Like most Sound Designers, I use Music and Sound FX to help establish place and mood in the productions I am priveledged to be part of. You will find a small playlist of those techniques down the page. For now, let’s look at one of the building blocks of a creative Sound Design. In recent years, I have grown fond of starting a Sound Design at the roots by use of period microphones.
The visual appeal of using Vintage Microphones in your production is easy to understand. Whether your production looks back in time or travels to the future, a Vintage mike may be the look that sells the set.
Vintage mikes can also add wonderful audio color to your film, television, theatrical or live music production.
Watch the following program for a while and listen to the sound that made this an Emmy Award winning Sound Design.
To recreate the sound of the era when Radio ruled Mass Media, I used four Astatic D-104 microphones, designed in 1933 and pictured below. Every voice in this Colorado Inside Out Time Machine episode was recorded with these mikes.
No additional effects or equalization were needed to capture the raw sound you will hear.
You can also hear the effect in this short Voice Over piece.
A more subtle version of the idea can be heard in this show. Vintage, Electrovoice mikes were used to capture the voices on this show, including an outdoor, roll-in segment.
Here are a couple images from a production where a vintage look helped set the stage.
A Vintage sound is not just for TV and theater. It can also add a little spice to a music production.
Here is one more image with a line of Electrovoice 664 mikes and an EV 636 holding down the end of that line. For this visit to the year 1964, I designed the set around the EV mikes.
AS PROMISED, HERE ARE A FEW SAMPLES OF MY WORK IN SOUND DESIGN.
The first three samples are from an installation at the Denver Art Museum’s Native American Collection.
Magic Words ~Magic words is a tale from the Inuit People. The sounds of ice and birds enhance this story.
Black Elk Speaks ~An excerpt from the Lakota Holy Man’s great book.
The Flight of Quetzalcoatl ~An epic poem of the Toltec and Aztec Cultures. Much like the story of Siddartha Gautama who became the Buddha, the hero is a Toltec Prince who leaves a life of privledge to seek wisdom. This tale will impact the history of Mexico when the Aztecs mistake Cortez for the returned Quetzalcoatl.
Lone Wolf~Final Scene audio ~A First Films Production shot in Denver.
This project was a Sound Designers Delight! Finding ways to capture the sounds of tormented flesh.
Angry Housewives ~A Musical
Four housewives start a Punk Rock Band in this production at the old Vogue Theater in Denver.
An excited crowd waits as the women try to resolve conflicts with their significant others.
Electronic Junkyard ~An Audio montage/composition for an Emmy winning KBDI program on energy, Who’s Taking the Heat?