Tag Archives: Audio Post Production

Win 200+ High-Quality Sound FX Libraries

For all of you guys out there into post-production, Sonniss.com now have over $8000 worth of sound libraries to give away (204 in total containing nearly 200GB of files) – all royalty-free with commercial usage rights.

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1C9HUzu

Simply enter your details in the boxes provided and 2 lucky winners will be randomly selected in 27 days from now.

If you have any questions about this competition please email timothy@sonniss.com for more details.

You can check the sound libraries here.

You can check the competition here.

Good Luck!


10 Weirdest Origins Of Classic Science Fiction Sound Effects

Nowadays, when people want to add a sound effect to a movie, they mostly just pull up a digital archive, choose a sound, and drag and drop. But in the pre-digital age, people created sounds using whatever objects were close to hand. Here are the 10 most unusual sources for your favorite sound effects.

1) Lightsabers

The sound designer for Star Wars was Ben Burtt, whose name is synonymous with creative and practical sound design. The entire Star Wars movie catalog is full of outside-the-box sound effects — including the most unmistakable sound of all.

The lightsaber’s familiar and distinctive hum, which we all have imitated while wielding a cardboard gift wrap tube, was created by a TV and a 35mm projector. Explains Burtt:

The lightsaber was, in fact, the very first sound I created for A New Hope. Inspired by the McQuarrie concept paintings, I remembered a sound of an interlock motor on the old film projectors at the USC Cinema Department (I had been a projectionist there). The motors made a musical “hum” which I felt immediately would complement the image in the painting. I recorded that motor, and a few days later I had a broken microphone cable that caused my recorder to accidentally pick up the buzz from the back of my TV picture tube. I recorded that buzz, and mixed it with the hum of the projector motor. Together these sounds became the basis for all the lightsabers.”

You can watch the video above to find out more.

10 Weirdest Origins Of Classic Science Fiction Sound Effects

2) The Green Death Ray from The War of the Worlds

The 1953 version of H.G. Wells’ classic tale of alien invasion had an arresting sound effect when the aliens unleashed their green wing-tip death ray. And this chilling sound was created by hitting a high-tension wire (like on an antenna tower) with a hammer. This same technique is used to create the iconic “pew pew pew” sound of the blasters in Star Wars. And many sources claim the same technique — hitting a wire with a hammer — was used for the photon torpedoes in Star Trek.

10 Weirdest Origins Of Classic Science Fiction Sound Effects

3) Phasers in Star Trek: The Original Series

The Death Ray wasn’t the only innovative sound effect in the 1953 War of the Worlds — the Martian “heat ray” also had a surprising source. According to a 1953 article by producer George Pal, The War of the Worlds’ Martian heat-ray sound was produced when sound designers played three electric guitars backwards and added some harp. And according to Ben Burtt (who also worked on Star Trek Into Darkness) the sound designers who worked on the original Star Trek were huge fans of the 1953 War of the Worlds adaptation, because whenever a phaser is fired in Star Trek, you’re hearing the same backwards guitar and harp sound.

4) The Martian Scream

Back to War of the Worlds — in that same article, Pal talks about how the Martian scream sound was produced:

How would a Martian scream sound? The boys thought a long time on that one. Finally they arrived at the unusual conclusion of scraping dry ice across a contact microphone and combining it with a woman’s high scream recorded backwards. It was the weirdest sound anyone has yet come up with for one of my pictures.

10 Weirdest Origins Of Classic Science Fiction Sound Effects

5) The Predator’s Heartbeat

Despite the Predator’s lack of empathy, sound designers spent a lot of time giving him a heart:

[The sound when the viewers are in “Predator Vision” mode] is the Predator heartbeat. I found an old glass flower vase with a very wide mouth. I put some water and a natural sponge inside it. John P. and I talked about how Predator should have a human-like heartbeat, but with something strange and alien in the rhythm. We decided maybe he had more ventricles than humans, or something.

Ezra Dweck helped me record the sponges squishing in odd rhythms. We gave that tape to John P. to play with. He processed and tweaked, and he would have had to edit my terrible sense of rhythm. So those “Predator heartbeat” tracks went into the library.

10 Weirdest Origins Of Classic Science Fiction Sound Effects

6) Indiana Jones’ Boulder Dash

The famous boulder chase scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, as enthralling and grandiose as it is, was actually just the sound editor’s Honda Civic rolling down the driveway.

10 Weirdest Origins Of Classic Science Fiction Sound Effects

7) The T-1000’s Jail Escape

That scene where the T-1000 walks through the bars of a jail cell? According to Oscar winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom, this effect was achieved with simply the sound of dog food being slowly sucked out of the can.

