Sound is bigger than Music?

AUS220 Week 2

In this week’s class we started working on creating foleys for the matrix scene we chose to work on. Since the majority of the scene is a shootout inside a lobby of a building, we will need to make all the sound sit nicely in that environment. Instead of using a reverb plug-in or a effect unit, we have decided to go for a more natural approach. We planned to play all the sound we have created and play it with speakers in the soundstage of our campus which has roughly similiar dimensions like the lobby in the scene. Therefore, as we have the soundstage booked on week 3, we will have to finish recording and editing most foleys in this week just so we can play it back in the soundstage next week. It was a big day as we have worked quickly and managed to get most sounds done. We have split into two groups to do spot recordings and wild recordings respectively and I have chosen to stay inside the studio to do the foley works while some of my other fellow groupmates go hunting for sounds outside SAE that might sound like gunfire.

The process was interesting together with a bit of stressfulness and bewilderment at the same time as we do not have much of an experience of doing foley works but we have got a tight schedule. A lot of the sound we have done revolve around rustle, movement and general human noises. We have improvised with what we had around us, like using my jacket to recreate the sound of Neo’s fabulous leather coat. We go through the sounds one by one as we have spotted all the timecode in last week’s lesson while roughly editing and mixing on the way.

To response to the statement of “Sound is bigger than music”, I think based on my years of experience as an audience before me having any knowledge about the post production world, this statement is largely true. No one would really pay much attention of the sound or the music unless it is taken away from the visuals. Both sound and the music serve as supporting roles for the storytelling, with sound providing more information for the story while the music usually only sets the mood. Throughout the process of working for this project, my experience echoes a lot with this statement. Essentially, we are trying to make the scene sound genuine and convincing, and music alone could not help us do the trick. Instead, all the sounds would help us as audience to immerse into that scene, that lobby, that shootout, with the audio conveying the information of what the characters are doing.

The day is wrapped up with us joined at an on-set sound recording masterclass by Nick, a working sound recordist that have given us much insight as well as technical advice into this industry we did not know much about. I am particularly interested in his job nature and he has answered a lot of my questions about what normally he would be doing on set and what he is usually expected to deliver. I found his advice on work ethics especially useful in which he gave us insights of how to work well with a big team of various professional. The take home message is to be attentive and always be over-prepared. I found this useful because this is an experience I could only have imagined having and I feel like this would help me out a lot in the real world working in the audio business. The rest of the day is equally fun as we have the chance to finally trying hands-on the film department’s audio gear like boom sticks and wireless mic sets. We are all amazed by how the sound captured by these gears can be so transparent and “honest” and I can not wait until I have the chance to work with a film set.


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