OK so after a thinking session I had to find a element from the Alien reference to add to my track. After a few listens of the Alien Theme (1979) I decided to add some dissonance to the track. I went to find a sample of something that was a dissonance and find a cello that was playing dissonance chords and so on. The best part is that it fit in with the rest of the stuff because there is a presence of strings already there and the cello sample itself does not stand out enough to take focus away from the parts it is combined with. The dissonance gives off a sense of what Alien has making the reference fit in well.
I have also changed some other parts as well such as I have extended the dark bass from four bars to about thirty-three bars though a few are actually nothing but silence. I extended the dark bass as it gave the part it is playing more texture to the already added texture at that point. I have also got the cello and brass to play at the same time as the strings are though the flutes has not changed in length. The jaws like instrumental should now have a stronger sense then it did before. I have also thrown in a few more dark sounding parts which can be heard somewhere within the piece though only for a second unless you are listening out for it.
Also just to state the use of synth and orchestra instruments is my Robocop reference as the movie and theme use a mix of both.
I have added some movement like sounds to the aliens. They sound kind of wet in some ways but the sounds work well as the sounds are only heard when they are moving and when they are close enough to hear.
I also added a news jingle to the Tom Cruise scene where he is using a sci-fi like machine where he is searching for something as he shuffles through the data. It plays on top of the air con and lights. This gives the room something more to it instead of having near to no sound other then the lights buzzing.
I have also edited the woman’s voice so it sounds less human and slightly more robotic or A.I like. On top of that I mentioned the air con which was time stretched a little to slow it down and make the room seem more like you are actually there.
I also edited the scanner at the start of the trailer to have it going at a normal pace before speeding up with the heartbeat though unlike the heart beat is not one flow. The shotgun shell being loaded into the gun is also now added and the shotgun being cocked sound has been moved to make it sound more on time then it previously was.
Music and Sound Design:
The snow scene reuses the same instrumental as the first part where we see the animal come to life but two of the instruments are different. The vocal part is the same but now has a cello duo sound and dreamy sphere kind of sound going along with the scene.
Some sound design was added to the task as well at various points such as when the big cat breaks the gems that was around its body. The sound of something mystical is also present as the beast comes to life to give a sense of wonder though in my opinion the music itself does that itself but the sound just adds to the music. The part with the horses has sound as well and it is the same sound as the one from the last sound design task but longer as it now companies the sled being pulled by the horse. The sounds of the big cats movements can also be heard at that point. The rolling round objects you see in the image below has sound as well and I had to stack it a few times to make it sound like there was more then one rolling object heading to the mountain edge.
The Asian scene which I don’t think I have talked about yet. Here I wanted to break out of the same sounding instrumental and give one the sense of where they are. In this scene the use of two Gagaku, one Gong, one Burma bell, one set of chanting vocals and a wind instrument for a thicker texture. Under all that is the sound of an earthquake to show the scope of the dragons size and give you a sense of its movements. I feel the sound of the east is there though the theme is different to the rest of the track. I would of changed it to match the whole theme but I liked this part a lot like one of the other parts I also like.
The Indian scene was not changed but the french part was and now has the same flow as the Indian part but with different instruments. The Indian part centres around the sitar that is playing with the pad and vocals playing behind the said sitar.
There is also some sound design added such as the sound of the plane and the sound of the mans watch though that lasts about a second or two. I added some footsteps for the elephant but at this point sound kind of weak, if I have time I will make them sound heavier.
The warm pad gives the sense of being in the desert along side the sitar. The vocals give the scene a nice feel of dream like sense though not as heavily as the scene where the beast comes alive or the point where it is in the garden.
The french part was changed though the accordion part was not as it was the thing giving the track a bit of melody and is played through out the rest of the track until it reaches the end. However the rest plays the same as the Indian part but with more french sounding instruments though after a while when the big cat enters the building one or two instruments change while playing the same thing as before though now a sax could be heard instead of the cellos.
The clock part has some ticks going on for the brief moment it is on screen.