8) A Terminator’s Skull Crush

And there was actually more food inspired sound effects involved in this movie. In the scene where the viewers survey the damage done by a nuclear attack in the year 2029, the camera slowly pans to a close up of a skull. A robotic Terminator foot promptly smashes it. That smash you hear is a pistachio nut being destroyed by metal plating. Check out the video above for more great stuff, including how the effects were made for the classic scene where the T-1000 freezes, melts, and reforms.

9) The Jet Motorcycles in THX 1138

This movie featured both a jet car and a jet motorcycle. Unsurprisingly enough the jet car sound effects come from, well, a jet. Sound designer Walter Murch, however, wanted the motorcycles to have a different pitch so that the audience could differentiate between the two vehicles. What the audience hears as the bikes scream passed is, well, people screaming. He recorded 4 women screaming in a bathroom to achieve this sound.

10 Weirdest Origins Of Classic Science Fiction Sound Effects

10) The Marshmen in Doctor Who

Classic Doctor Who is full of innovative sound design — most fans of the show already know that the dematerialization sound of the Doctor’s time machine, the TARDIS, was created when sound designer Brian Hodgson rubbed his house keys back and forth on the strings of a broken piano. But the BBC Radiophonic Workshop had lots of tricks up its sleeve. When sound designer Dick Mills needed the cries of the Marshmen in the episode “Full Circle,” he went to a pig farm and recorded the cries of the pigs, slowed down to sound unearthly. Also, the sound of the Rutan monster in “Horror of Fang Rock” is “Dick’s fist churning in a tub of Swarfega.”

Source: http://io9.com/

Link to original article: http://bit.ly/1F0b7Mw

Hooray #Survey Time!

Hello there!

I am writing a report on Post Production in which I am studying several sound effect purposes and sound design elements. I am researching the background of sound design in film, and I am doing a comparison of two movies: King Kong 1933 and King Kong 2005. The report is performing an analysis on the sound design elements of the movies and is comparing techniques and technologies used in both films. This way, a clear demonstration of the progress of audio manipulation in the industry through time will be achieved.

With this survey, which I urge you to take, I can collect the data I need for my report. It only takes 5 minutes, and I promise you it’s really fun if you are into movies! Enjoy!

Hit the survey Icon to begin!


EDIT: This survey has been now closed. A great thank you for all of you who took part.

Star Trek Vs Gravity Sound Design

While doing a bit of research for my report assignment on sound design, I stumbled upon how the sound design department is required to make choices either of artistic or scientific nature. This is often a dilemma in Sci-Fi films, where entire scenes are being supposingly shot in space. Space is Vacuum. Empty. No air, no nothing. Sound waves its impossible to travel without that mean. So,


Then, how come all those movies have laser blasts, explosions, spaceship noise audible on them? That’s because the artistic nature supersedes the scientific. It just sounds better and some times more realistic than reality itself!

The Sound of “Star Trek”

The “Star Trek” sound team including Supervising Sound Editor Mark Stoeckinger, Supervising Sound Editor Alan Rankin, Sound Designer Scott Gershin, Sound Designer Ann Scibelli, and Sound Designer Tim Walston talk about the approach and sound design behind the eleventh film based on the Star Trek franchise directed by J.J. Abrams.

How the sound masters of “Gravity” broke the rules to make noise in a vacuum

Sound designer Glenn Freemantle and re-recording mixer Skip Lievsay reveal the film’s sonic secrets. A film in which the audience would hear sound effects the same way the characters did. In space there’s no air to transmit vibrations, so that means total silence — unless you’re touching something and your body itself serves as the conduit.

Glenn Freemantle: It was at that point that we decided to do the sound design from the perspective of touch through vibration, and contact, in the whole film. Right from the beginning. We did that type of thing that you see right on that first little temp mix. Obviously we went and elaborated, and we shot loads and loads of stuff and you know, tried to refine the whole thing, but that was the beginning of the concept.

Source: theverge.com, vimeo, slate.comsoundworkscollection.com

Its all about the spread project


So, Spreadable Media. I read those words and I instantly think about every possible network I know that contains a share button. And frankly that’s what it is in a nutshell. A media with the ability to spread. A media that is able to attract traffic. It can be a link to a website, a photo, a video, an audio piece, anything. It can even be as simple as a plain text. Now, in order for that piece of media to attract views and to be considered worthy of sharing and spreading, it has to be something that can get your attention in many individual and combined ways. It can for example be funny, horrible, sad, maybe it can have the element of surprise, or it can be more than one at the same time (surprising and horrible). It can be informative or even a simple comment about a (usually) popular artefact or person. It can be anything that can capture attention and makes you subconsciously think: “Oh, this is really something more people should view!” or even: “Oh, this is really cool. If I share it people will think I am cool too!”.

