Archive for October, 2013


Critically Reflect on the Process and Final Productions you have Created

This task requires you to create a Reflective Learning Journal (RLJ) that charts the journey you have undertaken for the duration of the unit. You should comment on the process, discoveries, discussions with lecturer and your peers and other related information that has assisted you in creating your finished artefacts.

However, you must make sure that you reflect on your work (please refer to documentation guidance such as “Gibbs Reflective Cycle”) and do not just describe the process.

Your RLJ has no word limit and can be presented in a variety of formats (video, audio commentary, written). It is a tool for you to use to document the process and used to assist you in your future practice.

As well as reflecting on the process it is important that you critically reflect (advancement of reflection) on the finished production you have created. When critically reflecting (refer to the lecture on critical reflective practice) it is important to remember that in order for your reflection to be critical it needs to consider numerous perspectives, or lenses (Brookfield, 1995) that assist in you in defining your assumptions about the quality of your production. When critically reflecting upon your finished production it is essential that consider the success of the artefact in terms of technical quality and fitness for purpose in accordance with your original intentions and the assignment brief.

Be able to reflect on own sound design work

Finished product

  • technical quality;
  • aesthetic quality;
  • realisation of aims;
  • suitability for purpose;
  • own contribution to product;
  • team’s contribution;
  • meeting deadlines;
  • audience feedback


Production skills

  • technical competence;
  • workflow and time management;
  • production management;
  • teamworking

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gibbs_reflective_cycle

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For this task we were told to create a historical timeline reviewing the development of sound design in the film industry. I chose to make a video with images/video/music and a voiceover because I thought this would be more appealing than writing a paper. I decided that for me this would be easier than writing and structuring together a paper other then the fact that I had to source images/ video/ and music that fit together. I had to research then rip videos off of youtube.com then convert them from .mpeg4 to .mov using MPEG streamclip. With these videos I found pictures to accompany them and then I wrote my voiceover. Following this I recorded my voiceover with my RODE Videomic Pro then uploaded it to my computer. Personally I don’t like my own voice but who does? One thing I would change in the future would be to have more energy when I record as I don’t sound very enthusiastic and it does sound a bit mono-tone at certain moments. The music I sourced from freesound.org, and I cut it to my liking and looped it over and over. Personally even though it was undoubtably repetitive, I believe it seemed to work for what I need it for and if i had to do it again I would. Other than my voiceover I would say that overall I did an exceptional job. With time restrictions I was forced to work under a tight time restraint, which I wish wasn’t so but it is understandable. I enjoyed doing all the research for this project as it was very interesting to me. Before this project, I had no idea that Skywalker Sound and American Zoetrope Films are both based in San Francisco, and thats where I was born and raised. Quite embarrassing if you ask me. The most important thing is now I know. I would say that if I were to do anything else I would add more information and expand further on important things.

TASK 2

For this task we  told to individually analyse sound design in a film, animation, and computer game from a chosen list. Originally I wanted to create another video with an added voiceover but again with the time constraints I unfortunately decided against it. I also thought with a voiceover during the scene would take away from noticing the sound design aspects. So I decided to just embed videos from youtube.com into my website and analyse them with text instead. Overall I enjoyed this assessment task, but I will admit that I did have some difficulties with examining the sound design for the computer game section. I learnt that film, animation, and computer games all go through a different processes of sound design as they all have different aspects to consider depending on what best suits their category that their in. Computer games have to use sound that engage their players and help them during game play. Most of the videos I researched where of people recording themselves playing the game (mostly online) and most of the sounds I could make out were just footsteps, gunshots, and explosions. I wanted to find video of gameplay in the career mode as it has a story behind it and it shows more than just gunplay. It gave me more sounds to analyse and made expanding upon them much easier. I found that this was the most difficult category to analyse because it is the one I am most unfamiliar with as I don’t really partake in playing video games as it personally isn’t a big interest for me. Nonetheless I would say I didn’t let this discourage me . I would say that once I found a more filmic scene in the career mode this helped me  treat it as it was just an animation only with added functions. Other than this I quite enjoyed looking at the sound design in these different categories and see how each one differs in their own way.

