Plugin Alliance recently approached me to ask if I would like to try out one of Krotos’s newest plugins, the Reformer Pro. As a big fan of Dehumanizer by Krotos, which we previously blogged about using to create alien vocals, I quickly agreed.
Not able to wait until I had time to install the plugin and really dive in, I took a few minutes between clients at work and checked out the Krotos website to see what Reformer had to offer. What I found was this description:
When it comes to vocal processing either for music or post production, engineers and producers have always needed an accessible way of augmenting their vocal tracks. iZotope’s VocalSynth ($199) is the new plugin that combines all the classic vocal sounds of the 80s and 90s. Whether you are trying to have your vocalist sound like Daft Punk, Michael Jackson, Imogen Heap, or T-Pain, or if you want to sound like an alien robot from Planet X, now you can. VocalSynth gives you the tools to do just that.
Working in post audio has been an excuse to purchase all kinds of audio toys. As one of my good friends once observed, I seem to suffer from G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). I've spent years building up an arsenal of tools to add to my creative routine, pining over the latest and greatest software, synthesizer or control interface. That said, as I grow older and more patient, I have narrowed my focus.
Which brings me to the Avid Artist Control. It had been a while since I invested in something new and frankly, I was feeling some gear-based FOMO. So I researched like crazy (a big part of the fun for me) and decided to go for it. As it turns out, this little piece of gear packs a huge punch in my day to day workflow. Here's how I've customized this beauty to utilize it's very deep skill set.
People often ask us why we choose to work in such a niche market, sound for animation, and for us the answer is simple. Live action sound design has its own challenges and rewards, but more often than not, you're recreating the sounds of the real world. While working in the animated realm, week after week we get to work inside imagined worlds, create sounds for unknown creatures, and image futuristic technology conceived in the minds of the world's most fantastic artists. These new worlds give us the opportunity to use ever-evolving sound design techniques to breathe life into them.
We found such a technique when the software developers from Digital Brain Instruments approached us with the opportunity to create new presets for their stand-alone application, Voxpat, which is a newly release sound design tool for creating monster, creature, and robot vocals.
When asked by Plugin Alliance to test their newest noise reduction/reverb removal plug-in, accusonus ERA-D, my first thought was that de-noise/de-reverb is possibly the least sexy category of plug-in on the market.
However, I have to say that after putting accusonus ERA-D through its paces, it is, in fact, quite sexy.
I've been proselytizing about the wonders of working with an iPad in my sound design career for years. More than just an excuse to get a new Apple product every few years (which admittedly it is), my creativite output and productivity have increased 10 fold with this device. As a tool in the studio, an iPad isn't necessarily cheap, but thes apps all clock in under $30. Compared to stand alone soft synths and plugins, all of these are a steal. Here are my favorite apps and some ways I like to utilize them.
A recent challenge had me wanting to create some new writhing/wriggling/squishing sounds. I dug up some very old recordings I had done of my mouth when it was really dry. They were decent recordings, but by themselves they really only work for exactly what they are, a character opening and closing a very dry mouth. I knew there was a lot of good texture and variance in there, but the performance was all spread out. I could spend my time chopping it up and trying to make something of it in editorial, but I decided to break out a new tool in my arsenal.
Samplr is an app for the iPad that I recently discovered. It's a multi-mode sampler that you can record directly into (useful for on the fly recordings) or import directly into from a variety of sources (I'm using dropbox). As an iPad app, Samplr is inherently touch based, which is what makes it so powerful.