SD101 Processing

This will just be a quick post, with a couple of examples of ways of processing sounds in the aid of sound design. Every so often I get an email from someone asking what plugins they need to be a sound designer (!?) so it is interesting and relevant to mention the two processes below are not new & don’t require any plugins – sound editors and designers have been using these techniques since the 1980s and earlier….

The first one was prompted by a question on SSD about creating monster breaths…. I had to do this for the film Black Sheep, which involved someone mutating into an 8ft tall sheep… We recorded breaths in ADR, with real time pitch shift so the actor could hear the pitch shift, then I took those and played them through my dbx subharmonic synth – I had to crank the gain going into the dbx but it totally nailed the scale & thickened up the breaths adding an octave lower and filling with subharmonics… I printed the sub processing to a new track so we had the original breath, the pitched breath & the sub-processed breath across 3 tracks & could then balance between them. The dbx 120 subharmonic synth has been around since the 1980s and while there are a few plugin that get close to the process (LowEnder, LoAir) there is something about the analogue nature of the dbx120 that is fantastic…

Subbybreaths by timprebble

The second example involves pitch shifting – in these examples I just used SoundMiners pitch control, but ever since the Nagra was invented sound editors have been recording at 15ips and then replaying at 7.5 or 3.75ips to get high quality pitch shift effects…

Pitchy Birds by timprebble

But if you ask me, the most important technique of sound design is selecting or recording interesting source material

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