I am probably missing some things out but they have not come to mind but other things are there.
Music and sound Design:
After doing some research I had found two references to use for my final task. One of something I know of and the other which is new to me. What the final outcomes of what I take from these will not be known until until I finish the task though the dream idea is already there so I guess it is more about the second reference then the first.
Terminator 2 Sarah’s Dream
This scene is chosen as it is quite minimal, gentle and only has some much going on at one time. The use of pads and a stringed instrument. Music is by Brad Fiedel, I only have this track used up to a certain point as the dream becomes a nightmare and that is the part I don’t want to use. The first part gives you a sense of a dreamy and floats like atmosphere which I will use for my piece. The part I am looking at does not have much texture which is good as I may go for the hardly any texture for the music part though the sound design will add to it making it sound much bigger than it does.
Betty Blue Betty et Zorg
This is something I will also use as a reference for when I make my romantic sounding track for the last sequence. There is not too much going on here either and it works as it keeps the low texture coming in for my piece. Music is done by Matin Gabriel and is the track playing from the start to 2:28. I will use several of the instruments used in this track for the last part of the video I need to score but it will have one or two other instruments added as well so it will have a nicer timbre and have a thicker texture.
Over the pass week I have been cleaning up the music only task which now has parts stretched over other parts and fades out instead of just stopping. Some of the out of time music should now sound on time though yet still have to do the FX for the said thing. General this part is the part I don’t really enjoy to much unless it is for the rock/metal genre. At this point reminds me how I seem to never mix down my work which I should start doing but some of my work is weird and I would not know where to start but I am going of topic now.
I also worked on the sound design a little as I now added a scanner to the first scene as that is something an alien would have going on and it is there in the background so you don’t know if it is coming from inside the house or from outside the house. An alien ship came to mind as well but I have not put it in and I will probably not do so. The terminator scene as a little more though it is focused more on the other robot which I seemed to have forgotten what the model was. The ice cream truck is now gone :(. The cough has been moved but is still in the wrong place at the moment. The woman’s voice has had something added but it is not a vocoder, it is something else which I need to remind myself of. I added some noises to when the young man in the first screen is loading his gun though the sounds are poor but they are there. The first alien voice sound has been moved so now the sound just happens without the little delay it has as I created the sound to be like that to incorporate the insects involved to make the said voice.
This week I have been more spread out but I have started a little motif for the final task which involves both music and sound design.
At the moment it looks rather bare but some of the sound design is not yet in place but the music itself sound very nice. it has a dreamy yet heavenly sound to it as the mix of vocal sounds are mixed with the angel sounding strings which is there to company the vocals and to give it a thicker texture. I had to have the video playing to give me an idea of what to make as without viewing the video ideas can trail off to things that would not fit this scene though the best part about this part is that it can be used again for another dream like sequence which has a tree made from diamonds and silver with many animals made from diamonds and silver and so on. I like this motif because it is a very simple idea with only three to four notes being used.
The vocal line is doubled up to make it much more powerful though the vocal fades before hitting the next vocal part due to the way the VST is, I could change it but it works quite well doing so. I also went to add some twinkle sounds to make it sound even more dreamy and somewhat mysterious. I may add a third vocal line and make it an octave higher then the second vocal part to make it thicker but I don’t want it to drown out the angel stings. Then again maybe I will double up the angel strings instead, at this point I am not to sure but I will give each a try and see which is better. In fact one or both may not work.
So I have been busy working on my sound design task and have either added or changed parts. I made my own laser sound using the technique Ben Burt where he hit a metal cable to make the laser sound for the blaster in Star Wars.
Both say the same thing but I thought I would post it again anyway.
So I went back to this scene and added a few more sounds but at this point I will talk about the background voice that can be seen above, they are the green bars. Like I normally do I watched the scene several times more and thought what else could I do to make it sound bigger and busy. A thought then came to my head, how about a line from a female voice that is either a human voice or a robotic female voice. I chose human in the end because there was enough lifeless stuff being heard in the back already. I then thought what would she be doing or saying and then it hit me. Tom Cruise’s character is looking for someone and I thought maybe in the back a woman is doing something related, but is then interrupted by an incoming transmission from a higher up.