TASK 3

This unit really helped me understand some of the basics of sound design. Such as setting up the audio mixer hardware when recording as well as using the gain to control  levels to receive strong audio signals. Also the microphone positioning  has to be correct to achieve the desired sound. Such as if someone is yelling into the microphone it would wise to record from a distance as the sound is loud enough anyways. As well as hardware I also gained a better understanding of sound design with software as well, as the two go hand in hand. I learnt that most sounds are layered together within an editing  software to make up a final sound and everything is mixed towards the end using basic audio mixers. Another thing that is very crucial for time management, is correctly labeling audio files as there will most likely be a lot, especially for a feature film. I really enjoyed doing this module as it was almost all practical post production work which is my favorite aspect of filmmaking. It is a massive growing industry that would be great to be in, but often overlooked.

TASK 4

For this task we had to re-dub the first part of the animation ‘Vexille’. This included sound effects, ADR, foley, music score, and atmospheric sounds. This task took some serious effort, time, and work put into it to make it what it is. It makes me appreciate the dedication it takes to make a great sound design possible. After creating and obtaining all of the sounds I needed it wasn’t a case of just dragging and dropping those sounds into the right place and then it was done. After all the sounds were put into there proper place (which took a lot of time to sync up just right), they needed to be mixed using the audio mixer in Adobe Premier. I adjusted the levels of the sounds depending on what best fit the animation (such as the car in the opening scene, as it was driving away I lowered the the volume). I also adjusted the sounds from the left and right speakers (such as when characters walk from one side of shot to the other, I would move the foley sound of their footsteps in the direction that they walking). Effects were also used such as de-nosier to get rid of background hum, reverb to add slight echos, and equalizing to raise or decrease bass and treble. This created a greater sense of space within the animation instead of sounding flat and unreal. Also finding the best fit music score that was royalty free was also a challenge. Eventually after much needed research I found music that I thought was appropriate and suitable. Hundreds and hundreds of sounds were used in my final mix. Layers and layers of sounds were compiled together to complete the best realistic sounds possible. I really enjoyed this unit but for future sound design projects I would have done a few thing differently. This includes doing more research on sourcing sounds to save time trying to create the perfect sound on my own. Also as a precaution I would take on board most of the responsibilities for the sound design project as some people aren’t as reliable as they should be. I would also edit the project bit by bit as I went along with it, instead of leaving it to last minute so I had more time finessing each sound and making it near to perfect. Overall I gained a lot of experience from this unit, and I plan to use it for my sound design projects in the future.

Criteria: 4.1 & 4.2  

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Assessment Task 1:

A Critical Review of the Development of Sound Design Practice

You should create a historical timeline (this can be written, graphical or video format) that critically reviews the development of sound design in the film industry. It is important that your timeline discusses the landmark sound designers, landmark companies, organisations, roles and technological developments.

If you decide to create a written historical timeline you should write approximately 1000 words; video production should be no longer than 5 minutes.

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Above is the final video for this project. I thought it would be more practical if I made a video rather than writing a paper. Below is a screenshot of myself editing this video in Adobe Premier Pro CS3. I had obtained the music beat from freesound.org and I had to cut it to my liking. Music is by christianjinnyzoe and is called down tempo track. All my references for the videos that I used in this production will be at the bottom.

Picture 4

References:

Pat Vasquez-Cunningham. (2010). A Foley Makes It Sound Just Right. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbfCgyhyvgg. Last accessed 13/10/2010.

Marc Carlton. (2013). Foley Recording at Clean Cuts. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj2Cky5I8OA. Last accessed 13/10/2010.

Fartfx3. (2009). WALL E Animation Sound Design part 1. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsfbXGDw_aA. Last accessed 13/10/2010.

ThinkingSound. (2011). Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola Talks about the Evolution of Movie Sound. Available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-fNpE9vQJw. Last accessed 13/10/2010.

Criteria: 1.1

‘From the Ground Up’ – Building a Sound

You will build 4 test pieces that focus on particular areas of sound design:

  1. A.D.R
  2. SFX
  3. Foley
  4. Atmospheres


Each test piece will be an originally filmed narrative sequence, photographed by the entire group. You will then work in small groups to record, edit and mix the sound design for each. Emphasis will be placed on the art of ‘building’ a sound or a series of sounds in layers; from the ground up.

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Week 4: For this assignment, we were given a scene from The mirror (1975) by Andrei Tarkovsky without any audio and our task was to build up the atmos pas (or atmospheric sounds) for it. This excluded any dialogue or foley sounds ect. Atmos pas is usually the first track in sound design and sometimes can be done in pre-production even before principle photography. It is because the sounds aren’t ‘direct’ or ‘synced’ that this is able to be done beforehand.

