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Approach to sound design
Old 2nd July 2016
  #1
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robotunes's Avatar
Approach to sound design

Thanks for doing this Q&A.

When designing a sound in isolation (i.e., separate from a mix), what's your roadmap for getting to the sound that's in your head?
Old 17th July 2016
  #2
mt3
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Your Fave Examples of Mix Animation

I really dig your general placement and movement of sounds in your mixes. Cinematic isn't accurate to describe it, but it's at that level sans the sterility that tends to infect many film productions.
What examples/influences can you share for the animations and movements found in your compositions? Also, do you have an explicit philosophy for such things?
Old 4th August 2016
  #3
< questions merged into one thread >
Old 16th August 2016
  #4
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@ robotunes thanks for the message here. I never approach making sounds in my head the same way. Usually I will try a plethora of different options and techniques. First I will try sampling sounds if there is a need to have an acoustic or natural element. Then next I will create additional layers around the sound, usually with analog or digital synthesis/effects. Other times I might try doing it with synthesis alone, in either a software virtual instrument or with hardware.

I usually go on a hunting spree to see what is working best. Sometimes I might build a quick patch in Reaktor or Max, and design something from the ground up is another approach. I have done this many times if its a particular sound that I know would be difficult to achieve with other techniques, this is often the best way to get exactly what you want. :-)

There really isn't a right or wrong way in that I try almost everything to get what I am looking for. Sometimes I get it right off the bat, other times I struggle to get what I am looking for, and get something that is fairly close. Usually through one of these methods I get something that is useable for a project.
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Old 16th August 2016
  #5
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@ mt3 thanks for the message here. I have been influenced by a lot of early and recent Electro Acoustic music, which to me always has reminded me how you can spatialize sounds within in a mix. The first record to introduce me to this idea was Stockhausen's "Kontakte" The title of the work “refers both to contacts between instrumental and electronic sound groups and to contacts between self-sufficient, strongly characterized moments. In the case of four-channel loudspeaker reproduction, it also refers to contacts between various forms of spatial movement”.

I was really intrigued by this idea of moving sounds around in a stereo space. I began adopting these methods early on with my own compositions. I was very lucky to attend one of Stockhausen's concerts while he was alive. It was in Barcelona Spain while playing at the Sonar festival in 2002 I believe. He was performing the piece HYMNEN, a 2 hour quadraphonic performance based on the national anthems of the world. I remember sitting in the theater listening to the sound textures, and detailed modulations of signals moving over my head and around the room. I was completely blown away by how 3 dimensional the experience was. It really made me think about how I could be utilizing some of these techniques within my own works. I soon purchased a 5.1 surround system for my studio and began experimenting with these ideas. I have since tried to incorporate a sense of movement with all my sounds in my compositions, as I think it really adds this extra layer of dimensionally. :-)
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