I then thought she would speak up to notify Tom Cruise’s character who is still looking for the said person. The transmission won’t ever be explained and is there to make the room sound more busy like. I ended it with her saying “Download complete” so it would make it sound like he would listen to it later.
After the female voice I wondered what else could happen in this scene. After a moment I wondered if a phone could fit in, but not any type of phone but a mobile phone that is on vibrate. This got me thinking that a lot is happening around the character Tom Cruise is playing. A mobile would be there, well I am sure each of them would have one and so who’s is going off will always be a mystery as the phone vibrates a few times before stopping altogether. The best part it is not distracting and so the attention will stay on stuff happening around the room such as the beeps, buzzing and so on.
Back to the Terminator scene. In this scene I listened to all that was already added before thinking on what was missing. I watched it several times before saying to myself “The sound of the target getting hit is missing, a metal like sound should work for this morphing killing machine.” So I went to find a nice ping sound and started placing it in spots when she was hit by the impacting shotgun shells. they do sound a little weak but at this point it is good enough to be used. I then thought “Well she is being fired upon and the shells seem to be hitting her in certain spots so maybe some panning will or should happen. So I made two channels and split the pings up to either the left channel or right. The realism is not completely there as the pings are just there no matter if it hit the left or right side. I will fix this later if I have time.
After putting the metal pings in for the Terminator scene I decided to watch the who trailer to see what else needed some more. I watched each scene twice before making myself come to the frozen city scene again. Here I went “Hey wait, don’t people make sounds when they walk or run on or through snow?” Clearly they did and so I started my search for snow sounds and when I came across one I took it and I played around with it by taking a segment. With the selected segment I went on to pitch shifting it and even time stretched it to get the sound I now had for it. The sample was a snow sample made from the sound of crisps. It had the crisp element there but I took it a little further and now sound more like snow being crashed as the two men run from there impending doom.
On that note I thought a little more before thinking maybe some panning would work here as each are running and to show or hear the difference I would pan on right and the other left. One sample plays before the other due to the scene of Man A dashing before Man B.
So as I mentioned at the start of this update I went and made a laser sound for the trailer, I needed two and now I have two but this one is not something I am too pleased with. I could play around with it more but then all my time would be taken up and I have other things that needed to be done. I used Ben Burt’s technique of a metal object being struck but I used a bike for the sound. I then loaded it into Cubase before playing around with it, though Ben Burt only used one sample I thought I could add something to add some flavor to the sound. So I added a electric sound and then morphed it through time stretching and pitch shifting as well turning a large segment into a small segment.
The segment which is the yellow bar with the scroll rolling over it. I added a phaser to one of the samples and a little reverb or delay to it. I then exported it and imported it to the sound design file where I placed it and started to play around with the previous mini gun sound. After a little playing around I ended up with one segment of the mini gun sound and copied it several times as the sound built up to the laser sound being shot off. It sounds better but the laser sound still feels weak and in many ways don’t like it but a second sound was needed and so this is what I ended up with.
So here I am at the end of this update, there is not to much to do now other then maybe add a few more sounds and add some more panning and FX to some of the audio that does not have it already.
Time for another update.
First off I am going to start off with the alien sound I made. The image is above. I followed for the most part the sound design of the alien voices in District 9. I have what the process and what was used in the previous post. I used three insect samples which are a cricket, a mass of flies and an ant sound backed to the famous scream used in many movies which was morphed into a newer scream for the alien.
The break down of the voice in keywords.
-Pitch shifted two or three octaves
-Delay FX Applied
-Distortion FX Applied
-Pitch Shifted up three octaves
-Pitch Shifted down two octaves
-Pitched Shifted up two octaves
Alien Voice 2:
As you can see there is an alien voice two which was added as there are two aliens and maybe in some way it would sound like they were communicating to each other. The FX added and audio manipulation is done all by my own devices. I am not sure what the sound designer for District 9 did FX or manipulation wise. As said before I threw in the scream to make it somewhat different to what District 9 has.
