22 July 2007


Ladies and gents, I am booked.

I'm now ten days into a twenty-two day shoot in and around Portland, Oregon for the movie Trainmaster, directed by Phil Branson.

I'm production sound mixer on my first full feature (I've only day-played before). We're shooting single-system (yeah, I know...), with two Panasonic HVX-200's, utilizing both P2 and Firestore hard drives.

It's long days in hot rooms with sweaty people. Luckily, everyone's cool and I have an awesome boom op in the form of Creed Spencer. Actually having someone who is more of a teammate rather than an intern has made an incredible difference in the efficiency and quality of the work that we've been able to produce.

Plus, I finally got my kit.

Things happened in a hurry. I was asked to come on board about ten days before we started shooting, so I had to make it all happen post-haste. Since I'd been refining my wish list for the past two years, it was only a matter of calling in the order and getting it shipped in time. As it turned out, I used the kit for the first time on the first day of shooting (after having diligently tested everything at home the night before, natch:). A full review of each piece will be forth coming sometime after we finish.

This is what we're working with:

Sound Devices 442 mixer
Sennheiser G2 Evolution wireless
Countryman B3 lav mics
K-tek boom pole
Rycote S-Series suspension
Petrol PEGZ-1F audio bag
AKG Blueline modular mic system with SE-300b amp body, CK-93 hyper-cardioid capsule, and CK-98 short shotgun capsule

We're slated to wrap in early August. Until then, quiet on set. :)


04 July 2007

Two Snaps Up.

Happy 4th, y'all (and I'm sure that you're all wearing hearing protection with those fireworks, right?:).

Today's post is about soundsnap.com, a new website that offers free sound effects and music loops for download, as well as creating an online community for artists to upload and share their own recordings.

From the website:
What is Soundsnap?

Soundsnap is the best platform to find and share free sound effects and loops- legally. It is a collection of original sounds made or recorded by its users, and not songs or sound FX found on commercial libraries or sample CD's.

What Soundsnap is NOT:

* An alternative to Myspace, Limewire or BitTorrent.

* A place to upload your band's songs or your favourite mp3's. Soundsnap is only for sound effects and loops.

* A place you can upload or find sounds from commercial libraries. All sounds here are original- made or recorded by its users.

Soundsnap is the brainchild of 25 year old Tasos Frantzolas, a sound designer and musician who recently returned to his home country of Greece to launch the website.

From Creative Cow News:
He started Soundsnap in order to fulfill a need for a library of high quality, on-demand free sounds. He gathered a talented team of contributing sound designers, producers, web designers and developers to start the Soundsnap community.

I've covered one other open-source SFX website before, but Soundsnap takes things a bit further, wrapping everything in a very pleasant AJAX-y interface, complete with very high-quality Flash previews of each sound. For download, MP3 is offered alongside uncompressed PCM, in either WAV or AIFF format, depending.

Along with the slick visuals, Soundsnap is very intuitive and easy to use. Samples are tagged, allowing quick keyword search, as well as more traditional categories, such as Human, Film and Comic FX, and Science Fiction. There's even a tag cloud, showing quantities of samples relative to one another.

As I've said before, there's often no substitute for a professionally recorded and produced FX library. But for those on a budget, or just on the lookout for something new and fresh, I heartily recommend giving Soundsnap a try.

Link to soundsnap.com.
Link to Creative Cow News article.

01 July 2007

Free Guide to Audio Meters

Via ProSoundNews Online Daily: DK-Technologies Debuts Audio Metering Guide.


Have you ever wondered why engineers measure audio levels? Or why they use the dB scale? Or what Leq and Dynamic Scales are?

Audio Levels and Readings offers engineers a basic insight into the world of audio levels and metering and covers many topics, from the basics such as what is an audio signal and how does one measure level, through to more complex issues such as Loudness, A-Weighting and how analog levels relate to digital scales.

Link to DK-Technologies website with download; direct link to PDF.