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Posts Tagged ‘sound design’

Sound Design and Mixing on short film for Huawei

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

We recently did Audio Editing, Sound Design, Music Recording, and the Audio Mixing for this short film to promote the launch of the X1 media pad, a new phone meets tablet computer by Huawei. It’s a colourful and glamorous piece of work that follows a man and a woman – the titular Mary Day – who have accidentally swapped luggage and work out the issue during an internet date.
We were able to get the real sound of the car used in the shoot for authentic feeling!


Huawei presents: Mary Day from Goodstein

Viewing from within China? See low quality version below.
We welcome you to visit our new Sound Design page to see more examples of our film and game work.

On the set of Huawei Mary Day film

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New Beijing music sound studio now completed!

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

I blogged recently about the construction of a new studio in Beijing after an electrical fire destroyed the building my first studio here was in.
I didn’t think it would take so long to get it done properly as I hired the best I could find to do it. But the standards I aspire to for things just aren’t commonly understood in China, so not only have I had to supervise and hand hold at every step of the way, I had to get the contractors to redo the entrance door to the studio to get the soundproofing required (the nice door in the construction photos in the blog link above had to go…).
Now I am quite pleased with the result, and although I am still working out a few minor details and wiring up some of the non essential analog outboard gear, the studio is finally ready and I’ve been doing a lot of work in it to catch up, and get used to it, including recording with Miss Melody, and Elika Mahony who blogged about the experience in the new studio.

Here’s a photo of the control room:

New Beijing sound music Studio control room

Here’s the recording booth. It’s professionally built to completely isolated from outside sound, and is large enough to fit a full live band:

New Beijing sound music studio recording booth

recording booth with new Neumann mic

Since the studio is in a renovated traditional Chinese courtyard building, I was determined to keep the feeling that was originally there, which was quite a challenge acoustically as there is a lot of glass including a glass roof! But whatever wasn’t perfected in design, I was able to compensate for with sophisticated software that corrects anomalies and imperfections in the room for my monitors.
This has allowed me to create what I feel is one of the most unique studios in China if not the world!
I felt my previous studio in Beijing was quite impressive, but everyone who has visited both say this new one is a vast improvement, so I am very pleased. Take a look:

new Beijing courtyard sound studio entrance

new Beijing courtyard sound studio entrance


new Beijing sound studio entance

new Beijing sound studio before construction

studio building courtyard before construction

new Beijing sound studio rear

new studio rear after construction

new Beijing sound studio recording boothjarome in the new studio mixing room

 

I’m not one to boast about equipment I use, but I will at least say that all the equipment has been imported into China for the best possible quality, no fakes or imitations! Just the real thing, Apple, Neve, JoeMeek, Neumann, AKG, Sennheiser, RME, Mackie, Alesis, Tannoy with Mogami cabling and Neutrik connectors all the way! This is driven by Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic with Waves, Audio Ease, Spectrasonics, Native Instruments, East West software to name a few.
Many of these are recent additions to my existing range of classic analog and cutting edge digital equipment, making this new studio in Beijing the most powerful, highest quality studio I’ve had in my 20 years as a music producer and audio engineer.

I’ve put a huge amount of time, trouble and great expense to make this one of the best, top quality music and sound design studios in Beijing.
It wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of many wonderful friends and clients in China, you know who you are, Thank you so much!

I am getting very booked in advance, so please contact me now if you want to work on a project.
I’ll be posting a blog about an open house this month very soon.

I hope you get to visit the studio in the near future! Please contact me for more info.

 

Chinese folk meets electronic music, latest production

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Despite my lack of updates, I’ve actually been quite busy here since living in Beijing China.
I’ve been working on some cool projects, one of the most interesting being Mikey Dee and Miss Melody’s fusion of western downtempo electronic with poetic traditional Chinese folk music.
The two shouldn’t work well together, yet under the moniker ‘Mobidextrous’ they’ve somehow create something very cool and unique and are breaking new ground here in Beijing and worldwide.
The first track I produced, mixed, and did a lot of the sound design for is called ‘Huan’ which is a poetic account of being lost in the big city, where ‘even the wine glasses are drunk with excess’
They’ve also done a video for it below which has some great footage of Beijing:

You can find more about Huan and their other tracks on the Mobidextrous Soundcloud page, including 2 other songs I’ve produced, Wang Ming Yue, which features the latest and most groundbreaking effects I have used yet, and Woo Yan.

