Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Final Mix

The final sound mix has been completed by Ben Carr at sound production company art4noise.

Animation presents an interesting challenge for a sound designer as they are starting with a completely blank canvas - utter silence. Apart from the pre-recorded actor's voices there are no production sounds at all: no footsteps, no wind, no rustle of shirt sleeves or thud of flesh as it hits the deck. Everything has to be created from scratch and that leaves a lot of leeway in how you approach the tone of your film. Cartoony? Naturalistic? Minimalist? Hyper-Realistic?

For The Last Belle art4noise sound designer Nick Baldock and supervising sound editor Peter Baldock designed our sound with a kind of heightened reality, using 95% natural sounds, but sometimes emphasized in subtle ways or used in unusual contexts. Once they had built up the soundscape every noise had to be placed spatially and then mixed together with the score and the dialogue so that we hear what we need to hear, when we need to hear it.

Sound mixer Ben Carr
With the mix now complete there's one thing I'm certain about: if you're drawing a character falling over, no matter how hard you work on getting the illusion of weight into your animation, it's the correct choice of THUD on the soundtrack that'll make you actually feel the pain...

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