The truth is that those are two oversimplified thoughts and reactions, but accurate non the less. The information one can extract from those artefacts is really impressive. By targeting those artefacts one can discover more about demographics, about the “spread-path” the media followed so far being online and perhaps “fertile ground” on the web where this artefact can really become viral. Websites such as targeted groups consisted of people interested in that specific piece.

As cynical this may sound, spreadable media and social networking is an invaluable tool for a professional entering the industry. It is a window of opportunity that can help you spread you ideas, opinions and most importantly your work to the world. It is an opportunity to place your self among peers and other professionals.


As part of the Spreadable Media module, we are required to create such an artefact, presented through social, and not only, networks. The choice is free, we have to create an original artefact, upload it and monitor it’s spreadability, target out audience and document demographics.


Friday on the 28th of November was Black Friday. I thought I could create a funny themed Black Friday photo, upload it on the day, and monitor its spreadability. Timing is really important so I uploaded the photo just when the shops were nearly closed, so that I could theoretically attract more views. This is the picture I created, for which I will analyse the distribution and impact on another post.



For the second artefact I plan to combine two songs and merge then in to one. This will create a new song by using their music and lyrics. It is a time consuming process and the choice of the songs won’t be easy at all. Since I am targeting for the spreadability of the music artefact the songs will have to be carefully chosen.

An investigation in the most popular recent songs will be of great aid, since by using the current music-song trends in the industry will help my music piece to spread more and faster.

Being in the music industry for some time now during my studies and being a DJ for several years in the past, I thought I should work on a project as such. Using popular songs and the names of the original creators and artists involved in both productions in the title and as tags, will help to achieve my goal.

Both songs will have to comply by certain “rules” such as a very high number of views on Youtube (more than ten million is a very realistic goal), relatively recent and still quite popular.

For any news regarding Spreadable Media and my project, be patient and read future posts here.

More useful information on Spreadable Media.


Stats for 1st Artefact: 

Posted on Facebook :

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 00.52.24


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Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 00.50.46

Summary: This on did really bad. Despite my strategy to release it on the day as soon as the stores are closing in the UK, very few people viewed it. On the other hand, Black Friday is massive in the US so I should have posted it when the stores in America were closing.

All stats and summaries from my online presence in WordPress

Visitors and Views : It took me some time to realise what I have to post and In what way, but I think I am really making progress. I have started to attract visitors in daily basis and that is my goal: Keep the ones you have and keep attracting more.

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 00.38.10

Referrers: I got referrers from multiple sources and that’s proving that my attempt to unify my social profiles is paying off slowly but gradually.

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Country views: I have visitors from few countries but UK and USA are really keen on my blog. I got some views from Greece as well but I am guessing those are just friends. Cyprus as well viewed my blog, which was unexpected.

Post Production Assignment

This is the second assignment for the Audio Post module that I will be doing some foley for. Basically, we have been given a video and we are required to use all of our previous knowledge on how professionals work and our skills on post to “dress” the video with sound. We have only the video and some background music audio files to work with. The rest is up to us. Sounds-effects placement, layering etc, Editing, audio manipulation in general, Mixing volume pan EQ compression etc.

So this is the clip we have been given I hope you are going to enjoy this more than we did when we first saw it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it provides some excellent opportunities to really use our creativity, but the animation it self in terms of production is not good.

Right, I don’t want to say much, and I definitely don’t want you to form an opinion before you even have a chance to see it for your selves. So, here it is.

P.S. There are let’s say some hidden elements, I’ll call them “easter eggs”, which are hilarious. I do not intend to mention anything to the tutors just yet, maybe after the hand-in date for the assignments. If they knew this ” easter egg” was there I suspect they would never give that video to students anymore. Not that hard to notice btw.

By all means, don’t try to go for the tree and miss the forest here.

Elephant’s Dream Short Movie 2006

#audiopostproduction #audioassignment #foley #easteregg #shortfilm

Work Progress

We booked the studio, and on Monday we are going to record some foley! This is going to be awesome! We need to record several everyday objects, such as glass break, a bike pedal etc. for the Post Production project and foley can be really fun! I am really looking forward about this!

I will try to shoot a video and upload it as well! Will do my best to keep that promise!