HOW TO CREATE NEW SOUNDS – PART 3

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Walter Murch is extraordinary even within his own field: He was six times Oscar-nominated for film editing, three times nominated for sound mixing, winning for mixing on “Apocalypse Now,” and achieving a landmark double when he won both editing and mixing for his work on “The English Patient.”

Over 40 years, Murch is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Francis Ford Coppola, beginning in 1969 with “The Rain People.” After working with George Lucas on “THX 1138” (1971), which he co-wrote, and “American Graffiti” (1973), Murch returned to Coppola for 1974’s “The Conversation,” receiving his first Academy Award nomination as a result.

Murch’s pioneering achievements were acknowledged by Coppola on his follow-up, the 1979 Palme d’Or winner “Apocalypse Now,” for which he was granted, in what is seen as a film-history first, the screen credit “Sound Designer.”

Much is a film and a sound editor and he says that the “disadvantage of doing a story through sound cues is that the audience is less aware of what’s happening. ”

Sound has the peculiarity of seeming to simply be there and not to have been placed there by the filmmakers.

Both gives rhythm to the scene.

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Today I will share with you a great interview on pro tools experts with
Mike Thornton

In this video Marcelo Cyro reveals some of his sound design tricks in the soundtrack of the Oscar nominated animation – The Boy An The World. Watch as he shows how he took a close miced cello recording and with some careful processing produced this truck passing scene.Recently we interviewed Marcelo about how he and the team of 4 produced the soundtrack for this oscar nominated film that is up against blockbusters like Inside Out and the Shaun The Sheep Movie.
As part of a series Marcelo is going to unpack and reveal some of the techniques the team used to create the soundtrack. Over to you Marcelo…

‘The Boy And The World’ has a distinct and different sound creation, because the sound is not only the real thing (what you see you hear) but it is part of the imaginative boy that and how he perceives a new world he has just met. The director Alê Abreu wanted all the sound to be created, nothing was to be real, after all it was the boy’s imagination. So a horse is not a horse, a bird is not a bird, a frog is not a frog, everything is Cuca discovering a new world. For example, we used some music instruments to create sounds in the movie like Didgeridoo for the horse’s sound as well as some flutes and vocalisations for the birds.

Before we can start to create the sound track we need to understand the story. This boy is looking for his father, and he get lost in in a crowd of people and ends in the middle of a road.

So to emphasise the danger, there is a very low frequency – earthquake element so you might want to listen to video on decent speakers of headphones to get the full benefit.This road passing very fast trucks and scare the boy! These trucks have a sound even more  ‘larger than life’ feel to them. This helps to reinforce the sense of danger, size and that they are old trucks.

To create this sound we used a very basic aspect of old style sound design by using music instruments. In this scene we used a cello with bow like the horn of the truck, simulating a Doppler effect, moving the pan from right to left. You can hear a truck, but in a different and unique way, together with other elements and sounds like some metal shaking so it comes across as a weird and dangerous truck.

To further enhance the sense of danger the cello also goes to a send to a Aux track with a Exciter that goes only the LFE channel.

So I hope you and see that the use of musical instruments processor can be a very interesting way and useful alternative to create new and organic sounds.

Of course I am not the only person to use these kind of sound deign techniques, apparently in Transformers they used some sounds of guitars at odds with a screwdriver. Then in the early days of Disney cartoons where Goofy hits a wall you will hear a crash cymbal. Again this is not a literal sound but works very well, so it is a nice way to get some great sounds and help the movie watcher’s imagination.