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Cutting helicopters Spatial Processor Plugins
Old 3rd February 2019
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
maria's Avatar
 

Arrow Cutting helicopters

I was wondering if anyone has any tips on tracklaying helicopters for an action film.

I love hearing how different editors approach the sound of helicopters in recent films.

Any ideas or suggestions would be amazing!

Cheers
Old 3rd February 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maria View Post
I was wondering if anyone has any tips on tracklaying helicopters for an action film.

I love hearing how different editors approach the sound of helicopters in recent films.

Any ideas or suggestions would be amazing!

Cheers
What have you tried to far and where are you struggling?
The question is a bit broad.
Old 4th February 2019
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
maria's Avatar
 

Thanks Apple Q that’s a good point.

I guess I’m more fascinated then struggling.

I’m interested in layering and the different approach people take. Taste and genre are a big part of course. I’m interested in the creative approach sound designers take more then the libraries or recording they use but recommendations are great too. I personally really like the Recordist’s libraries.

One of the things that I had fun with was to create high pitched blade sounds with a synth and then match the speed with real blade sounds on a sampler. I also used a turbine sound from an electric vehicle to give the sense of going up and down.
Old 4th February 2019
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

There‘s some nice talk about the helicopter chase sequence.

https://www.asoundeffect.com/mission...fallout-sound/
Old 5th February 2019
  #5
I was present for a surround mix session that included a helicopter overhead flyby. Very complicated scenario taking place on the ground and in the air and the mix engineer was taxed to the limit. When we finished up he took us all out for lunch. A helicopter makes very different sounds when it is in the distance, closer, over head and when leaving and a lot has to do with the height of the helicopter, the type of helicopter and the distance from the ground and the Doppler effect. I was a copilot a few times on a Huey when I was in the Army and I recorded some of it with my trusty Uher 4000 Report-L tape recorder. I wish I had saved those tapes. Best of luck on the mix-down.
Old 5th February 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
NReichman's Avatar
 

Any discussion on this topic without first screening Apocalypse Now is pointless. Assuming that's been done, this conversation can continue.
Old 5th February 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NReichman View Post
Any discussion on this topic without first screening Apocalypse Now is pointless. Assuming that's been done, this conversation can continue.
So you mean just add a Tsunami of music and don't bother with the helicopters?

YouTube

Not much to hear in there ;-)
Old 5th February 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

The opening of the movie has a great helicopter fly by/over. I am assuming that is what the poster was referring to.

Randall


Quote:
Originally Posted by apple-q View Post
So you mean just add a Tsunami of music and don't bother with the helicopters?

YouTube

Not much to hear in there ;-)
Old 5th February 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 

"redux" might have more fly bys in the added surfboard footage.
Old 9th February 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
pethenis's Avatar
 

Check out this page: Walter Murch - Transom

It has some interesting premix splits, one of them is a “helicopters only” split of Apocalypse Now
Old 10th February 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NReichman View Post
Any discussion on this topic without first screening Apocalypse Now is pointless. Assuming that's been done, this conversation can continue.
I'll never forget seeing that in the cinema when it came out and hearing the helicopters fly off to the back of the theater. It was the first time any of us had ever heard surround sound, and it was mind-bending.
Old 11th February 2019
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maria View Post
I guess I’m more fascinated then struggling.
I share your fascination. Here you can check out a very detailed and impressive approach from the gaming side.

EA DICE - DESIGNINGSOUND.ORG - Mr.President Part 1 of 2 on Vimeo

… Mr. President!!! … (Gen 3 Helicopter Implementation in Frostbite/Battlefield 4)
Old 21st February 2019
  #13
Gear Nut
 

I don´t have much wisdom to share on this topic, but I can point to a real masterclass in helicopters. I rewatched Arrival last night in one of the best cinemas in Oslo. Man, those helicopters are gorgeous. I would rank them as even more impressive than Apocalypse now actually. Both in terms of sonic quality, but also the poectic/narrative addition to the film. Not that this is a competition or anything.
Old 21st February 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tha_lode View Post
I don´t have much wisdom to share on this topic, but I can point to a real masterclass in helicopters. I rewatched Arrival last night in one of the best cinemas in Oslo. Man, those helicopters are gorgeous. I would rank them as even more impressive than Apocalypse now actually. Both in terms of sonic quality, but also the poectic/narrative addition to the film. Not that this is a competition or anything.
there is another contender in this 'competition': the helicopter string quartet by Karlheinz Stockhausen - also 'impressive', yet on a much different level...

