We learned before that the original lightsaber was made from a flash handle ‘40s Graflex camera. That’s about its looks – but have you wondered how its sound was made? Sound Designer Ben Burtt recently revealed that the sound of the iconic movie weapon was inspired by a film projector motor and a TV set. He shared a story about how he created the sound, and if you’re a Star Wars geek, you’re gonna love this.
One of the biggest struggles with making video content is finding good music at a decent price. There are two main models out there for music licensing. On one, you pay per song and on the other, you pay a subscription which provides access to all their content for you to use in your videos for as long as your account is active.
A new music service called Audiio appears to be based on the latter, offering an annual subscription for $199 per year (pretty standard these days), but to celebrate their launch, this $199 price will get you a lifetime subscription to their service if you sign up within the first 60 days.
Audio is often the biggest challenge for filmmakers, especially newer ones. Most people just coming into the world of video don’t realise how much of a big deal it really is to get good quality audio. And while can be quite gear dependent, you don’t always need the most expensive kit to get decent quality sound. In this video, filmmakers Parker Walbeck and Nick Sales talk though their top ten tips and techniques for getting good quality sound for your videos.
Personal and experimental projects can be a lot of fun for both those who create them and those who view them. This particular project was created by Italian film photographer Mario Cipriano, and it’s definitely a little bit odd, but pretty cool.
He combines film photographs he shot with his Leica M6 with a sound recorder to capture the five seconds leading up to the shot being taken, and the five seconds following it. Each photo then has 10 seconds of audio to accompany it. It’s fascinating to watch played back in video form.
Sennheiser’s new Memory Mic is a wireless microphone designed for smartphones. We saw it teased at NAB earlier in the year, and it does look like a pretty cool piece of microphone tech. It connects via Bluetooth but keeps recording without dropping even if you go out of range of the phone. And if the Sennheiser samples clips are anything to go by, it sounds pretty good, too.
Regardless of whether you call them lav, lavalier or lapel mics, they are wonderful things. Often used for interviews, spoken pieces to camera, and for when you can’t get a shotgun boomed overhead. What makes them great is that they can be so easily hidden from the camera’s view. You can hide them in clothes, under hair, on set pieces, and all kinds of places to keep them off camera but pick up quality audio.
This video from Creative North shares a handful of great tips on how to do exactly that. Mount and hide them to create great quality audio. It also covers some of the things you can do to cut down noise as your subject moves around – which can be a big problem for beginners to lav mics.
If you’re in search of sound effects, here’s something great coming from the BBC. Their library of more than 16,000 sound effects is now available, and you can download anything you like for free.
I use my phone to grab quick video clips regularly. But it’s not ideal, especially when it comes to audio. Smartphone microphones just aren’t that great. It’s a little ironic, really, given that, being phones, their primary function is to hear people talking and to let other people hear you talk. But when you point a phone camera at somebody and they start talking, usually you just hear them drowned out by background noise.
It appears Sennheiser are working to solve this problem, though, with a new product they’re calling “Memory Mic”. This is a working title as it’s still in development, but it essentially allows you to record audio wirelessly on your subject, and it does it without continuous access to wifi or Bluetooth. NoFilmSchool got to check it out in person at NAB this week and recorded a short video.
We’ve written about building a brand as a photographer or a filmmaker. Branding sure involves many different aspects and requires a lot of effort and skill, but have you ever thought about sound branding? Sonic branding experts Andrew Stafford and Steve Milton discuss this topic for WIRED. They explain the psychology behind many sounds that you’ll instantly recognize. Messenger chat, Skype call, Mac startup sound… What makes them so recognizable and what are they telling us?