Category: Film Sound

Disney Imagineering Theme Park Sound Design

Here are some audio and video clips showing how theme park sound is done.

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Happy 75th Birthday, George Lucas

Veteran ADR Mixer Doc Kane of Walt Disney Studios

What has three letters, many aliases and is of major significance to the sound community? You guessed it: ADR aka Automated Dialog Replacement aka Additional Dialog Recording aka Dubbing aka Looping. All of these monikers are understood as the process of re-recording dialog that cannot be salvaged from a production. To make one thing clear, there is nothing automated about it. ADR is an art.

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Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound Launch ILMxLAB

From SoundWorks Collection

Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and parent company Lucasfilm, Ltd. announce the formation of ILM Experience Lab (ILMxLAB), a new division that will draw upon the talents of Lucasfilm, ILM and Skywalker Sound. ILMxLAB combines compelling storytelling, technological innovation and world-class production to create immersive entertainment experiences. For several years, the company has been investing in real-time graphics – building a foundation that allows ILMxLAB to deliver interactive imagery at a fidelity never seen before. As this new dimension in storytelling unfolds, ILMxLAB will develop virtual reality, augmented reality, real-time cinema, theme park entertainment and narrative-based experiences for future platforms.

 

Click here for an exclusive interview with Rob Bredlow at FX Guide.

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Synthesizers in the Movies

Hans Zimmer and his Moog Modular

Composer Neil Brand celebrates the art of cinema music, Neil explores how changing technology has taken soundtracks in bold new directions and even altered our very idea of how a film should sound.

In the last of three programmes in which composer Neil Brand celebrates the art of cinema music, Neil explores how changing technology has taken soundtracks in bold new directions and even altered our very idea of how a film should sound.

Neil tells the story of how the 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet ended up with a groundbreaking electronic score that blurred the line between music and sound effects, and explains why Alfred Hitchcock’s the Birds has one of the most effective soundtracks of any of his films – despite having no music. He shows how electronic music crossed over from pop into cinema with Midnight Express and Chariots of Fire, while films like Apocalypse Now pioneered the concept of sound design – that sound effects could be used for storytelling and emotional impact.

Neil tracks down some of the key composers behind these innovations to talk about their work, such as Vangelis (Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner), Carter Burwell (Twilight, No Country for Old Men) and Clint Mansell (Requiem for a Dream, Moon).

Sound of Cinema: The Music that Made the Movies

Ray Dolby Tribute by Walter Murch at 2014 MPSE Awards

Special thanks to The Soundworks Collection for this video.

Ray Dolby was a brilliant scientist whose inventions are in use every day in recording studios, sound editing suites, mix stages and cinemas worldwide,” said MPSE president Frank Morrone. “He was a giant in our industry and we take great pride is saluting his many contributions to our craft.”

Dolby, who passed away last September, is the founder of Dolby Laboratories. He is credited with developing a noise reduction system which delivered sound recordings with greater clarity and fidelity that was previously possible. The Academy Award winner also developed the first commercially-viable surround-sound system, which led to the widespread use of 5.1- and 7.1-channel sound systems in theaters and homes.

In 2012, the home of the Academy Awards was renamed the Dolby Theater, and the grand ballroom at Hollywood & Highland is now known as the Ray Dolby Ballroom.

Ray Dolby Tribute by Walter Murch.

Invention of stereo sound: Alan Blumlein

From Abbey Road Studios.

Alan Blumlein – the man who invented stereo

Alan Blumlein is a true lost genius, an EMI engineer, who during his brief life propelled Britain to the vanguard of the modern electronics world. Celebrations of some of Blumlein’s outstanding achievements in audio, television and radar were highlighted in the BBC Radio 4 programme, “The Man Who Invented Stereo.”

Blumlein invented stereo sound and the modern TV system while working for EMI during the 1930s.  He lodged the patent for “binaural “sound, in 1931, in a paper which patented stereo records, stereo films and also surround sound. He and his colleagues then made a series of experimental recordings and films to demonstrate the technology, and see if there was any commercial interest from the fledgling film and audio industry.
The tests included him walking and talking in one of the Abbey Road studios to show how sound could move and recordings of multiple overlapping conversations to demonstrate how his techniques could “open up” the sound being recorded.  Please use this link to hear some of the experimental stereo recordings made at Abbey Road. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7538101.stm

In January 1934, Blumlein used his stereo-cutting equipment at Abbey Road to record Sir Thomas Beecham conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as it rehearsed Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony.

In his short life, Blumlein devised over 120 patents and is considered as one of the most significant engineers of his time.

His career was tragically cut short due to his untimely death in a plane crash in 1942. There is much secrecy surrounding the crash as Blumlein and his colleagues were working on a top-secret government project at the time, developing radar. When he died Alan Blumlein was 38. He received no obituary and still does not appear in Who’s Who.

Here is a very good book about his life and inventions.

 

And a video from the Audio Engineering Society.

Ray Dolby

I have always been impressed by Ray Dolby. Like Steve Jobs and Edwin Land, who himself inspired Jobs, he was a great combination of creative technology and business acumen. He was a member of the Ampex team that perfected the first Quad video tape recorder.

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