Particle Sounds feedback

Well, it’s been a little while since I have posted an update – it’s been a very busy few weeks balancing work, the MA and all my marking. The good news is…..I’ve passed!

This includes 2x goods and 2x very goods out of the four grading criteria, so I am very happy with that. I totally agree with the feedback given, which you can read below. Overall, I really enjoyed creating this and the process. I feel that I am starting to make more progress on the creative aspect, rather than spending all my time focussing on the technical aspect.

Strengths Reflective journal

This contains audio sketches, experiments, analysis of exemplars and details of technical processes. Conceptual and practical developments are thoroughly explained through a legible, accessible blog. Using a broad reach and close focus, you have really engaged with the task and taken advice from peers and staff as well as throwing a wide net for resources, information and inspiration. Graphic representation of your sound structure is lovely, and your inclusion of highly digital approaches and home-made contact mics evidences playful and creative engagement with the Unit.

Analysis

Wall-E soundtrack Ben Burtt, you give quite a technical description of the process, but show  a clear understanding of the ‘genre’ of audio design and where it sits in the communication of place and character in the animated movie. You have applied what you learned from this study to your own process.

Sound Design

Well textured and carefully paced, you have been ambitious in the building of sound density, and have made your rules and applied them in a detailed fashion. Issues about speakers and bass levels have been remedied, and you have learned a lot from the process.

The research into the process, particularly with respect to Ben Burtt’s work and your critical evaluation of your own work was insightful however it would have been useful to investigate other practitioners and their work to provide you with a broader depth of approach. It was good to see your self-reflective critique driving your decision-making processes which you tempered with the expectations of the genre, maintaining an artistic integrity at the same time as providing an accessible sonic story to the listener. You have also exhibited a good understanding of the technical process and the experimentation required to achieve objectives.

Areas for improvement

Your research methodology is good, but you could take on more reading around the subject. The final soundtrack is well made but could benefit from more use of impulse and effect.

Taking on board the concept of silence before the big bang, from a listener’s perspective, and as you are not planning to support this with film, the silence could have been represented by a sonic signature. Perhaps a high-pitched pure sine wave at low volume would have provided more drama, thought-provoking juxtaposition and expectation for the listener for the 10 seconds prior to the low-frequency dominant sonic explosion of the big bang. There is good development of the sound but there is a propensity to favour the right side of the stereo mix with respect to the introduction of sounds as the piece progresses. Increasing the level of sophistication of sound whilst diminishing the amplitude was a very effective device in illustrating the evolution of the big bang into a more creative event from its initial explosive beginnings.

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