Creative Production : Sound

Creative Production : Sound

This class has been an amazing sonic journey. It was a relaxed, yet informative class. Sound design was initially just a interest of mine. I’ve always been immersed in the world of sound and music. This class taught me:

  • Think in creative ways that the average person would not normally think about.
    • In order to produce a certain sound, we had to really reach out to our creative selves.
  • Pay attention to the sound in films.
    • Good sound design goes unnoticed.
    • Now that I am more aware of that, it makes me admire a film so much more.
  • How much can happen in the foley studio.
    • It definitely sparked another interest in me to work more creatively with foley.
  • Importance of learning about the sound practitioners.
    • It helped inspire many ideas and interests.

Many thanks to Tom Ottway for showing us the ropes and helping cultivate our ideas through sound! I really enjoyed the class; it showed me another world to film.

Final Project – Soundscape – “Transformation of Transportation”

Final Project – Soundscape – “Transformation of Transportation”

This piece tells a sonic story of how transportation has evolved. It portrays how transportation has continually advanced in terms of efficiency and comfort.

The piece is initially set outside using a sound bed of sounds from the woods. Mostly created in the foley studio, the story begins with footsteps of a person walking, representing the very first mode of transportation in our world. The footsteps get progressively faster as the person goes into a light jog, and this is layered with rustling of clothes, brushing of dirt, and breathing of the person. The running then transitions into the trotting of a horse, the next form of transportation humans used. Foley artist Gary Heckler shows himself performing how he would record sounds of horses in a film, and this was the inspiration for the foley-studio horses. The trotting and dirt kicking were layered on top of the horses’ breath that was altered with post-production effects. The story progresses as the bridal gets added, along with wheels representative of a carriage or wagon. As transportation continues to increase in efficiency, the wheels on the carriage transform into the wheels of a bus. The listener is now sitting on a bus where the sounds are much less harsh than those of the carriage, and the tones are much more stable. The story carries on into the inside of a train, a mode of transportation that is faster and more comfortable than a bus. Finally, the piece ends with the soothing hum of an airplane.

The layering of several different elements from the foley studio contributes to the production of each individual section in the final piece. The sections are then assembled to transition smoothly from one part to the next, portraying the storyline of the advancement of the transportation we have in our world today.



Final Project – Interview – “Brighton Busker”

Final Project – Interview – “Brighton Busker”

This radio piece entitled ‘Brighton Busker’ speaks of being a musician on the streets in Brighton.

With the interview wrap, the piece begins and ends as a traditional interview. The wrap assists in giving the listener context regarding the piece, for the piece then transitions into a non-conventional interview with only the voice of the interviewee. This follows the editing techniques similar to those of the radio show Love + Radio.

This piece focuses a lot on post production to help tell the story of street musician Tim. The soundbed consists of Tim playing guitar and singing on the street, and layered on top is his voice telling his busking story. Because the answers to the interview questions were quite coherent, the questions were edited out to make the piece more of a storytime vibe rather than a strict interview. For transitions in between non-coherent phrases, the levels of the soundbed were raised for the listener to hear some of Tim’s work.

By not following the format of the traditional interview, the piece much more laid back. It is as though busker Tim was telling his story directly to the listener themselves, making the entire piece much more intimate and unique.

Week 11 – Lecture – Anderson & Eno

Week 11 – Lecture – Anderson & Eno

Charlotte and Dom presented on Laurie Anderson and Brian Eno.

A couple of major takeaways:

Laurie Anderson

  • Musician and avant-garde performance artist
  • Pioneered electronic music
  • Described as cutting edge but developed artistic inventions rather than techniques, so they’re not widely used

Brian Eno

  • British producer, musician, songwriter, visual artist, sound designer
  • Worked with many influencial musicians
  • Created genre of “ambient music”
    • Focuses on tone and atmosphere
    • Aims to be visual yet unobtrusive
Week 10 – Lecture – Sound in Games

Week 10 – Lecture – Sound in Games


Andrew presented on Sound in Games.

