, you'll be armed with some basic knowledge to start making your own vocoded creations! 

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Focus on the Creative: Tess Fournier on Retro Future-Tech

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Focus on the Creative: Tess Fournier on Retro Future-Tech

Welcome back to our new series of monthly blog posts called Focus on the Creative!  These posts will be formatted like a short and casual interview focusing on the topic of creativity and design in our daily work.  This month I talked with award-winning sound effects and foley editor Tess Fournier to chat about her design for a retro-inspired sci-fi machine.  

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Method to the Madness: Using Productivity Apps to Help Run a Creative Work Life

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Method to the Madness: Using Productivity Apps to Help Run a Creative Work Life

If you’re a creative working professional, it’s likely you don’t have time for your work-life to be a mess. Co-owning a sound design company, Boom Box Post, I quickly realized that simply skating by with a handful of half baked systems was not going to cut it. I needed help to be sure important threads both creatively and professionally did not get lost. Phone calls to return, projects to review, notes to give, even remembering to stand up (of course there’s an app for that). There's a lot to keep track of and a lot that can get lost.

A quick search in the Mac App Store for ‘productivity’ currently shows 158 results. There are a TON of tools out there to help you try and organize your life. Here are a few tools for Mac, iPhone and iPad with my thoughts on how I’ve used them to make my work life run smoother; leaving more time to focus on the creative. 

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Boom Box Intern Spotlight: Liz and Amanda

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Boom Box Intern Spotlight: Liz and Amanda

Here at Boom Box Post we have an exciting internship program that runs throughout the year. During the program each of our 2 interns will shadow editors, record foley props and participate in a series of lessons encompassing the different sound services Boom Box provides.  This includes dialogue editing, sound effects editing, mixing and more.  For more information on our internship program click here.  We collect applications year round and would love to hear from you!

Our newest class of interns began about a month ago and have done a great job learning about sound editing and recording as well as showing their passion for sound.  We hope you enjoy this brief look into our program and our stellar interns: Liz Roman and Amanda Niles.

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