You know you’re a sound designer

… when you can’t bring yourself to assemble the kitset garden wheelbarrow you bought,
because the individual components sound so good!


Detritus 293

“Mew is an interactive sound piece. As you walk towards the curious and gawkish object, it begins to emit a soft purring sound. If you stroke the fur, it will emit distorted meow sounds that are manipulated by the direction your hand moves. Pushing on the object will also alter the sounds, but pressing too hard will make Mew hiss.”


> Q&A with True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto (thanks Brita) Also an interview with T Bone Burnett about the music in the series


love the haircuts!


> Sound artist Susan Philipsz puts the FBI under surveillance


more info


> Interview with Harold Budd (thanks Peter)



> Oblique Strategies for Max for live



> well, thats Xmas presents sorted for next year!


> A basic Space Echo maintenance guide


> tumblr: Composers doing normal shit


more info


> Voices vs fingerprints? (thanks Guy)


> Interesting idea: a studio with a Disklavier offering to record your piano MIDI, for real!


“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not eliminating our weaknesses.” – Marilyn vos Savant


more info


> Interview with very recent Oscar winning composer for Gravity, Steven Price


(thanks Jennifer)


> Great interview with Morton Subotnick (thanks John)


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Mana Island

Mana Island, shot yesterday Thursday 27th February with Canon 5DmkIII & EF100-400 lens

Mana Island

Vehicle Recording

As soon as the summer insects stop their racket I am planning to launch a new series of vehicle sound libraries over at HISSandaROAR, so while I am in preparation mode I am busy doing some research & planning. So if you have an interest in the results, then now is a good time to have some input: there is a very quick questionaire here – help me help you?


Detritus 292

> wow – super vivid photos – thanks science! (love the Blue Danube vinyl macro shot!)


> Lexicon 480L impulse responses, from the guy who actually captured them (thanks!)


great ideas, just a shame the music isn’t my cup of tea… (thanks Paul!)


> jam with Chrome? (thanks Irena)


(thanks Peter!)
BTW the last audience question @01.21.35 is valuable for everyone: What is your selection process in choosing projects to invest your time in?


> candidate for best tumblr ever: Experimental Music on Children’s TV (no wonder we all turned out so weird!)


> sound art bibliography at Monoskop


> useful solutions to making yourself work when you just don’t want to


> interesting VST plugin for distancing sounds: Proximity


> Bluesky updated their 2.1 and 5.1 audio line up files


> fascinating to see the actual income from a working musician & composer; iTunes vs Bandcamp vs Amazon vs Spotify vs Youtube


> PDF: The Impact of Clock Jitter on MIDI synced DAWs


> Brian Eno & Karl Hyde collaborating on a new album!



> Congrats to the guys for releasing their Free/Kickstarter funded Firearms Sound FX Library – get a copy here (3GB download/6.3GB uncompressed) – just be aware there is some file renaming to be done, as they used generic filenames eg A01.wav, A02.wav etc and all the info about the gun & action is in a spreadsheet!?! I’m sure there are people with more experience than I with scripted file renaming, but I got it done without much manual work – how would you do it?
I used ABetterFinderRename and imported a text file created from the spreadsheet (with the “/” cleaned/removed from the file descriptions) – this process is described for ABetterFinderRename here: Renaming with File Lists


> stream Alexandre Desplats score to upcoming The Grand Budapest Hotel



> so Avid – the rise & fall – one has to wonder if the business model that let Digidesign/Avid dominate a market, has finally reached its end. The only reason I say this, is due to thinking about market saturation. Is there a never ending demand for big expensive hardware based ProTools setups?

What allowed Digidesign to capture that market early on, was due to providing hardware that enabled slow/more primitive computer hardware to do things it couldn’t natively. But other than in comparatively rare situations that doesn’t apply any more. Same with Avids Media Composer – remember when they cost hundreds of thousands of dollars?
For anyone except very large companies with deep pockets, it is a bitter pill to swallow to write off a large investment & replace expensive hardware just to be on the next round of development. If I felt there was a significant incentive it might be different, but what incentive could there be?

It is an especially hard pill to swallow when Avid try to force our hands by terminating compatibility with perfectly functioning hardware, especially when the software associated with that new version isn’t rock solid – every time I read about video playback problems etc in PT11 it reinforces my decision to ignore PT11… And effectively Avid. They basically forced my hand to downgrade my relationship with them as a company.

What is the likely outcome? Delisting would be a step in the right direction (i’m sure someone got rich off listing, unwise acquisitions & exiting, but it sure didn’t help their customers) But will it take something more radical than that to shed their own legacy? When Digidesign started they were visionaries, but that simply isn’t their role any more – their market must have plateaued quite a while ago & how they scale back down to be sustainable may well be impossible…. is it the end of days for Avid? & ProTools?


CAS Journal – Andy Nelson

The latest CAS journal (2014 Winter) is now online and one part I highly reccomend all sound editors & designers read is an interview by Karol Urban with re-recording mixer Andy Nelson, motivated by his receiving the CAS Career Achievement Award. Andy is full of sage advice, and it is fascinating to read of his approach & philosophy to film mixes, especially towards the end of the interview.

CAS Journal

The issue also has an invaluable article on dub stage etiquette & relationships, as well as handy advice as to gauging potential issues (& allocating time accordingly) via the music editor.
Have a read here

CAS Journal

But I also didn’t realise all past issues of the CAS journal are available online here

Detritus 291

video – Kijek/Adamski, audio – Grzegorz Mańko, making of


> working remotely? some invaluable tips (although having to have a chat app running at all times sounds like a permanent distraction. I used to have ichat running all day, to be available to talk to other people working on current film project, but I grew to hate it – its basically a distraction… and I am more productive via monotasking)


> Short films are such fun to work on, but this is interesting re Oscars & short films this year


> interesting new platform & model for supporting artists, musicians, film makers & other content creators Patreon (thank Rene)




> ever wondered why the drummer in The Muppets was called animal? Science, that’s why (thanks Michael!)


> Johnny Greenwood and modes of limited transposition


> Fascinating read: attempting to find the source of the ska (& later reggae) chop on the offbeat


> great photo series, of grandparents & their grandkids side by side… but then they swap clothes


> Interesting chord explorer Max for LIVE plug





Scattered Light 106


looking for the right note?
shot Feb 19th with Canon 5DmkIII and 100mm macro lens