A couple of major takeaways:

  • Music stirs emotion, so video game developers use music to manipulate players’ feelings
  • Sound can inform player without breaking visual flow
    • Positive sound or music to allow player to know they’re on the right path
  • Branding and consistency
    • Players can recognise tunes or theme songs
  • Sound is ahead of video visuals
    • Immersing player in virtual world with 3D sound
Week 09 – Final Project – The Busker v101

Week 09 – Final Project – The Busker v101

Assignment – Host a 3 minute interview with someone who has something to say to Brighton and Hove community.

Working – My idea revolves around buskers and how they think the Brighton and Hove community perceives them. I walked around with my Zoom H1 in my pocket in case anything came up.

The hardest part was finding a busker who was willing to give up their time to have a chat and answer some questions. I was also very scared to interrupt their playing. However, I met Tim. He didn’t smile much when playing or talking, but everything he said to me was very nice and was willing to answer my questions.

Reflection – There are nice buskers out there! My initial search for them started off a bit rough with buskers brushing me off, but Tim was so nice that it reminded me that people’s demeanor don’t define who they are on the inside.

This is the first draft of my interview portion of my final project. I’ll ask for critiques in the next class.

Week 09 – Lecture – Mastering

Week 09 – Lecture – Mastering

Kevin came in and taught us about mastering. He emphasised normalising after every step, as well as going through a couple effects:

  • Noise
    • Capture noise print from a small selected section, then apply to the full piece
    • Start with noise reduction of 50%, 20db, then add or reduce from there
  • Limit
    • Controls quick transients to help boost the rest of the piece without clipping
    • Put Max Amplitude to 0db
    • Disregarding transients, see how much to boost using Input Boost
  • Multiband compressor
    • Broadcast preset – a lot stronger compression and squeezing
    • Classical master – more subtle compression
  • Fade in/out
    • At the end, redo fade in/out in case the noise floor got pushed up through post

Kevin was incredibly nice and helpful, and he’s very good at teaching. I’m hoping to reach out to him if I get the chance.

Week 09 – Lecture – Welles & podcasts

Week 09 – Lecture – Welles & podcasts

Shichen and Perry presented on Orsons Welles and the future of podcasts.

A couple of major takeaways:

Orsons Welles

  • Worked as an American actor, writer, director, producer
  • “War of the Worlds” Radio Broadcast 1938
    • Adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel War of the Worlds presented as a series of simulated news bulletins suggesting an alien invasion by Martians
    • Fake radio ‘war’ stirred terror through U.S.; people thought it was an actual war
    • No television, so radio was primary source for live news


  • “Digital audio file available on internet for downloading to computer or mobile device as a series received by subscribers automatically” ( 2017)
  • Continual decline in ownerships in radios from 4% to 21%
  • Gives listeners more choice, availability, and flexibility
  • Radio listening still dominates
Week 08 – Assignment – The Train Station

Week 08 – Assignment – The Train Station

Assignment – Continue working on final projects.

Working – Eirin and I went to Brighton Station on a beautiful sunny morning to record some trains. Her project is slightly different than mine, but we both needed the sounds of the train. After solving some problems with the Zoom H1, we were able to get great sounds from creepily following people around.

Reflection – Investing in an expensive windscreen is incredibly important if you’re recording sounds from outside. Learn how to be more inconspicuous.

Here are the station sounds!

Week 08 – Practical – The Foley Studio, pt 3

Week 08 – Practical – The Foley Studio, pt 3

Went back into the Foley Studio with the Sennheiser K6 and Marantz Professional. I went through the reflection of my previous blog post and recorded the adjustments.

  • Horse
    • Small breathing sounds
      • Became a crazy person to recreate
    • More “clink” for the bridle
      • Keys for my flat were actually perfect for a nice ring-off
      • Zipper from my backpack was also perfect
    • Additional slower trot
      • Punched the ground some more
  • Ground
    • Dragging of dirt against plastic box
      • Hands got very dirty
    • Less rock noises – clear the floor
      • Cleared the floor
      • Got lightheaded from running in place
    • Leaves need more ring-off/decay
      • Will use backpack zipper recording
      • May delete if doesn’t fit
  • Running
    • Kicking of dirt
      • Hands got more dirty
    • Breath more “uh” rather than “oh”
      • Got lightheaded, pt. 2
    • Stronger inhale
      • Got lightheaded, pt. 3
      • Actually needed a moment to regain consciousness

Here’s version 2 – Foley work should be all done! Off to record the real-life sounds!