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The sound continuum

The sound continuum

There's a strongly-held belief within the sound design community that the best sound design is often the stuff you don't notice. That means we can assume that what makes bad sound design bad is its inability to suspend the audience's disbelief. That seems more often to be the case than not. You may even be able to recall times where sound has detracted from an immersive experience either in film, on TV or in a live performance. Perhaps it's a car chase where the vehicles sound more hairdryer than V8. A post-apocalyptic wasteland that sounds like it's next to the M25 or a WWII epic where the rifles sound...

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Our slant on sound

Our slant on sound

When we go about our everyday activities, we are often exposed to a fairly limited recurring pallet of sounds. Think of what you might hear around and about the house. For example, the sound of a toaster springing up or a kettle boiling is immediately identifiable, even if you're not in the same room. If you drive, you'll use the sound of your engine to judge when to shift gear. How many people are in the building right now? Odds are, you've got a reasonable idea based on the number of footsteps you've heard, their volume and the direction they're coming from. Couple that with the fact that...

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Sound design; an evolving medium

Sound design; an evolving medium

When people ask me what I do, I tell them I work with sound in film and theatre. The most common response: "Oh, so music then? What do you play?". It's easy to understand why most people make the assumption. People don't see sound within cinema or live performance as a separate entity. Sound isn't seen as a concept that needs to be designed or produced or managed in any way. Surely, sound is just intrinsically linked to the visual performance, delivered on a "what you see is what you get" basis? There are plenty of films I could pull behind-the-scenes clips from to illustrate how this...

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