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Designing sound for play problem?Please help!!!!
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Sean L
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#1
11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
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Designing sound for play problem?Please help!!!!

There maybe an obvious answer to this-if so apologies in advance-but I am designing the sound for a play, a very low budget play and one of the ideas is to have a constant background of aircon as it relates to the theme and feel of the play.To this background I hope to mix in various other elements as the drama proceeds and then to switch off the air con at the climactic point of the drama, I'm being long winded here but my question is how am i going to create 1hr 's worth of seamless aircon -apart from going out and recording it.
I have some library samples but I cant see how I can loop a sample without the loop points being noticeable and for an hour!!???

plays in 2 weeks any help appreciated
Cheers.
AKA
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11th March 2008
Old 11th March 2008
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AKA
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sounds like a very basic cross-fade issue.
try longer fade times.
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11th March 2008
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crossfade crossfade crossfade....get a part of the audio you think can be crossfaded seemelessly and do it...then multiple it and crossfade till your at your desired length
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11th March 2008
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air conditioning is usually pretty constant. have you tried looping? one minute of it 60 times shouldn't be noticeable.... unless the play is really silent with no stage movement and speech
not even then, i suppose.

there is also a trick you probably know, but just in case you don't - you can try and reverse the sample and crossfade with the original, so you get double the length, and also smoother xfades, if there was some noticeable modulation from the sample beginning to the end.
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11th March 2008
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if you will be at the performance, you can fiddle the eq and volume over time. it will help with your problem, but it can also help the drama.
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11th March 2008
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Sort of related - 25 years ago I did sound design for "Moby Dick Rehearsed" by Orson Wlles at the Old Gloce thater in the round - actuall a square space with audience on all four sides. We had a stereo pair for each side, and I used sailboat and ship creaking SFX thorughout. (From the Evirnmants record series mostly).

The incredbly satisfying thing about it was watching the audience begin to sway back and forth as they got their sealegs under them! And when they stod up for intermission or the end they were still swaying a bit...

You might try the bove suggestions, looping, or just make a long recording of it somewhere. Then you can actively mix it according to the drama of the play - softer sometimes, louder others. When there are dramatic moments you can sneak the volume up and people will feel the pseudo-silence, like those moments in life when suddenly you can hear distant rtraffic or ocean because everyone stopped talking briefly. It can be a very exciting addition to the drama!

Best luck, let us know how it went!

Lou
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11th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
and I used sailboat and ship creaking SFX thorughout.
back when i was in school, i did "the curse of the starving class" by sam shepard with three ambience surround-stems (throughout) and one mono stem that played radio music through the actual boombox on-stage.
that play would be better off without any of that sound, now that i look back
Sean L
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11th March 2008
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Cheers guys, yeah your right gotta crossfade i suppose, wasnt thinkin straight! was also thinking of micing up the hum of the computer in the engineering booth, though this could backfire if anybody moves in there and the fader is up!
will let yis know how it goes
Cheers.
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11th March 2008
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From a design point of view, the interesting thing about constant sound is that it disappears. I did a play where I had crickets playing during the whole 1st act. At one point during the tech rehearsal the director asked, "Where are the crickets?" I thought maybe the tape had run out and I went to the booth, sure enough, the tape was still running. Our brains had blocked out the consistent sound of the crickets. I had to raise the gain, just to hear them again and have them register to the director, and then take them down again to level. You may have to play with the levels of your Air to get it noticed, so that when It's gone, that becomes noticeable too.
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Sean L
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11th March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundboy View Post
From a design point of view, the interesting thing about constant sound is that it disappears. I did a play where I had crickets playing during the whole 1st act. At one point during the tech rehearsal the director asked, "Where are the crickets?" I thought maybe the tape had run out and I went to the booth, sure enough, the tape was still running. Our brains had blocked out the consistent sound of the crickets. I had to raise the gain, just to hear them again and have them register to the director, and then take them down again to level. You may have to play with the levels of your Air to get it noticed, so that when It's gone, that becomes noticeable too.
Interesting that makes sense, I will watch out for that,thanks thumbsup
AKA
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12th March 2008
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Or - you could actually record an air-co for one hour
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1st June 2008
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Air con is usually vey constant sound that does not oscilate.so its a matter of crossfading .Another tip is to reverse every other looped piece of audio .and crossfade into it .cos its a constant sound it will work
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