In this specialized course, the aim is to work on creating and recording sounds from scratch (i.c. without the convenience of libraries or other prerecorded content), as it is one the one hand an atypical, yet on the other a perfectly valid alternative approach, as well as a worthwhile and extremely useful skill to master. Not in the least, because it is the best conceivable way of churning out 100% unique audio.
Accordingly, this module moves in a somewhat different direction, focusing on skills for the most part linked to studio setup, recording techniques and audio engineering, and less on sound design per se. Throughout the course, students will experiment with different types of microphones and mic combinations, preamps, impulse responses and mic placement (e.g. close or ambient mic’ing techniques).
Another integral part of the competence set associated with this course, is the ability to plan, coordinate and direct the recording process of dialogues and vocalizations. Whether working with untrained or professional voice actors, there are strategies to follow to be as time efficient as possible, whilst safeguarding quality and factoring in vocal strain and fatigue. Finally, the module offers the opportunity to go into great detail concerning the synchronization of sound to character acting as well as advanced mixing and mastering techniques
During the semester, students will regularly be required to submit intermediary exercises, dedicated to certain types of sounds and their intended behavior; the exam consists of a final project submission of both dialogues and foley (to be synchronized with a selection of cut scenes).
The eventual outcome of this module, aside from imparting the students with professional grade audio recording skills, is to enable them to efficiently and optimally plan their – expensive – studio/actor time, while assessing and balancing expressiveness in performance and aesthetic predilections to (sometimes minute) timbral variations.
Software: Nuendo + various types of audio hardware