Monthly Archives: March 2012

Tough day at the office

A couple of years ago we were approached by our good friends over at Active Motion asking if we would be interested in helping out on the sound of a TV commercial to raise awareness of the issues relating to the construction of the Wonthaggi desalination plant.
As the director and half the crew surfed, we drove down the day before and spent the afternoon surfing before retiring early to get up early to go for another surf but this time with pro surfer Tom Carrol and Nick Seymour from crowded house. We spent a couple of hours filming and recording the guys in the water and on the beach and luckily the surf was pumping. Afterwards we all hit the surf again before heading back to the city.
All in all, it was a fantastic project to be involved in although it was a little hard to go back to normal work afterwards. My location recording setup was pretty basic and consisted on a Marantz solid state recorder, Zoom h4 and a couple of Sennheiser mkh-416 with decent wind shield.

The red camera footage looks pretty amazing and this standard definition video does not do it justice.

Get Real On Climate Change – Sound Mix and Location Recording from Sandy Milne on Vimeo.

Birds Eye Super Crunch – Animated TVC Sound design and Mix

Working on a sound design and mix for an animated TVC is always a lot of fun but does provide some unique technical and creative challenges.
The atmospheres, movements, room sounds and sound effects all have to be created from scratch as there is generally no location audio. These also need to be given their own space in the mix so that they don’t overpower the music or voice over and need to be kept within the TV volume level guidelines (always the enemy of a good bass heavy explosion).
For this Birds Eye TVC I layered a lot of different sounds recorded by me and from the sound effects library at Risk sound to create the sound track.
The exploding potatoes were a good examples of this and were created by layering the sound of:
a lightning strike, snapping celery, crunching dry biscuits in my hands, crunching potato chips and a punching sound effect with the top end rolled off (filtered or EQed) for a bit of low end impact.
By EQing each individual sound effect, to make specific frequencies more or less prominent, and layering them on top of each other, the result is perceived single sound that works with the vision and is more sonically complex and interesting. It’s a bit like putting together a sonic jigsaw puzzle.
The internal oven sound was recoded by placing our Zoom h4 portable recorder in an oven and turning the oven on. Luckily I only needed a short audio snippet and I don’t recommend this at home in less you are after the sound of a melting Zoom h4!

Birds Eye Super Crunch TVC – Sound Design and Mix by Sandy Milne from Sandy Milne on Vimeo.

BULLET: A Superhero Comedy

If you want so see/hear a great show at the Melbourne comedy festival this year I can recommend BULLET: A Superhero Comedy. This is not just because I created all the sound effects and music for it (well maybe a little bit, but I have to live up to the gen Y narcissistic stereotype) but because it’s a really well written and entertaining show and got great reviews when it played at the Melbourne fringe festival.
The show involves 6 actors on stage with microphones playing various characters, accompanied by sound effects and music triggered to perfection.
It was a fantastic challenge designing the sound and I really had to think outside the box for a lot of it. Thank god for the large sfx library, recording spaces and random collection of strange recordable objects at Risk Sound!

Here are a couple of snippets from the show:

You can read more and book here

Animal Self Portrait – Music track

My friend Kate was working on a project helping primary school aged kids to create a stop motion animation showing which animal they would like to be, for Art Play. They recoded the voices in the workshop and needed a bit of help cleaning them up.
I cleaned the voices up as much as I could, created a short music track for the opening titles and credits and added some atmospheres.

Here is one of my favorite ones.

There were four in total which can check here:

Midnight Snack – Sound Design and Music

Last year I had the pleasure of working with the talented crew at Active Motion creating the sound design and music on an in-house animation project called Midnight Snack.

I always enjoy working on animation as you get to start with a clean slate and can create everything from scratch. While I did use a few sounds from our sound effects library a lot of the sound I recorded in the booth and throughout the Risk Sound building. I found an old metal bread bin which supplied a lot of the running metal and metal impact sounds and spent a fair bit of time, mic in hand, opening and closing fridges. I also manged to record my own stomach rumble (after one too many coffees) and got to practice my spider voice over skills.

Here is the end result:

Midnight Snack

Psyde Projects Remix

A while back I was lucky enough to be working with the guys from the Psyde Projects recording their vocals for their album and EP.
After being inspired by their beats I decided to use the vocals from one of their tracks to create a remix which in turn spurred them on to release an album of remixes.
I created all the synth sounds Native Instruments Massive and Absynth, programmed the drums using battery and recorded my self on the the turntables through my rane mixer. All in all it came together quite well.
Feel free to download and share it.

VNC Connect Applescript

At the studio we run a Mac based network with multiple servers and clients. With remote desktop enabled on the Macs or a VNC server (such as Tight VNC) on Windows it’s easy to view and control the screens of remote systems. Which is pretty handy when most of your systems are located in a distant machine room and don’t want to get off your chair.
While it’s pretty easy to select the computer in the finder and press screen share, I decided to write an Applescript to streamline the process of frequently connecting to same remote systems and thought I would share it in case anyone finds it useful.

The remote systems will need to have a static IP address and this script will only work with OSX 10.5 and up.
To customise the script all you need to do is change the values in the lists and ensure that the name and address values keep their relative position in the list. You can also add more than three systems by just adding to lists.


(* VNC Connect script v1 *)

on get_pos(aCompterName, aList)
	repeat with theItem from 1 to the count of aList
		if item theItem of aList is aCompterName then return theItem
	end repeat
	return 0
end get_pos

(* Set computer address and Names *)

set computerNameList to {"Server", "Windoze", "iMac 1"}
set computerAddressList to {"", "", ""}

set selectedHostName to choose from list computerNameList with prompt "Select a host:"

if selectedHostName is not equal to false then
	set connectwith to item (get_pos((selectedHostName as string), computerNameList)) of the computerAddressList
	do shell script "open -W vnc://" & connectwith
end if


You can download the script here:

Tuna and Beans

When someone asks what you have been working on it’s always nice to be able to reply
“Oh you know just the standard creating underwater fart sounds kind of work”.
We tried a couple of different techniques for creating tuna style flatulence and the booth needed a good airing afterwards.
It’s always interesting creating underwater atmospheres as well as peoples perception of how it should sound is quite different from how it sounds in reality.

Here is the end result:

Tuna and Beans – Sound Design by Sandy Milne from Sandy Milne on Vimeo.