Atmos Pas:

For this task I worked together with Vicky Grant. The scene we were given, the character is a dream state. We  wanted the Theme to be eerie and unrealistic. The Mood we were going for was strange and unsettling. In the Narrative Arch, we felt like this was definitely building up to something so it had to be in the complication stage. Location is indoors in a creaky old house and the Weather is really windy and cold. With the water drop we played them in reverse to create a more dream like state.

Screen shot 2013-10-09 at 13.39.13

Here is a screen shot of us using the audio mixer in Adobe Premier Pro CS3. Each sound has its own track and was named properly to make things easier. We adjusted the pitch levels when we needed them higher or lower depending on what we were going for. We even tried adjusting the balance from left to right with the wind but ended not using it. Below is our final product and below that is the original.

Week 5:

For this weeks assignment our class focused on making Foley Sounds as well as Spot FX. We did a test piece from the animation Vexille. We decided what foley sounds we would need, for the humans we would need clothes rubbing together and footsteps with solid shoes on snow and concrete stairs. For the robots we would need robotic sounds of some sort but we weren’t quite sure what would work. Below is a picture of the studio, we used three microphones 2 hyper cardioid  mics for dialogue and one shotgun microphone for spot effects. After having problems with Pro Tools we decided that Apples Garageband would work nicely.

IMG_3321

Below is a picture of the sound mixer that we had all the XLR leads running into from the microphones. They were all in their proper order running from left to right. Here we checked our levels and made sure none of our sounds peaked as we recorded.IMG_3325

Craig Ellis did a lot of our foley sounds for the humans. We found some solid shoes for him to wear and in sync he mimicked the movements of the characters on the projected screen. For the surface sounds we found a couple slabs of concrete for our hard surface and we decided on a shower curtain for our snowy surface. Both worked rather nicely. Below is a picture of Craig rubbing together pieces of cloths using the shotgun microphone to imitate the noise trousers make while walking.

For the robot sounds we used a number of items which included a squeaky desk lamp, an old dial telephone, a VHS player, some sort of dial, and a desk chair. All the sounds layered on each other worked almost too perfectly. It was a matter of trial and error and getting sounds matched up perfectly but in the end we got there. At one point we couldn’t figure out anything to use for the robots scanner, So I thought I’d give vocalizing it could work. Sadly it didn’t but it was fun to try. One thing we were unable to work on because we ran out of time was adjusting the pitch and balance to give our sounds depth. This will be something that I really look forward to doing.

IMG_3328

Week 6:

For this weeks assignment we focused on ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) for the animation Vexille. We discovered that since the dialogue was originally Japanese the timing wouldn’t be dubbed exactly right. We worked around this as best as we could. We used the hyper cardioid microphones as these were best fit for what we were doing. We figured out that if the dialogue required yelling into the microphone that we could distance ourselves further from the microphone as it was louder and we wouldn’t restrict ourselves saying our lines, and our audio waveforms wouldn’t peak.

IMG_3329

At one point we realized that the dialogue had some reverb attached to it, for some odd reason. We were unable to figure it out until Joey Lever mentioned that Garageband put some reverb on it if you select a recording because it’s mainly used for singing and it’s an added effect Garageband throws on there. If you selected a no effect real instrument it comes out nice and non-disrupted. It took us a while to get everything to sound right, but with loads of trial and error, in the end we got there.
IMG_3332

Criteria: 2.1 & 3.1 

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online-market-research

 

What is research?

 

Definition:

Research is the structured investigation and analysis of different materials with references to establish factual information and to achieve to new conclusions.

 

Writing Structure:

Primarily start with the introduction that sheds light the topic and enlightens the reader of what to expect from the assignment.

Secondly do a bit of review around the topic so the reader will obtain a bit of insight of the subject matter.

After that supply the reader with methodical information based upon the topic and inform them about where you obtained this through research.

The next step would be to recognize common themes and analyze this data and then compare and contrast possible similarities together.

Finally conclude everything up by tying all the research information together and forming own conclusions.

 

Research Methods:

Statistical Data

Historical data

Books

News Articles

Internet

 

Types of research:

Quantitative:

Quantitative research is constructed from indisputable facts and information such as statistical data, usually in forms of graphs, diagraphs, and charts.

Qualitative:

Qualitative research is formed based upon people opinions and views. This can include open-ended questionnaires, unstructured interviews, and observations.

 

References:

McLeod, S. A. (2008). Qualitative Quantitative – Simply Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/qualitative-quantitative.html

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