Where Have I Heard That Before? #2

Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2012 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , ,

If you guys have been reading this blog before, then you may have discovered my “Where Have I Heard That Before?” post.  If not, you can click here to read it.  Anyway, I am no stranger to a good movie or video game, and as mentioned, the first Halo is one of my favorite games.  However, we now have another instance where audio has shown up again from Halo somewhere else.

Last time it seems Halo was at fault for using the pistol slide sound from Lethal Weapon 3, but now Zombieland has found the audio of Halo to be useful.  If you have ever played the first Halo’s multiplayer, then you know about the breathing sound ambience on the level Chiron TL34 with all of the teleportation devices.  Well, take a look/listen at the video below!

Yup!  That same sound found its way into the haunted house scene in the 2009 movie Zombieland.  Again as I have said, there is nothing wrong with this, and I am not hating on anyone who was responsible for the audio.  I am just showing what a careful ear can pick out.  It doesn't always work using what worked in the past, directly. 

What sound will we hear next?  We shall see…

Have you Heard the Wu?

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , ,

Have you heard of Watson Wu Studios?  Well, if you are interested in the art of field recording, then you should have.  Since this blog is about audio for film, TV, and video games, then why not talk about someone who does that for a living?

 Courtesy of Watson Wu

Dude, Did You See That Sound!?

Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012 by Dylan Benson in Labels:

I recently watched a TED speech given by the self proclaimed “artist and geek” Evan Grant on what’s called cymatics.  Cymatics is the visualization of sound.  Here is an example bellow:

Courtesy of Cymatics.org

Evan Grant did a wonderful job about explaining this topic that I had seen, but didn’t see a purpose for.  If you are interested in audio, you have probably seen this example on YouTube with a metal plate, sand, and a driver, or at least videos like it.  I always thought it looked cool, and I knew what caused it, but what purpose could it serve?

Assassin’s Creed III Audio Review

Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , ,

The video game Assassin's Creed III by Ubisoft, which was released October 30, 2012, is the latest installment of the Assassin’s Creed series.  As a quick side note, this may contain spoiler alerts to anyone who wants to play the game.  Now I have not beaten this game yet, but I have been trying to take a close look at the audio while enjoying the game at the same time.

So much has progressed in the world of video game audio.  Leading games in the industry like Call of Duty, Halo, and Assassin’s Creed seem to take great care in making sure that the customers have a great auditory experience.  Evolving from the humble beginnings of 8-bit audio, we now live in a world where surround sound in video games is a standard.  Multiple microphones are common on just a small sound source, and even more are used on the big ones like the cannons used in Assassin’s Creed III. 

Courtesy of Watson Wu

Where Have I Heard That Before?

Posted: Monday, October 22, 2012 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , , ,

Have you ever been sitting around doing nothing and a tune pops in your head, but you for the life of you, you cannot figure out where it’s from?  When you do, you are instantly relieved.  The same happens to us die-hard audio guys with sound effects. 

There is so much media for people to be exposed to: radio, TV, movies, video games, and the like.  There is so much audio!  With budgets being a big factor for audio in this media, sound libraries get reused over and over again.  After all, who would notice?  Take the Wilhelm Scream for example.  This can be heard in countless movies, and it is now considered audio humor.  It’s reuse is an inside, acceptable joke. 

The $0.99 Car Chase Scene

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 by Dylan Benson in Labels: , ,

The movie audio industry has astronomically excelled in innovation and methodologies in the past decades.  There are so many options available to record, obtain, create, and implement audio into movies these days.  Turn the audio off in a movie and you have nothing!  It creates emotion, realism, and so much more.  So what happens when the audio is wrong?  What happens when the sound guys take the easy way out?  Well some of the audience may be oblivious, but for others with a keen ear, a movie’s reputation can be ruined.

Have you seen the movie Drive?  While the reviews may be good, anyone who was expecting driving was disappointed.  Now I won’t get into the fact that a 360 horsepower, 4,050 pound Chrysler 300C was effectively keeping up with a 412 horsepower 3,600 pound Mustang, but I will get into the audio of the Mustang in question.

Die hard Ford fans will right away be able to tell that the engine sound used for the 5.0 V8 of the Mustang was not correct.  This, and other things, killed the movie for me.  When I got home I had this feeling as if I had seen that chase before.  Maybe I had heard it before?  Turns out I had.

A while back I was stocking up on some cheap audio libraries to build up my collection when I came across this album on iTunes called Pedal to the Metal – The Sounds of Fast Cars.  Sure enough, the track named “Ford Cobra / Drive Fast” was the audio used for the Mustang in the movie Drive.   Yes: A $0.99 track.  Ninety-nine cents.  The movie lost all credibility to me when this “great chase scene” used a $0.99 cent track.

Found in the album "Pedal to the Metal"

Should we give them the benefit of the doubt? Maybe. Last time I checked, any vehicle has only one reverse gear.  Near the end of the chase scene, when Gosling is driving in reverse, you can hear the car change gears multiple times.  Considering the one minute and two second clip they used didn’t have too many wide open throttle sections, I guess we can’t blame them for finding a couple extra reverse gears right?

While it is hard to place exactly, after listening to the three tire skid tracks in the album, they seem to fit certain skids in the chase scene.  Most likely one of the Chrysler sounds is one of the BMW tracks as well.   So perhaps they spent closer to four dollars on this chase.  Now I know the audio team usually gets funding last, but for a 15 million dollar film, I would have expected a little bit more “respectable” audio.