(i got no experience with cutting helicopters but some with jets: a harrier taking off which i had to measure many years ago is still the loudest thing i ever experienced! and last summer at an airshow, i simply didn't have enough rig for the gig to compete with a f/a-18...)
Old 1st March 2019
  #15
I start off with a decent library sound which broadly describes the perspective and movement of the heli. Then I pull in designed constant blade chops/thumps and warp into sync with the 1st heli on elastic audio tracks.
Old 13th March 2019
  #16
Gear Guru
 
charles maynes's Avatar
 

I cut a lot of helicopter sequences on the CBS show Seal Team-

usually the best place to start is with good material-
Old 13th March 2019
  #17
I've only cut helicopters once or twice, but I'm wondering how often people end up layering. I found that when designing one sequence in particular, I wasn't getting quite the right beef from a single sound, but layering presented problems because the blades (the "whup-whup" bit, I don't know what we call that) would need to be sync'd up and wouldn't always work. Feel like I was maybe going about that in a silly way.

The only layering I could do easily and not feel dumb about was when adding a general machine roar on top of the blades (mostly for interior/close shots). I did notice that much like car action scenes, the trick was to really play the perspectives for getting variety and a sense of forward momentum.

I'm sure having some decent materials is really the key, I was needing to kind of Frankenstein stuff together from a few general SI/HE sets.
Old 14th March 2019
  #18
Gear Guru
 
charles maynes's Avatar
 

in general you probably want to have something pretty close to the sound of the actual helicopters on screen- as they sound pretty different- the classic "Apocalyse Now" Huey sound is awesome, but Huey's for the most part dont always sound like that, and military birds like the Apache, Blackhawk and Chinooks sound NOTHING like those- a great reference is youtube to hear the general sound of the chopper you might be cutting and trying to match material to that-

beyond the accuracy point, a few things to think of is one, dialog- and how it is being presented in flight- if the dialog is over comms, you can pretty much use anything- if it is ADR'd, it will be pretty important to have the actors REALLY projecting on the helicopter, because they are REALLY loud- especially if the doors are open-

beyond that use pass bys in separate tracks from your steadies, and I would suggest having a turbine whine layer that is independent from the air beating sound.
Old 14th March 2019
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Andrew Mottl's Avatar
 

Just thinking, in order to get the tempo right on newly created sounds (to be rhythmic) you could either try sidechained expanders or similar, or an envelope following tool like say Envy from thecargocult. (which is nice as you can analyze one sound and render the dynamic info onto another, for added layers that chop in the same way)
Envy should allow you to get timbre changes transferred too.
Old 26th March 2019
  #20
Deleted 7f9cade
Guest
Here are three big ones you want to keep in mind. I have recorded helicopters in the field and regularly keeps up with aerospace engineering, jets, and helicopters. Have seen most American, European, and Russian designs fly in person at airshows.

1. Two blades vs four blades. Different sounds. All Vietnam era choppers like the Huey and Cobra are two bladed and produce a unique sonic signature. More modern helicopters like the black hawk or Apache have four blades. This makes the helicopter sound a little more like a airplane propeller and "smoother". Two bladed designs have more "chop" sound. "hence chopper"

2. Civilian vs Military. Military choppers will always be louder and more raunchy. No SPL limit for military aircraft. Civilian is quieter. Smoother. Its still a helicopter sound its plenty loud, but less so than military. Beginning of Jurassic Park when they are flying to the island is a great example of a well designed civilian helicopter sound. Black hawk down is dead on with the sound of the black hawk.

3. Don't forget the tail rotor. The sound of a helicopter is the sum of both the main rotor and the tail rotor. Tail rotor is higher pitched.

Starting with the first layer of the helicopter material then adding a "blades" and "engine" layer on top can give you good control over the sound of the jet engine that powers the blades and the sound of the blades themselves. Some mechanical cranking tucked underneath can work sometimes. Majority of helicopters also have two jet turbines. Layering two turbine sounds pitched slightly off from each other can work great too.

Last edited by Deleted 7f9cade; 26th March 2019 at 03:01 AM..
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