Mine Kafon short film a FOCUS FORWARD film semifinalist

The fantastic short film that I did the sound design for and mixed earlier this year “Mine Kafon” is currently a  semifinalist  in FOCUS FORWARD film competition.
Focus Forward films highlight exceptional people and world-changing ideas that are impacting the course of human development, changing our lives for the better.
If you get a chance to watch it make sure you vote as well.

Congratulations to Callum Cooper, Mahmud Hassani and everyone else who worked on the project.

Liquid Notes The Making of the Reef

A couple of months ago did the sound design and mix for a documentary about surfing and music (definitely a winning combination) called  “Liquid Notes – The Making of the Reef”
This documentary followed the making of the project called “The reef” and was put together by the awesome guys at Nalu Productions.

In their words “‘Liquid Notes’ follows Artistic Director, Richard Tognetti, in his latest project taking musicians, surfers and cinematographers to the rugged surf coast and tough desert landscape of northern Western Australia, to create a new performance piece for the ACO called The Reef.”

It’s showing on Australian TV,  ABC1, Tuesday November 13 at 10pm if you want to check it out.

Some Not for Profit sound

I’ve been pretty crazy busy the last couple of months trying to juggle assignments, studying for exams, a bunch of sound projects, upgrading my apps for ios 6, developing some new app ideas, work, life etc

I haven’t had much time to update my blog as of late but there are a few projects I have worked on lately through Risk Sound that I thought were worth a mention.

I worked on Australian and American soundtracks for Movember’s 2012 campaign with the awesome crew from Urchin. This included TV, Radio and Web based commercials. This involved voice direction, editing and mixing and mastering. It was also fantastic to be able to work with the very talented Tyler Coppin who was very generous with his time.

I also worked on the Movember GAP initiative soundtracks for the UK, US and Australia

For more info check out Movember


I also worked on the TVC for Steps for Independence Day which is a charity aiming to raise funds and awareness for people with spinal cord injury. The was no location sound supplied for this one so I had to do all foley, atmos and sfx as well as the mix.



Using sox to convert WAV files to a-law or u-law for IVR

Often I have to convert wav files to different and quite esoteric formats that can be used with IVR (Interactive voice response) and Phone systems of clients.
Most formats you can mix directly out of Pro Tools, or your DAW of choice, but sometimes I have to encode files as u-law, a-law or gsm which Pro Tools can’t do.
Do do this I use a handy command line tool for the Mac (it works on windows and linux as well) called SoX

Once you’ve downloaded the zip file you and extracted it you should have a folder called “sox-14.4.0” where 14.4.0 is the version number.
What I normally do is rename the folder simply “sox” and move it to my home folder. From here open the terminal (found in Applications->Utilities) and you can simply drag the executable file called sox on to the terminal window. Find the file you wish to covert and drag that on to the terminal window. This will then show the path on your system to the file to be converted. Then to create a 8000 kHz mono a-law encoded file type:

-r 8000 -c 1 -e a-law

or for u-law

-r 8000 -c 1 -e u-law

or gsm

-r 8000 -c 1 -e gsm

After this drag the folder where you want the file to end up, add a slash / and type the name of the output file ie /one-two-three-alaw.wav then hit enter and BOOM… you can use the time while it’s converting to practice pretending you don’t mind creating such low quality files…

The whole things should end up something like this:

/Users/homedir/sox/sox/ Users/homedir/audio-files/one-two-three.wav -r 8000 -c 1 -e a-law Users/homedir/audio-files/one-two-three-alaw.wav

SoX can do a lot more than this so it’s worth checking out the documentation at the SoX website.

Kontakt Scripting Tools

I’ve been doing a lot of work lately within Native Instruments’ Kontakt sampler which has its own scripting language. It’s quite powerful, works in pro tools and other DAWs and means you don’t have to worry about the pitfalls of dealing with Core audio and all that fun.
I thought I would share a couple of the tools that I find indispensable for working with Kontakt scripting.

