Sound Design for Video
For this project, you may create a video which emphasizes audio as the main element to tell a story, create a mood, experiment with space (interior, landscape, soundscape), etc.

For Project #2, you will learn:

       Techniques and Exercises for Listening

       Basics of sound design for video or film

      How sound is mixed in Protools or FCP or Soundtrack

      How to use timecode to utilize the AV synchronization capabilities of Protools

      How to record sound

Sound design for film and video is composed of three elements which are mixed in varying degrees of prominence:




This second assignment has four parts:

1.    Listening/Notating
2.    Collecting and recording sounds (for your video and for exercises)
3.    Editing and mixing to video
4.    Writing analysis with the final video

1. Listening/Notating
Based on the information below, write down your audio observations and bring to class for discussion. Describe at least one sound environment.

            Three ways in which we listen are summarized below (Sound Design, Chapter 4, From Sensation to Perception):

            Causal Listening: consists of listening to a sound in order to gather information about is cause or source or to gather information about the qualities of
            the thing  which produced the sound.

            Semantic Listening: listening which refers to a code or a language to interpret a message , such as listening to speech.

            Reduced Listening: listening that focuses on the traits of the sound itself, independent of its cause and of its meaning. Reduced listening pays attention to the              qualities of the sound in itself.

During the next week (and through the rest of this assignment), listen to your environment, and identify what listening mode you are using. Because reduced listening is the least used listening mode we practice, I would like you to practice that frequently. While practicing reduced listening throughout the week, make notes of what you heard, in what circumstance you heard it (context), and what the QUALITY of the audio was (including the balance of the sounds, speech, noise, music if present). Describe the sounds' traits as best you can. Create your own system of notation and sound map which that conveys the soundscape you experienced. Notate space, time, loudness, dyanamics, pitch, timbre, rhythm, etc.

2. Collect and record sounds
In order for you to prepare to mix sound for your video you will need a variety of sounds to work with. Sounds can be recorded with the Marantz field recorder, in the sound booth with Protools, with your video camera, with your cell phone, etc. Different recording devices will record different qualities of sound so think carefully about you want to use to make recordings and where you want to record them. You can also collect sound from sound fx cd's (BBC collection in the Media Library), clips from movies, from the Internet, etc. The audio file type used in FCP is aiff so if you are getting sounds from the internet, they must be converted. While you are collecting sounds you can also practice reduced listening. (Will demo recording with different mics, Marantz and Protools/narration booth; in class exercise). Sound Design, Chapter 3, From Vibration to Sensation will help you to understand sound's various elements.

3. Editing and Mixing
While you are performing steps 1 and 2 in preparation for the video, you should be making notes and thinking about the video you have completed or want to make for this assignment. What kinds of sounds do you need? Are they direct foleys to match an image? Are they a particular timbre to create a psychological effect? Are they scratchy, rumbling, thin, hard, piercing, smooth? Are they great in dynamic range to startle the viewer? Do they have relative volumes to create space? Are they sustained or punctuated? Does the music come from the scene or is it non-diegetic? Ideally, I would like you to edit and mix sound in Protools to your already created video. However, if you feel more comfortable using FCP to edit and mix, that is fine. Work to your level of technical comfort. When using Protools, use the a/v sync to import your video and use the spot mode. Sound Design, Chapter 7, Sound and Image introduces many of these strategies.

4. Written analysis
Your written analysis should be 2 - 3 pages. Here are some bullets to help guide your thoughts and writing about your video.

> What is the role of sound in your work? How does it enhance the narrative? The mood? The space?

> What sounds are present? music, speech and noise? and how are they balanced?

> Is sound rhythmically related to video and if so, how?

> Where is the sound coming from? Diegetic or non-diegetic? In the story space? Off screen?

> When does the sound occur in relation to what we are seeing? Are there points of synchronization? Is so, what is the effect?

> What kind of timbre do the sounds have and what does this convey?

> How did you record and mix your sound? What kinds of microphones and recording devices?

> If you used speech, then how so?

> How does audio create time or space in the work?