A COLLABORATIVE POST BY SAM BUSEKRUS
ASSISTANT EDITOR, BOOM BOX POST
This week, I sat down with our in house foley editor, Carol, to get some insight on digital foley!
How do you go about creating foley for new characters?
A lot of the sound effects and files that I use are already in our library so most of the time I don’t need to create a whole new design. If there is a case where I need something very specific and we don’t have it, I will try to think about it as if I were a sound effects editor and going to design something. Let’s say I need to create footsteps for a robot, I will look in our library and look for metal sounds to design together to create unique footsteps for that character.
Would you say that there are any advantages to doing digital foley?
The one thing that I would say is precision. With a foley walker for live action, they are definitely great at what they do and can get very close to the footsteps on screen and mimic it but with digital foley I can make it very on point. I can put it where I want and make it exact.
Do you have any helpful tips for others wanting to get into digital foley?
The most important thing is to just go for it. For the most part, digital foley is pretty straight forward. Most people either really like it or don’t like it at all. I would just try it out and see what happens. I would also say to make sure to learn about Kontakt, midi controllers, and digital samplers. I did a blog post on a sampler called Structure Free and that is a great alternative to use instead of Kontakt if you are on a budget or don’t want to spend that kind of money or if you are just starting out and testing the waters.
Are there any common problems that you run into that you could touch base on for us?
The only thing that I can think of is routing issues within the editing software. That can get a bit confusing but besides that it really is pretty straight forward. I would just say to know the software well that you are using and just understanding the equipment. Once you get the hang of it, you really should be good to go.
Is there any character that you have recorded any material for?
Yes, I have done it for characters when it’s needed and I cannot find what I’m looking for in the library. One example that I can think of is for a troll. I needed big heavy boots so I tried out two different surfaces. I can also show you a recording I did using cardboard.
When you did these recordings, did you alter them in any way?
They didn’t really need much altering other than changing pitch.
Do you ever add sweeteners? If so did you split them on separate tracks or mix them together?
I do add sweeteners for larger characters such as monsters or hippos. A lot of times the sound effects editors will cover these, though. I put them on separate tracks that way the mixer can decide what to do as far as making something louder or softer. Once we have established that character, though, I will normally combine them to save time.