More tracks and videos coming soon, so keep an eye out.

open house for new music production and sound studio in Beijing

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

I’ve been living in Beijing for over a month now, trying to figure out how to blog about all that has happened here and what a dramatic shift it’s been living in China. There is simply too much to write about and not enough time!

So I’ll simply share that we’ve moved into our new home, and the new studio is now ready, looking great and sounding fantastic! It’s the best quality studio I’ve had in my 20 years as a music producer and sound engineer.

I’ll blog more about the studio soon. If your in Beijing, come by the open house:
Sunday, September 26th, 2pm to 5pm

Please contact me to rsvp to let me know your coming.

Happy Mid Autumn / Moon festival!

Pro Soul Studio Beijing, China

Opening new music studio in Beijing, China

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

As i mentioned in my last blog, I’m moving to Beijing China, and setting up a fantastic, world class studio there.
It will be called Pro Soul Studios Beijing, in affiliation with my record label, Pro Soul Alliance.

It’s large a 3 room facility, professionally built by foreign expertise flown into the country along with specialized materials to soundproof and acoustically treat the rooms properly. It has full false floors and walls with large air spaces for soundproofing, but still lots of light from tall windows.
There’s even a built in guest room and kitchen/lounge in the middle.

Here are a few photos, then I’ll get into the technical details below for the gear heads…

The studio is in a building in an area that is a cool artist live/work residence neighborhood with art studios, restaurants, a French bakery, and a nice lagoon:
Shangri-La Culture & Art Community, Feijia Village

The studio has a funky traditional Chinese courtyard style entrance:

Studio entrance

studio entrance

The largest recording room, Studio B.
Tall soundproofed windows allow lots of light in, but no outside sound.

Large room studio B

Large room Studio B windows

Entrance to control room and studio A

Entrance to control room and studio A

The control room, below, has a custom desk with outboard gear rack panels on the left and right, and a Mackie xBus 200 touch screen console. These photos are old now, fabric on panelling has been replaced:

studio control room

Control room window with Mackie xbus console

Control room window with Mackie xbus console

Unfortunately I don’t have a great photo of Studio A, the main recording room, but it is a nice spacious room with lots of light from windows on one side:

Studio A recording room

The studio even has a guest residence upstairs, a kitchen, and large outside patio if you want to visit China to work on your music project:

Studio guest residence

studio kitchen

On to the studio equipment setup. In addition to my existing range of classic analog and cutting edge digital equipment, the new studio in Beijing will have the following new equipment that will make it the most powerful, highest quality studio I’ve had in my 20 years as a music producer and audio engineer:

  • A Mackie xBus 200 HD touch screen mixing console and computer controller capable of 192kHz resolution, configurable I/O via rear panel cards, penny & giles motorized touch sensitive faders & surround outputs.
  • 2 RME Hammerfall PCI cards allowing 32 channel high quality digital audio /MIDI channels between the computer and the console with zero latency (no delays!)
  • Apple Mac Pro 2.66 Quad Core Intel Xeon computer with 1.5 Terrabyte drive and 8Gig ram
  • 2 LCD computer monitors, 22″ each
  • Enhanced surround monitoring system with new mogami cabling and other small additions.
MackieXbus200

Mackie Xbus 200 mixer console and computer interface

The hardware mentioned will allow an incredible amount of flexibility in input and output routing, monitoring, and expansion as needed.
I’m arranging all the special cabling and other details required, and bringing equipment to Beijing from Canada to get the studio operational in the next 2 months.

I’ve put a huge amount of time, trouble and great expense to make this one of the best, top quality music and sound design studios in Beijing.
It wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of some of my Beijing friends, you know who you are, Thank you so much!

The studio should be open for production by sometime in August 2010.

I expect to soon be booked full time months in advance in the near future, so please contact me now if you want to work on a project.
Check back here for more details and updates.

New China only music release ‘T. Journey’

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Last year, i had the pleasure of working on quite an incredible Chinese project with the renowned Beijing artist Jin R (pronounced Jing R).
It has recently been released in China, it’s called ‘T. Journey’

T Journey Bath House CD coverJin R is a known world class Chinese chef, restaurant owner, and sublime improvisational Yang Qin performer and artist.
Best known for her Hong Kong and Beijing restaurants ‘Green T House‘, Jin R was recently flown to Vancouver to cook her incredible culinary creations for the VIP guests of the 2010 winter Olympics.
Many attempt to copy hear ideas all over Beijing if not the world, and she truly represents a new era of China.