I have had a few more ideas for the Tom Cruise scene where he is using a Sci-Fi like device to find his target. Other then the cough and buzzing light which flickers at one point I wondered what else I could add. Then it came to me, more background sounds such as beeping which you can see in the image above. I split it up to make it sound less clattered and made sure it is not too over used. Though the image does not show it there is a little computer sound for about a split second during this scene.
So I started thinking about panning some of the audio already in the sound design piece and thought I would start here with the last clip from I-Robot. As you can now see there are two of the same audio sample as in this clip two trucks appear coming from the right and the left and so I added and will adjust accordingly. I may pan the heartbeat to the side where the driver is but I need to listen to see what effect that will make, this could either be good or bad and only time will tell. On the subject of panning I may separate the beeping sounds and set them to three different channels so each beep sample has its own pan effect, a left, right and most likely a centre channel.
I have added some more sounds to the sound design for this scene, the all important crashing scene where the terminator is sent flying towards a metal sack or shed. The samples were dropped in and both seemed to just work where they were placed. if only other sounds just worked this way.
Now for the last part of this update, I still need to find one more sound designer as I need two and make two sounds using there process. I have David Whitehead or was it Dave Whitehead? Anyway I followed his process for the most part but did not make the sound as thick as his as the famous scream was the main point to the audio I created. I may look at the Matrix next or I may look at Robocop, Transformers or a few other films I have in mind at this point. It is a shame there is not much on the alien sound from Alien (1979), maybe if I would of dived deeper I would of found something but then again it may of been so time consuming that I may of not had time to do the process involved as I have to do a music and sound design piece next.
Another update incoming:
So the first thing I added during this session of add and play around with the sound was the sound of the lights in the room. As I stated before in the first post I wanted to have some background noise but at that point only had a coughing sound. As you can see for the most part the buzzing keeps going on but then in the screen shot you notice a little cut up which gives off a flickering sound to break the none stop buzzing sound. I feel this fits well and makes the room seem more realistic.
I mentioned this part in the last post but back then the sounds were not sorted out but now they are. All the shotgun sounds are in place and it was rather easy as well and seemed to fit into place mostly by itself. There are a total of five shots before the shots stop and can be seen under the large red segment in the screen shot. There is more to this part which will be mentioned a little later.
This part is still a little thin as I still need to find a sound designer and use their process for the alien voice and one other sound which has not yet been thought of. Anyway to the point I added a boiler sound as one of the background noises to give this part a thicker part though still has parts needed to make it sound better. I chose water boiler though the sound of a water tank would of been a nice choice as well. The idea of a water tank leaking was an idea or some pipes leaking which would be the same idea. At the end I added the shotgun being cocked before the scene changed to the next scene.
Now I am back to the terminator scene and as you can see the laser sound has been added and maybe morphed using several processes if I can find a sound designer who made a sound similar to this. Strangely it fits in and so I had to do nothing but some FX’s will be applied once all the parts are placed.
This has had the most added though when I started this session this part had nothing, this scene is from the movie I-Robot. So far only four sounds have been added.
First off I will mention the car sounds, the start of this scene we find ourselves within the car and what is heard when you are driving a car? You hear the engine unless one of those quite running cars are being used but this car is not one of those. I added the car sound because I felt it needed it, it gives you the sense you are in the car with this person or you are this person.
The next thing I added was some music from what would be a radio or CD playing. The track is rather soft and suits the scene quite well as the person in the car (Will Smith) looks quite relaxed. I added it because what else would you hear in a car? We could mention a few things but the thing I would point to is the radio or CD player.
After the radio music was added I moved onto the first sound of a truck, this sound is of the contents rattling as in this scene the tracks following the car before boxing it in is carrying at least 100 robots in. Not to much can be said here but another sound will be added unless it drowns out the sounds of the other audio.
