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  #1  
Old 01-19-2005, 07:02 PM
MarkPresti MarkPresti is offline
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Default adding sfx

I was just wondering how often sound designers put in more audio effects than there are visual cues, say for instance, cars passing. I currently only put in one car passing bc there is only one car in the visual throughout the sequence, but i am being asked to put more in. any hints/ideas/tips? thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2005, 07:12 PM
SimpleNatureSpirit SimpleNatureSpirit is offline
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Default Re: adding sfx

Waves Doppler
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2005, 02:06 AM
lightning ad lightning ad is offline
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Default Re: adding sfx

it all depends on the environment you are trying to portray. In a city you hear a lot more than you see, whereas on a quiet country road, you will hear one car for longer as it approaches then receeds into the distance (a good time to reach for the doppler).

try putting yourself in a similar environment to the one you are cutting, picks a point of visual focus (much as the camera lens does) and then concentrate on what you can hear against what you see.

but then the sound might also be a way of creating a juxtaposed reality for the shot. Its really down to discussing with your director what he/she is trying to say with the shot.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:27 AM
georgia georgia is offline
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Default Re: adding sfx

as lightning offered... it really depends... if you have a shot, lets say in a store front in a small town.... you might start the shot with sounds of the street, car passing, other traffic and even a couple of people or a dog barking, etc in the distance, the single car going by when you cut to the over the shouder shot of the street. Then when you cut to the reverse, you can add another car driving by, etc.. once the shot starts to "close in" or you get into a converstation mode with two characters, as the shot tightens... you slowly stop hearing the street, you start hearing the "room" ambience, maybe a clock in the background to add tension, an air conditioner, or fan if its summer.. as the shot tightens even more... the other sounds slowly fade back to focus on just the dialogue and any very important SFX... It all depends on the feeling and the atmosphere the director and editor are trying to achieve... and of course, don't forget the placement, tempo and volume of the music!
Also, if you start to layer sfx in a shot, go ahead and put all the stufdf in you want... heck, even over do it... and put in ALL the sounds you think should be heard... THEN... start to remove sounds... Listen to the scene, what sounds are important, what sounds are "obvious", what sound are the focus of the shot, what is actually not needed... Mix this accordingly... Sometimes I end up with 20 or 30 tracks of sfx for a simple scene... But it becomes a mess from layers and layers of sound... I then "Thin" the sfx down to what really matters, sometimes bringing up a foreground sound and dropping it away to reveal another sound elesewhere. Sometimes an ambience is more critical than a spot effect... Experiment on the scene and see what truly brings out the FEELING of the scene, some times the complete lack of sound is better than a perfect "reality".

cheers
georgia
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2005, 08:36 AM
cmaynes cmaynes is offline
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Default Re: adding sfx

I think the comments offered so far are of great value- However one thing that was not mentioned explicitly was that the whole purpose of "Sound Design" is to add drama and pathos (if you will) to the story. There are many instances when sounds which have no logic to the reality of what is on screen will be introduced to increase the honest drama of a moment- Please note that I used the term "honest", this is because there are many times when those of us who call ourselves "Sound Designers" are asked to put sounds into a sequence in an attempt to fill in visual shortcomings of what is on screen. In these instances we are simply doing what we are told, even if we disagree with the premise. Anyway- A viewing of most any film which Walter Murch has been involved with will always have a VERY considered approach to sound design. I would start with "The Conversation" and "The Godfather 1 & 2" to get a fantastic tutorial on the use of irrational sound to extend the emotional impact of the story. Of course "Apocalypse Now" and "The English Patient" are also wonderfully rich films in regards to this as well. Recently, film sound design has tended towards more "Hyper-Reality". As Georgia described in her explanation of potential possibilities. Obvious excellence can be found in the great catalog of films Gary Rydstrom and Randy Thom have contributed to in this realm. One recent film that I think did a very nice job in this realm is "Collateral" which was supervised by Elliott Koretz. I could go further with animated films but can really encapsulate those comments with "Go see the Pixar films...period.).


good luck-

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  #6  
Old 01-20-2005, 08:59 AM
lightning ad lightning ad is offline
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Default Re: adding sfx

well said...and you did touch on animated films Charles...all the Pixars were done by Gary Rydstrom, except The Incredibles which Randy Thom did.

i would also recommend reading the book "Sound Design" by David Sonnenschein. Hardly touches on the mechanics of film sound, but explores the psychology of how sound can affect the audience. It really got me thinking about things i had previously taken for granted.

ps. don't ya just love the way Gene Hackman syncs his tape decks in "The Conversation" ?.
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2005, 10:38 AM
cmaynes cmaynes is offline
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Default Re: adding sfx

Adam-

Actually I would like one of those doo-hickey's Hackman used to change the phase angle on the multiple sources- I am think of getting one of the Little Labs phase adjustment tools for that!


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  #8  
Old 01-20-2005, 02:56 PM
lightning ad lightning ad is offline
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Default Re: adding sfx

i'm just still gobsmacked at his manual sample accuracy line up technique!!
And his eq box - astounding.
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2005, 06:13 AM
MarkPresti MarkPresti is offline
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Default Re: adding sfx

yeah

In this particular scene, it is a car stopping on the highway you only see one car in the background before it slams on its brakes and you never see any cars passing while it is stopped. It came down to the fact that I had to put it in bc the director wanted it, although he still has to watch it and see if he likes it. He said the mind would fill in the gaps if there is no visual cue. alas.
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