Last year Jin R developed a new bath house called Green T House Living Bath House & Residence which has already won the Wallpaper* Design Award 2010 – “Best Spa” and “AsiaSPA Magazine Awards 2009 – “Best New Spa Design” and “Best Day Spa”. Jin R wanted to create a unique soundtrack for this spa experience that took you on a journey through ancient to modern China and beyond. She asked me to produce and engineer the album as well as do some sound design.
Jin R playing Yang QinWe discussed what the album would sound like, I played Jin R some sound effect ambiances, chanting, and other musical elements and she eventually became inspired to envision the entire album, with all the performers and instruments she wanted to be a part of the project.
It was quite a diverse selection! I told Jin R, “not only is this not going to be relaxing, but it will be very challenging to make it work musically!”
But she was determined to make it more of a journey, and felt the spa treatments would be relaxing enough, So we proceeded.

Yang Qin, Gu Qin, Chinese traditional opera, Shao, and Chinese percussion, it was an amazing journey for me into Chinese music and instruments unlike anything else I have done before. I blogged more about the production here.
I was amazed at how quickly she rounded up some of the most amazing talent in Beijing, many of which had never been recorded!

Amazingly, it all worked out and it’s an diverse and unique album, another product of the original and creative mind of Jin R.
I owe much thanks to the talented and lovely Elika Mahony for not only introducing us, but assisting us with this project and allowing us to generously use her studio.

You can’t buy this album though, only receive it as a guest of the Green T House Living Bath House & Residence! So make sure you visit when your in Beijing, China.

Jin R’s ‘ancient meets futuristic’ Yang Qin performances on this project reaffirmed that the Yang Qin is one of my favorite instruments in the world.
It’s hard to get a sense of the album from a small part, but you can hear an excerpt of the album below:

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Terminator: Salvation brilliant sound design & visuals

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

I really don’t know why so many people are giving this film such bad press. I was totally blown away by it after seeing it about a week ago.

As a sound designer, one of the elements that stood out for me was the incredible sound design by Cameron Frankley that breathed new life into the machines that I grew to love since the original film by James Cameron. The sound in this film penetrated right into your gut and created such intimidation for an evolved new side to the machines that have taken over the world, as they should now that we are in the future, right in the middle of the apocalyptic battle that we had only seen glimpses of in the past.
As you’ll hear in the intro on the main website, when many of the larger machines commence their destruction of the humans, a threat to their existence, there is this new buzz of electrical energy surging that is perfect to convey just how much trouble your in when they appear! It is really only appreciated properly in a good theatre [I saw it in the best one in Vancouver].

The look of this film was also gorgeous, shot on a special never before used film stock to give it this bleak apocalyptic feel. The Director apparently also gave the cast and crew a copy of the famous “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” That inspired Blade Runner to give them an idea of the kind of world he wanted to create. And he succeeded in every way in doing that in my opinion.
We have to give credit to The Matrix series for doing this so well first…

But a good film requires more than just ear and eye candy, and as a fan of the series, I felt the film did a great job of bringing the story into the future in an exciting way that really impressed me.

So don’t listen to the hype, and see it in the theatre! It’s my fave of the year so far, even beating out Star Trek which I am usually an even bigger fan of…

Feature film ‘Sweet Amerika’ featuring my sound design released

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

A feature film I worked on last year, ‘Sweet Amerika‘ was released last week in theatres across Canada. It will further be released in the UK and across Asia, then on DVD in a few months. It’s a multi cultural drama  based on real events about a Sikh grocery store owner who is kidnapped and tortured by four Americans who mistake him for a Muslim.

We went to see it in the theatre over the weekend, and although I was pleased with how the sound came out, the sound in the old theatre we saw it in was so bad that it ruined the experience. 2 Channels instead of one, terrible old speakers, weird, compressed audio with a lack of dynamics, and a dark, dingy screen made it a disappointing experience. I have blogged before about how I’ve been doing more film work because of the declining quality of music playback devices, so it was kind of ironic that it sounded so bad. I heard it’s playing in a good theatre now, so I’m tempted to find out what it really sounds like.

I could go on with all kinds of stories about the massive amount of work and trials involved during the process of doing sound design on this film, how Maria’s screams and non dialog audio had to be done in my studio despite ADR being done previously, and how other location audio had to be used because ADR was never done for other key scenes, but I would have to write a novel to talk about all that.
And even though it was a very impactful experience in many ways, It’s a year later, and I’m done with this chapter of my life, so check out the many decent reviews of the movie out there, and see it if you can.

I look forward to the next film project being a better production, and playing in theatres with great sound.