Sound & Sound design



The definition; Sound is a stream of pressure variations in the air.
From 1000 - 4000 Hz is the area of which our hearing as human beings is at the best. We describe frequencies as sound by either desibel or volume.

  • The pain threshold for the human ear is at - 120 decibels
  • There are a lot of different aspects to think about when, performing, recording, playing sound.
  • A room´s proportions and size, as well as design, to not forget about how angles of walls breaks up the sound, and how the things, such as furniture, and in general the room´s content affects the sound. 
  • This is why music studios, concert halls, and venues are designed the way they are. With soft fabric-covered cases on the walls, combining both soft and hard surfaces, stairs or hollow ceilings in concert venues. It has all thoroughly been thought about and considered when constructing the building or studio. 
  • We operate with mainly two sampling frequencies when it comes to sound; 44.1 KHz (Kilo hertz) and 48 KHz. 
  • There is only one of these that are used to work with in film, which is 48 KHz because this number adds up with 24 fps (frames per second). Which originates from when they first started putting film and sound together back in the days, when they filmed on film - 24 fps.

// sound waves and how the particles of sound and vibrations travels through the air to our ears: //

Important elements in sound are voice, environment sound, effect sound, and music.

- EPDE - 
Estimates - what to come, what will we hear about.
Presentation - presenting the main topic, main sound.
Development - the development of the topic/action, what happens next.
Ending - round up and ending.

There are two main types of microphones, dynamic and condenser microphones. The condenser microphone is powered by an electrical voltage, to be able to function - this voltage is called phantom power and is usually at +48 volt.

Microphones have different pickup patterns, which is always a good thing to remember and consider when recording sound. One pattern might for example: suit a swimming hall better than the other, depending on whether you want to record the sound of just a swimmer in the water, or all the people talking and yelling in the hall.

These are the four different pickup patterns a microphone can have;

Digital News Production
As the sound set engineer and sound designer of our production, it was important for me to make sure that we would get the best out of the sound as we could. First of all, I requested the sound equipment I felt would fit our production, and we all agreed one what to actually book out.

We wanted to have a clip mic "cardioid" to record our presenter and contributor, as well as we wanted a location sound kit with zoom and +48 "cardioid" condenser microphone and additionally a Rode mic "omnidirectional" to mount on top of one of the DSLR´s.

  • I also had to think about the room we were filming in, which was the Lecture room right next to the baseroom. We stacked all the chairs in one end of the room, which left the room with a bit of echo and empty sound. 
  • For the interview, we carried in the couch from the base room as well as two tables,  some plants and a couple of cushions. And altogether when we had set up the camera equipment and lights, plus the amount of people in the room, five, we managed to make the room sound nice. Not to empty and not too full. 
  • For the green screen shoot, we were in the same room, and also stacked the chairs in the other end of the room. This time the massive green screen blanket and all the light equipment plus camera and crew helped to make the room sound authentic. 
  • We had some issues one of the first shooting days with the clip mic, and got some help from Ferg to find the right channel for the mic to connect to. And from there on it went really well.
  • In post some of these recordings could have a tendency to peak a little if the person spoke too loudly, but we have still managed to make it work. I have learned until next time, how to check the clip mic settings properly and are more confident in being able to source out the issue if it were to happen again. 
  • With sound, as my former sound teacher thought me "shit in - shit out", so you always have to do your best to get good sound while you are there recording. If it sounds shit while recording, it will sound shit in post, and you most likely will not be able to fix it. 

Sound design:

The definition; Sound design is the eastethic completed and put together sound image in film and/or theater. It consists of creating the whole sound universe for the particular play or film and storyline, either by the use of sound effects for huge explosions. Or subtle sounds to underpin and enhance the mood and feelings.

  • A sound designer manages the editing of sound and effects in post-production but does often also start their work at the same time as other sound editors. 
  • The main task for a sound designer is to notice and identify the three main sound effects that are needed. 
  • They use synthesizers, samplers and audio lup-ins to manipulate and edit the original recordings to achieve the sounds and effects they need. 
  • The final mix is when all the different aspects of the sound universe come together at the end to fulfill the sound image. Consisting of; dialogue, automated dialogue replacement, foley, atmosphere, music and special effects tracks are blended together.

Diegetic sound

Another term for diegetic sound is actual sound  
    Diegesis is a Greek word for "recounted story" 
    The film's diegesis is the total world of the story action  
- Any sound presented as originated from the source within the film´s world and universe.
- The source is basically who or what actually makes the sound we see on screen, so for example, a person speaking, a dog barking, a dishwasher rumbling - we hear what we see.
- It can however, be either on or off screen depending on whether its source is within the frame or outside the frame.

Non-diegetic sound

Another term for non-diegetic sound is commentary sound. 

- Non-diegetic sound where the source of any sound can be heard by the audience, but not by the characters on screen themselves.
- Non-direct sound, as for example background music is a prime example.
- Basically, we can say the non-diegetic sound is sounds that do not naturally belong in the true and natural sound universe.
- However it does contribute to make the film and sound universe whole and complete.

Digital News Production
As the sound designer for our project, it has been important to think about sound effects, music, as well as both diegetic - and non-diegetic sound to be able to build the sound universe to match our project.

When we all sat down and wrote the script for the production, we added in different voice references to viral videos or sensations. As well as we planned ahead for future sound effects, as we had to think about how these would play a big part in our production.

  • When we came to post we pretty much had the sound effects lined up, and planned where which of them would go where. 
  • Everyone has chipped in and thrown different ideas on the table, as to what will work where, and what will sound good. 
  • We took on board the feedback we got, as to make sure levels between music and dialogue will be correct and that one of them will not out power the other - and make the audience lose focus.
  • Particularly for this production, the effects, music and whole sound universe plays a big part - as it is a fast and up to date paced piece wich has to contain sound relevant to topics and characters. 

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