Media Production Mentoring

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Chuck Training - Part 4

Audio Bits

Chuck Opening

I'm not a sound guy. In fact, I'm really bad at sound. Simple cutting? Sure. A few added effects when needed? Okay. A little cheesy looped music? I'll try.

But mixing and fixing just ain't my scene.

I took a one-day audio workshop in college. We were given a CD full of sounds, a 30 second clip and two weeks to edit it together.

Two weeks.

About eight days in, a friend of mine approached me. "How's the project going?"

I shrugged. "I threw something together."

"Oh man," he said. "This thing has me so stressed out. I've already put in about 80 hours. I'm going to try to get in a few more before it's due. I just can't get it quite right."

80 hours? It's a 30 second clip. I didn't care if the majority of my grade depended on this thing, it didn't warrant that kind of time. But while my friend was over-ambitious and so paranoid he'd never be hire-able if he kept up that kind of over-thinking, he made an impression on me that day. If you're really into audio, it can become your life.

So watch the above clip again and try to list the sounds they added in addition to the catchy tune.

  • Noise Maker Clicking
  • Metallic hit
  • Woosh
  • Bullets
  • Zoom Whoosh
  • Pop
  • Move Woosh
  • Slide Woosh
  • Breath
  • Turn Woosh
  • Gun Shot
  • Zing
  • Cardboard Hit
  • Car
  • Another Zing
  • Squealing Tires
  • Car Revving
  • More Tires Squealing
  • Ping Pinks Down the Stairs
  • Zoomp
  • Helicopter
  • Bink
  • Blink
  • "He-nt!" (throw)
  • Whoosh of Shurikens
  • Mew
  • Another Woosh
  • Zip
  • Slow Woosh
  • Clicking of Keys

Approximately one "extra" sound bit every second.

That's crazy. While I doubt it took 80 hours, it had to take time to figure out what kind of sound they wanted, find the right sound in their library (or record it), place it in the timeline and then mix it down.

That's 30 seconds of audio for a quick animation piece.

The world of sound blows my mind. But the more attention to detail--and the more layers to add in--the higher your production value.

Just don't take 80 hours to do it or your project will never get done.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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