Our latest sound design and post production work has just been completed for The Voices Project.

This project brings together the best of new monologue writing from ATYP’s Fresh Ink emerging playwright program. It was filmed and edited in Sydney and we worked closely with composer Damien Lane to produce a sonic scape that really helped tell the story.

The film is a monologue written by Brooke Robinson and superbly acted by Tom Stokes. Given the dynamic of the performance by Tom we were really able to play with his dialogue, using some subtle and some not so subtle effects to help enhance where Tom was going with it. We found the use of layers of sounds and effects on the dialogue to build tension helpful to take the audience into the different spaces Tom described. We had over 160 tracks by the final mix.

We began by recording a series of drones, tones, ambient music and loose, tribal beats, which we felt worked well to compliment the dialogue. Damien was happy to produce a score that fit around the sound design making the two elements come together to help build a schizophrenic soundtrack fitting with the nature of the story.

Director Stephen McCallum projected stunning visuals over Tom as he delivered the monologue, giving us a visual cue to build the sound upon. As images came and went so too could the sound design, further emphasising the tone of the film.

Some nerdy stuff for those interested: We use a variety of mono synths, Sequential Circuits – Six Track, Moog – Prodigy, Roland – SH101 and a Roland SH1000 running through a number of effects devices RE201, SRE555, DC50, DOD 202 analogue delay, Moog Ring Mod and a bunch of fuzz boxes. The Sherman Filterbank nailed all the squelchy and glitchy stuff, it really has a life of it’s own – if you ever get the chance to use one, make sure you record every pass as it’s near impossible to do the same thing twice. Even the Fender Jag got a work out for some of the more abrasive, violent sounds. Most of these instruments were running straight into the API’s (Red Dot OP Amps) as they seemed to handle the nasty tops of the direct fuzz box stuff the best. The Distressor and Blue stripe took care of the radical dynamics nicely and all the percussion was tracked through the Coles 4038 into the TAC console, which again handles the overly harsh stuff really well. The EQ on the desk is really nice too. We generally lean to ribbons for room mics and percussion unless the source sound is in need of that nice top end you get from the U87 or the harder 414’s.

In the box now, we used Altiverb to put the voice in a space when it was meant to be in a kitchen and jumped between sound toys crystalliser and Valhalla DSP verbs for some of the more radical spaces. Automation proved to be the most time consuming process in getting the subtle camera movements and visuals to come and go with the audio.

We recommend checking out some of the other ATYP films as there are some crackers out there.

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