Archive for December, 2008

Adventures on the Wacky Worm

Day three of the sound library adventure led us, appropriately enough, to Adventure Landing in Jacksonville, Florida.  We needed a roller coaster sound, and what better way to get a roller coaster sound than by recording a roller coaster?  The folks at Adventure Landing were amazingly cool about the whole recording process.  We got there early enough so that no other patrons were wanting to ride their coaster, and they let us take advantage of the whole place…. on the house!

The in-house coaster at Adventure Landing is the Wacky Worm.  Although it may not look like much, and indeed we are going for a massive, scream-inducing coaster, the sounds we got from this ride sound very big and thrill-inducing.  The size of this small operation may have been to our advantage even, due to the close proximity we were allowed.

dsc_0057There was literally no place on the tracks that we were not able to record with the help of a short boom pole and a Neumann shotgun mic.

dsc_0014Some of the best sounds came from the PZM stereo mic:

dsc_0031This next one created some particularly interesting sounds, although the vibrating metal got suprisingly violent to Brandon’s ears.

dsc_00383Here is our tour guide and super cool Wacky Worm conductor.  We were given free reign to explore the entire Adventure Landing operation.

dsc_0024Amazing what you can do with a couple of mics, a Sound Device field recorder and a Wacky Worm.


How to Build a Transformer

On the second day of the commercial sound design, the task was to build the sound of a row of chairs transforming into a roller coaster (as I said in the previous post, this commercial is a tad outrageous).  Now, I was a fan of the Transformers cartoons as much as any other kid currently between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five years old.  But I didn’t want our transformer to borrow from the synth cheese that was so relished in the eighties.  So we set out to record a bunch of different moving parts, as many as we could think of, so that when put together, our transforming row of chairs/roller coaster would seem “realistic”.

dsc_0773The different velocities of all the machines we recorded had some interesting effects.  Same goes for moving the machines back and forth across the mic.

dsc_0778Below was the highlight of the day.  I have no idea the make or year of this beauty, but a vintage projector gave us a plethora of interesting transforming sounds.

dsc_0767And here is Brandon and his pal the Icon taking all of it in:

dsc_07821Some intense editing needs to happen first, but a transforming row of chairs/roller coaster will soon emerge.

The Wrecking Crew of Sound Design

I have recently begun preparations for the sound design of a television commercial.  The company will remain undisclosed at this time, but the plot of the fifty second slot is outrageous and, thankfully, calls for some ridiculous sound design.  Trains, zombies, rock bands, and more will be somehow thrown together in under a minute.

Today is the first day of the project, and my crew of three brave designers (myself, Brandon Jiaconia, and Ana Cetina) started building up a sound library.  The first sound effect on the list: The sound of a train wrecking through the wall of a recording studio.

The first step was to go gather some props:img042

This is Brandon and I, nearly, at our most scavernous.


Our budget pretty much allowed for whatever we could find in the dumpster.  So we picked up the best looking scraps that three different Savannah dumpsters had to offer and went on back to the studio.

Complete debauchery followed.

Here is Brandon and I beginning our mess:


And here is Ana and I enjoying the after math (before the clean up):


That’s going to be all I share for now.  Come back each day for some sound samples and some more journal entries as we knock out some of the funnest sound design I have ever gotten to participate in.