Artimation Intro

Artimation is the Illinois Institute of Art big event of the year. The school rents out two movie theaters to showcase the best work of the students of the past year. Being that Audio Production is a new program, audio students haven’t found a way to showcase our work at this kind of event. I wanted to break that cycle so I volunteered to build the sound design for the intro video to Artimation.  I assembled a team of audio students including Sarah Hirsch, John Godziki, Paul Christman, and Siha Gnet to help work on the project.  The video itself was shot and edited by an advanced visual effects class taught by a teacher I knew quite well so he was pleased to have me on. Now what I didn’t expect going into this was while they had started shooting the video at the beginning of the quarter they would not have a complete and final edit done until the night before the show.

About 2 weeks before the show we had a rough cut with absolutely no visual effects added. We were given a basic idea of how the whole thing would go so we could start getting sounds. By this time I had found some others who were interested in helping on this project so we made a cue sheet and got to work on sounds that were already there. We used an Earthworks QTC40 for a lot of the foley sounds we needed. We started with the footsteps. The studio has hard wood floors so we chased the scene. There was a tad editing to make it perfect but it sounded alright. Then we worked on the clothes rustling and guitar sounds. The guitar sounds we recorded just like we would be recording a guitar for a song, we used an amp and an SM57. The QTC was used on the clothes rustling, guitar cord, and any other foley sounds. We like the QTC because it has a very flat frequency response. We did want to make it personalized so we recorded us cheering to be mixed in with the couple different crowd samples we used.

For the explosions we used a lot of different samples and combined them into one sound. We EQ’d a flame thrower sound to just have the rumble with a low pass filter as well as some wind samples. We had about 7 different samples of an explosion itself that we EQ’d at different frequencies to make it sound like one explosion. For the sound of the volume knob on the guitar we recorded the volume knob on the SSL Duality. That sound doesn’t generally make noise on the guitar but without a sound for that scene it seemed to be lacking. Finally we wanted to add some tension to that final build up before the climax of the guitar turned up to eleven. So we recorded a cymbal crash and reversed it get the build up sound that is commonly heard in trailers. We ended up doing the majority of the intro the night before it’s release on the big screen. We wanted to mix it in surround sound but the school wasn’t able to tap into the theatre’s main system. Instead they were forced to send the sound through one speaker that is generally used for conferences.