A collaborative post with introduction by
ASSISTANT EDITOR, BOOM BOX POST
This week we challenged the team to create Sonic Branding Stings. These short clips are designed to create a fun and interesting sonic brand to help identify and showcase the company. I coerced several of the editors in the office into recording voice-over clips of the company name and slogan, then edited them into several categories, including goofy, excited and serious. They were encouraged to think outside the box and employ all of the tools available to them, including our sound library. I've also asked all of them to include the raw voice clip they used for comparison. Let's see what the team put together!
For my sting, I wanted to make it sound like all of our voices were co-mingling swirling around each other, because we’re super collaborative and friendly here at Boom Box! To accomplish that, I layered our voices together and panned them. Then to create the “trailer hit” or “sting” part, I pitched up and time compressed the voices, and layered them with two types of “swirling wind” effects from our library, as well as a reverse cannon shot and a “cinematic boom.” Since we primarily work on animation, I figured it would be appropriate to add some cartoon elements, so I included a large slurp and a twangy pop near the climax of the sting. To wrap it all up, I dropped in a clean version of Jeff’s recording at the end.
A brand is as much who you are as it is something people will remember you by. Because of this I wanted to make my version of the Boom Box Post sonic brand short, sweet, to the point, and most of all — cool. We do a lot of animated work here at Boom Box Post, and going a toony route with this blog did cross my mind at first. However, with so many talented sound designers here, I thought it would be appropriate to flex the design muscle and do something with a bit more attitude. I made this sonic brand by creating a short build-up that goes straight up into an LFE ramp which then results in a boomy sting. I then created a sort of malfunctioning power down to take us out of the effect. During the power down, I took one of our “Boom Box Post” recordings and applied some heavy reverb, along with matched panning that I did on one of the effects. The placement of the dialogue is no coincidence either. If for nothing other than a good, hearty guffaw on my part, the “boom” is placed over the boom of the sting. It then continues to follow the pattern of the power-down that I designed in my effects.
To create an exciting branding sting, I began by envisioning a sequence of animated events that would culminate and support the VO clip I chose. I’m a big science fiction nerd, and I decided to a sequence beginning with a massive meteor impact. Some kind of machine would emerge from the crater, and a face would appear projected on it’s surface exclaiming “Boom Box Post” and would then disappear. I started assembling the pieces, a nice big impact at the beginning, a cool power up sci-fi swell, a glitchy processed VO, and sort of an implosion, but the whole thing ended up being 25 seconds, way too long for a sting! I took all the pieces, trimmed them down to my favorite elements and got the whole thing down to an action packed 6 seconds. The result does not clearly reflect my original plan, but I believe the elements combine to make an high energy clip, and I’m thrilled with how it evolved.
When I look at the Boom Box Post logo and imagine an animation for it, the sound of glass comes to mind. So I took a serious, simple approach for my sonic branding. The vocal was primarily untouched except for reverb and a delay trail. The sound design behind the vocal also took a simple direction that was short and sweet. I used a lot of magic effects to get a glass chime feel along with wind whooshes to give it some punch.
To create my sonic branding sting I thought, “why not try to make literal interpretation it?" I started off searching terms like, “booms” and “boxes.” At a certain point, I came across an outer space-like explosion and went with the idea of all the creativity of “boom box post” being a sucked into a box. I searched for a few “explosion” sounds and “box closing” sounds and reversed them to get the feeling of being pulled in. Related to the VO, having only one voice sounded a bit plain, so I added multiple to make it sound fuller. Finally, at the end I added a whisper to really fit the feel of space.