August 31, 2013

onelamb said: Is you're dog a Gordon setter?

Nope, he’s a hovawart! They’re the best.

August 31, 2013

untuned-strings said: Do you have any tips for an EQ newbie?

Experiment! You can use this cheat sheet (not mine) to get an idea of what boosting or cutting certain frequencies can do to instruments, voices, and sounds. It really just takes a lot of ‘doing’ to get a feel for it. Use your own tracks or sounds, or download some stems from a band you like and have a go at EQing their instruments or vocal tracks (Radiohead released a few of their songs broken into stems awhile back; I’m sure there are others). 

If we’re talking about music in particular, it’s important to understand that while you can and should practice on individual “soloed” elements (listening only to the guitar in a mix, for example), EQing should almost always be done while listening to at least some of the other elements. This is because the other elements impart their own sonic characteristics, and something that might sound good EQed on it’s own may not sound as you intended in context.

Edit: Here’s another good interactive chart.


August 31, 2013

Here’s Vinny using a leather jacket to do huge wing flaps for a Legend of Korra Book 2 creature. 

This is a good example of how the right prop, combined with a solid performance and some creative recording techniques, can turn an ordinary sound into sound design. 

Please listen on decent speakers or headphones for the greatest effect.

July 20, 2013
Orson and Apollo supervising our last day of Scooby Doo foley recording.

Orson and Apollo supervising our last day of Scooby Doo foley recording.

5:34pm  |   URL:
Filed under: foley dogs 
July 9, 2013

More Korra Book 2 stuff: cape movement for cape-wearing characters, like Tenzin.

July 9, 2013

wynnhygeorht said: I just wanted to say that this is one of the coolest things I've seen in a while. My uncle is a set carpenter and my aunt was a set designer, so I've heard a lot of stories about the movie and tv industry, but I never really heard of foley until I started following you. Since then, I've noticed a lot of little sounds in shows and movies and it makes the experience very cool. It's amazing the stuff you guys do! I honestly think you have one of the coolest jobs in the business.

That’s so cool! One of my goals with this blog is to get people thinking about sound in a new and different way, so if that’s getting through, I’m thrilled. Thanks so much for the message!

July 9, 2013

redyychuu said: This is a mixing-related question. Is it recommended to record foley sounds in mono whilst keeping, let's say, field recordings in stereo? My second question is about panning, is it recommended to mix through headphones or speakers when panning sounds? I'm doing a bit of audio mixing myself (on an amateur level). This is a very interesting blog!

Yes, in general, you’re absolutely right. Most foley recording is done in mono and field recordings in stereo. Even when we use a second mic (usually called a room mic), it’s just to capture some of the room sound which then gets mixed with the close mic and recorded to a single mono track. I have done some stereo foley recording, and the results are pretty cool:

You can really use either headphones or speakers when panning sounds, but speakers will feel more natural when you’re tracking a sound across the screen. If you are using headphones, it helps to know where the sound should hit the screen boundaries; I typically use about 25 - 30 as the screen edge (where 100 is hard right or hard left). That tends to work well for a 16:9 frame size. If you keep that in mind, you should be able to use headphones pretty effectively. 

July 8, 2013

Working on Korra Book 2 today.

Turns out those disposable paper toilet seat covers make great spirit wing sounds. Who knew?

June 27, 2013

moneymanmusicfactory said: What software do you use to record and mix? how much gear do you need? it seems like you'd need a fairly sophisticated studio to do foley.

I use Pro Tools, and it’s pretty much the industry standard for recording, editing, and mixing.

Professional foley stages are very sophisticated. They are sound isolated and quiet, and are often purpose-built for foley in that they have a number of floor surfaces and pits, and some have moveable panels to change the reflectiveness of the room. To get good sounding cement floors, concrete has to be poured several feet down, ideally through the foundation to the dirt. Building great sounding wood floors is not easy either. There are contractors who specialize in constructing foley stages, and good ones can cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

That being said, there is a heck of a lot you can do on your own with a decent mic, either outside or in a quiet room or closet in your house. You can get a good stereo recorder for a few hundred dollars that will allow you to record all sorts of stuff. That’s really all you need to get started. I have the Sony PCM-D50 and it’s great, but there are lots of other choices for far cheaper. I use it all the time when doing personal projects or to pick up a sound that’s missing on a show I’m working on. 

You definitely don’t need thousands of dollars of gear to make great, useable recordings. 

June 21, 2013

quadricfilms said: Can you give us a sneak peak to one of the sounds or a picture or something? I know you can't give us a release date but we are dying here....

I can’t post pictures from Korra Book 2, but if you look back through the blog, you’ll find several posts that have photos or videos of sound elements we’ve used in the Book 2 foley. I promise I’ll add more stuff soon from our work on the show. That’s the best I can do for now!

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