And lastly at the end I added the sound of an ice cream truck jingle. Why you ask? The answer is it was a random thing I thought about doing and it happens mostly on the blank screen which is the end of the trailer. The truck is not scene and so we wonder if it just turned up as the car is being boxed in.
((Text Directly from site, no rewording))
DS: What are some of the sources of that sounds? Can you give us some examples?
DW: I thought I would record insects at 192k to see what they had to offer the alien palette. I made a little insect recording booth and recorded bumble bees. Its amazing what interesting textures you can get from micro recording.
Also some of the guys decided to breed flies at the back of the studio to build up our ambient fly and close up single fly palette. After the rotten piece of chicken was devoured by the maggots that took up camp, they were given I nice glass tank to complete their transformation. We ended up with hundreds of them and released in the ADR room at Park Road Post. We recorded various intensities of flies, single fly bys and intense close up group buzzing and droning. It was disgusting but incredibly funny. Did I mention disgusting? We made some great ambient sci-fi components out of this stuff.
DS: There are a lot of different futuristic guns in the movie, I think it was very fun for you to create them. How was that?
DW: In the first weeks before animation turned up I developed a palette of alien gun/weapon components. Bees, pipe hits and blows, nail guns and synthesizers through effects chains were some of the building blocks for the alien side of the weapons. I handed this palette to Brent Burge who cut the final version of the alien weapons. He definitely put the big boom boom in the guns.
DS: I felt some scenes of hard tension, “slow motion” moments, camera-falls, etc… How were the sound-decisions in these scenes?
DW: This was partly driven by the picture editors choice of temp sound effects. They worked so well, we created our own version and expanded on it. Kind of a seventies sci-fi, lo-fi feel to it. I made up a an ethereal palette for the film, but I used a very minimal palette for the Wikus ‘headspace’ scenes in the end.
When he gets taken the MNU laboratory we took it a step further with the ethereal design and background lab test animals and aliens. Lots of hard cuts and grungy unsettling shifts.
DS: How was the creation of the sound of the Wikus robot and Alien spaceships?
DW: The Exo Suit ended up being made from some very lo-tech elements. Typewriters, small appliance servos, dirt hits, steam train chugs to name but a few elements. I cut the first full version and handed it off to Effects Editor Hayden Collow, for the final hard effects sweetening pass to take it to the mix.
The core of the spaceships came quite easily. I sat down one morning in front of my JP8080 synth and a few excessive plugin chains and recorded one fat file that was the basis of the Mothership and the Dropship. I wanted a ‘heavy metal’ version of a spaceship and feel that’s what we got.
Due to me having to bounce from one module to another I have not done to much here but it is something anyway and so I will stat with the frozen scene.
As you can see above the audio for this scene has been thickened. As mentioned in the last sound design post I did I added another sound to the current wind audio, this sound is an arctic wind sound which now makes the scene seem more harsh then it already is. I feel the two together work very well and in many ways makes you feel that you are in the thick of this storm or natural disaster. On top of that I have added the sound of ice cracking which in turn is a recording of real ice being cracked. I feel it works well but the timing needs to be worked out and I will need to play around with the FX afterwards, some reverb will happen and maybe some delay to see how it sounds.
For this part I thought I would focus on the human beings then its surrounding though the alien will have sound, just no sound footsteps will be heard though this may change unless I really want to show what the humans are feeling at this point. The use of breathing will mostly likely happen as well though once again it will only be a focus on the young girl and young man. Maybe the sound of a water tank or boiler will be added, maybe the sound of a light bulb breaking as well. For when the alien voices are made I will have alien chatter in the back by taking small segments from the segment that is already made for the alien part from before.
I have added some background music for this scene as the fight scene happens. The energy sounds are still needed as well as a metallic sound for when the other is hit. The shotgun sounds are there too but they have not yet been placed and so at this point are muted until they are placed. Now only one part of the trailer has no sound which is the I-Robot car scene where the two trucks box him in and try to kill him. The dog barking is still there and so are the shotgun shells that are ejected after being shot off which can be heard off screen.