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i dig music

Comments from an email from Todd Lipcon '07's outbox

Basically, sound design for theater is working with the director to see how sound can be used to help convey various elements of the show. I'd probably divide it roughly into three categories:

1) Utilitarian kind of stuff- you know, door bells, oven buzzers, phone rings… not too much artistic excitement here. Pretty easy to do – I have a collection of like 20,000 sound effects I can share with you, and almost anything you'd ever need can be pulled from here. For a lot of plays this is all that's really needed. {Note from Paul Meier '09: Todd graduated, but I have a similar collection of sound effects free for the taking.}

Occasionally in this category there's stuff like radios or answering machines, etc, where you'll probably have to record someone doing a voiceover and then edit it to sound like you want.

2) Ambient sound - this is the kind of stuff that the audience might not notice is there, but can help shape a setting and mood for a scene. For example, maybe the sound of rain quietly outside, or crackling of wood in a wood stove. A lot of times, directors won't want this anyway. Usually I find that I create these things by just taking stuff from my sound library and then mixing together two or three different tracks and looping them. If you've done some work for radio I'm sure you have enough experience to do this, and it's also perfectly OK to just not have any of this kind of sound.

3) Music underscoring – ssometimes people like to put music under transitions or even scenes. Then the sound designer's responsibility is to work with the director to pick the music, and then play it at a good volume, etc. Again, pretty easy.

As for the technical process, like I said, if you've done some radio work you're probably ahead of where most people start out. I don't know if you've used Pro Tools or another program for editing, but we do have Pro Tools installed on the computer at PW and you're welcome to use it. For playback we use a program called SFX which is really easy to learn, and the board can definitely help you get started with it.

sound_designer.txt · Last modified: 2013/12/21 02:00 (external edit)
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