Jun 292010

It’s time to clean up the edges of the dialogue; remove paper turning, nose whistling (I’m pointing no fingers), and a few of the little gaffs that are bound to happen. It’s meticulous work, but the process of pulling apart the sound wave like it’s salt water taffy is really cool to see. Cubase, the software, zooms in on the sound wave, allowing for precise tinkering. Instead of hacking away at a whole word, you can zoom in on the exact place where the actor popped his P’s (again, man, not judging).

It starts with the compressed sound wave. One inch contains a lot of information. Every change in pitch and timbre is expressed in a line that rises and dips as it follows our voices.


It looks like something from a movie: Evil’s voice recorded by the savvy computer genius in the lab. An Evil voice that has the tendency to pop his P’s, spiking the meter every time he says “Petroleum”. Check out the sound wave on the right; the section where the wave spikes…


But to eliminate the spike and not take out the whole letter P, Cubase needs to zoom in closer and closer until there is just the sound wave for the word Petroleum, then the syllable Pet, and then the letter P.





Notice Cubase has reduced the sound wave into a line where a section can be removed and the ends fused back together to reconnect the wave. It’s like grafting a plant, or pinching play dough together to make a really long snake that stretches from one end of the table to the other. Kind of. Without all the rolling.


Then the only thing left to do is do it again. And again. And again. Did I write meticulous? I meant tedious. In the nicest possible way. Woe, to suffer for art.

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 Posted by at 2:15 pm
Jun 242010

Studio Sound Treatment

Blink if you want to enter. Cool huh? It’s like a scene from 1001 Arabian Nights: the sumptuous fabrics, the gold fixtures, the dozen intricately hand-woven rugs, and the soft pillows beckoning you to sink into their  lush depths. I can just imagine Scheherazade begging for her life from Shahryar … That is if they lived in a refrigerator box near the dumpster behind the Best Buy.

So this is the recording studio. After a few expensive modification of our basement. Thank goodness it’s summer because we’re using every blanket we own to break up the echo. And almost every extra towel. However, empty linen closet aside (actually it’s more of a cheap cotton closet), what we recorded was pure gold. The actors were awesome! And the sound is great considering the humble surroundings. I think the key for breaking up the sound waves was the Moo slippers in the back.

Now to editing Tom Swift and his Motorcycle. But we’re getting closer and closer. Step by step…

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 Posted by at 9:31 pm
Jun 242010

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We have just finished recording

Tom Swift and his Motor-cycle!




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It was fantastic!

The actors all gave amazing performances. Especially considering the long hours! Being that we’re located in the boonies, the trek from the city to country was long, and with everyone’s busy schedule and our desire to have it sound live, like a radio play, we only had a couple days to record. So we pushed deep into the night.



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But the story really came to life! As the adaptor of the novel, I know the story inside and out, yet I listened with bated breath, anxious as Tom Swift battled the villains and foiled their evil plot! I was completely enthralled! Now just to tweak and edit, put in sound effects, and compose music. But no pressure.




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 Posted by at 9:22 pm