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"Sound Designers"

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"Sound Designers"

Postby cuttime » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:06 pm

Just venting a bit here. I love knob twiddling as much as the next person, but what the hell is a Sound Designer? I'm not mentioning names, but I think we know who I'm talking about. I'm not referring to Foley or sound effects, which I admire as an art form, but people who are lauded by recording and electronic music blogs as "groundbreaking" and "industry pioneers". Respected audio companies repackage their patches in trumpeted fashion. When I check out their work, I hear the usual litany of beeps, buzzes and farts that I could reproduce with minimal effort, albeit it is done on equipment that has a budget that far outweighs mine on exponential levels. Where does one get this gig? Or, is it all just a mastery of the hype machine? :mumble:
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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:21 pm

Sound design in theater and film are critical to the success of a production. N
I guess you’re talking about pop music? Don’t listen much so can’t relate.
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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby cuttime » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:34 pm

MIDI Life Crisis wrote:Sound design in theater and film are critical to the success of a production. N
I guess you’re talking about pop music? Don’t listen much so can’t relate.

No, I'm not talking about pop music or theater. I'm talking about abstract stuff like this.
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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby Gravity Jim » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:14 am

cuttime wrote:
MIDI Life Crisis wrote:Sound design in theater and film are critical to the success of a production. N
I guess you’re talking about pop music? Don’t listen much so can’t relate.

No, I'm not talking about pop music or theater. I'm talking about abstract stuff like this.


Well, if it would be so easy for you to reproduce, I suggest you move to Hollywood, USA and take the industry by storm.

Ah, I'm just busting your chops. A sound designer does exactly what his or her title suggests: they create original SFX for use in film and TV. They may start with one or several organic sounds, and/or one or several synthesized sounds (SD guys are total synth wizards).

For example, producing a series of radio spots, I was asked to create the sound of Godzilla breathing fire. I took the sound of a fire breaking through a door and finding fresh oxygen, a Japanese bullet train speeding by, and a lion's roar I ran backwards. After mixing these three sounds with some judicious EQ, I ran the resulting stereo track through a synth for some filtering action, add a long trail of a simple "crackling fire" SFX and... violá! A sound that "reads" as Godzilla roasting a building.

Imagine doing that hundreds and hundreds of times for single film or video game. Light sabers don't really make that "booowaughooooooo" sound when you switch them on. A sound designer made that sound from scratch.
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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:28 am

Some of my best designs were made in my kitchen. Lol
I'll go listen to the link now. Intrigued.
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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:30 am

Maybe not. Not me will play on my iPhone 5S. Later.
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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:36 am

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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby cuttime » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:30 am

Again, I'm not talking Foley or film effects. I worship those guys. I'm talking about people who make sound for its own sake, and garner high praise in the process. Like these folks: https://www.arturia.com/matrixbrute/sounddesign

I can hear David Polich chiming in about now, and I mean him no disrespect. I know David has a high level of talent, skills, and knowledge that have lent to his successful career.
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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:47 pm

I have the same feeling about "computer generated" music. Plug in some numbers and then congratulate each other on what a great job "you" did. Meh!
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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby Gravity Jim » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:48 pm

Oh, I see. I have not yet heard that term used in that context.

Haven't heard much of it, either (obviously), so I have no opinion yet. Sorry to stumble over your posting, cuttime.
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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby James Steele » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:30 pm

Gravity Jim wrote:
cuttime wrote:
MIDI Life Crisis wrote:Sound design in theater and film are critical to the success of a production. N
I guess you’re talking about pop music? Don’t listen much so can’t relate.

No, I'm not talking about pop music or theater. I'm talking about abstract stuff like this.


Well, if it would be so easy for you to reproduce, I suggest you move to Hollywood, USA and take the industry by storm.

Ah, I'm just busting your chops. A sound designer does exactly what his or her title suggests: they create original SFX for use in film and TV. They may start with one or several organic sounds, and/or one or several synthesized sounds (SD guys are total synth wizards).

For example, producing a series of radio spots, I was asked to create the sound of Godzilla breathing fire. I took the sound of a fire breaking through a door and finding fresh oxygen, a Japanese bullet train speeding by, and a lion's roar I ran backwards. After mixing these three sounds with some judicious EQ, I ran the resulting stereo track through a synth for some filtering action, add a long trail of a simple "crackling fire" SFX and... violá! A sound that "reads" as Godzilla roasting a building.

Imagine doing that hundreds and hundreds of times for single film or video game. Light sabers don't really make that "booowaughooooooo" sound when you switch them on. A sound designer made that sound from scratch.


I will never forget seeing a TV special that showed how the sound of a laser firing was made for the first Star Wars film. A guy took a field recorder out to where there was a big utility pole that had guide wires supporting it, put a piezo mic (I think?) on the wire (more like a cable) and then smacked the cable about three feet up from the mic with a piece of wood. That got the raw sound and then after that, with some manipulation you had the sound of a laser weapon.

I once made a really cool scary sound effect by recording the sound of dragging my fingers across the cooling fins of an old Halfer power amp and then transposing it down an octave or so. I think I still have that sound in my EPS16+. Which reminds me... I better make sure I extracted it and have on my Mac!

I know that wasn't the subject of the original post. I just want to say that I think it's a pretty cool thing... how some movie SFX originate. If I was more ambitious I'd carry my little Zoom H4n with me wherever I go as I've often happened across interesting sounds that would be nice to capture, although unless they are loud, there's usually a lot of background noise that would make a good recording problematic.
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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:54 pm

When you get right down to it, fuzz boxes are essentially sound design tools as well. James might remember the ld wha-wha pedals that had a "siren" button. Again, sound design, circa 1972 real garage band rockers. lol

They still make those?

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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby mikehalloran » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:53 pm

...but I think we know who I'm talking about...
I haven’t a frickin’ clue.
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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby terrybritton » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:51 am

It would appear, in Arturia's case - on the Matrix Brute page anyway- that the term "sound designer" is the current buzzword for preset designer. I like those guys & gals - they can call themselves whatever they like! :-)

(Even if the 80/20 rule applies in most patch banks I've ever encountered... but the 20% of good stuff is worth the effort plowing through them all and sloughing off the stuff you won't ever use.)

That said, I am not afraid to turn my own knobs, thank you! ;-)

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Re: "Sound Designers"

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:34 am

I love it when you talk dirty, Terry.
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