Nils Liberg’s KScript Editor is a script editor (you probably guessed that part) with an integrated compiler and is a lot easier to work in that typing your code directly into the Kontakt scripting engine. By pressing F5 you can compile your code which is also copied to the clipboard to be pasted into Knotakt. It makes life so much easier.
You can download it from Nil’s website below

Ken’s GUIGenerator is a graphic tool to help you to create Kontakt performance views, or user interfaces, without having to code at all. It has a lot of great features and lets you name all your variables so you can easily hook them up to your script.
You can download it from musikbits below

Playing a Random Set of Samples in Kontakt

For a project I am working on at the moment I am using Native Instruments Kontakt’s scripting language (KSP) to trigger random samples from a range within the sampler using the script I posted in a previous post. (Here)
This was all working well but when the sample size was getting to small the script was getting locked in a while loop trying to find notes that it had not used before which was very inefficient.
The solution I came up with was to use an array to store all the notes which gets shuffled randomly whenever it reaches the sample limit.
Below is an example of the script I created.

on init
declare $temp := 0
declare $random_temp := 0
declare $counter := 0
declare $lower_limit := 0
declare $upper_limit := 10  
declare $play_head := 0

declare %array_one[10]

  while($counter < num_elements(%array_one))
      %array_one[$counter] := $counter
      end while
  {shuffle array 1}
  $counter := 0
while($counter < num_elements(%array_one))
    $random_temp := random(0, num_elements(%array_one) - 1)
    $temp := %array_one[$counter]
    %array_one[$counter] := %array_one[$random_temp]
    %array_one[$random_temp] := $temp
    end while
end on

function shuffleArray
    $counter := 0
  while($counter < num_elements(%array_one))
    $random_temp := random(0, num_elements(%array_one) - 1)
    $temp := %array_one[$counter]
    %array_one[$counter] := %array_one[$random_temp]
    %array_one[$random_temp] := $temp
    end while  
end function

on note
if ($play_head < 10) 

call shuffleArray
$play_head := 0

end if    
end on

The Constant and The Flux at TIFF

I’ve been working on the sound for some great projects recently with a write/director/artist friend of mine Callum Cooper. One of these projects The Constant and the Flux is currently showing at the Toronto film TIFF Bell Lightbox from September 6 to 16. On display as well is the camera rig that Callum used to create the amazing visual effect.
The majority of the camera audio was unusable so I had to create all the atmospheres and incidental sound effects. I also created a Kontakt instrument which would pick a random effect from a pool of 20 and play them at a random pitch so that I could just play in the midi notes on the transitions and have the instrument not sound like it was looping samples

If you’re in the Toronto area go check it out.

Radio Commercial Production From A Bit Back

I’ve been pretty busy with my final semester at Monash Uni, doing assignments and trying to keep up with the workload while also finishing an update to the Aussie Lingo iOS app, working my day job, learning Spanish and trying to have a life. I think I may be my own worst enemy when it comes to spare time..
I’ve finally managed to get around to doing a bit of archiving of old jobs and have rediscovered some radio commercials I have worked on over the last couple of years while working at Risk Sound that were memorable.

1. RAA-WAIVE-Radio.mp3     

RAA – Waive Radio. I created all the sound fx and music using Native Instruments Kontakt. It’s great working on radio where there is a bit of scope for sound design and you’re not restrained by having to work to pictures.

2. Intraflora-Radio.mp3     

Interflora Radio – This was done quite a few years back but I can remember it being quite a fun process.

3. CGU-Plumber-Radio.mp3     

CGU Radio – This was one of a bunch of CGU ads the I worked on over a period of a couple of months.

4. All-Seasons-Gutter-Guards-Radio.mp3     

All Seasons Gutter Guards Radio – This was one of a campaign of three commercials in which I learned a lot of new words…

I’ve also launched a new show reel page with a video and audio show reel which you can access from the top page.

Aussie Lingo Audio Companion Updated

I’m happy to announce that after couple of weeks spent coding, recording and sound designing an update for Aussie Lingo Audio Companion is now available in the app store.
The update includes:

– 20 more fun Aussie Slang and phrases examples
– Updated iPhone and iPad screen layout
– “Suggest” button to iPad and iPhone menus to enable lingo suggestions to be submitted directly from the main screen
– View Aussie Lingo Facebook page button in info section

Thanks to everyone who has submitted suggestions. Keep them coming!

To download or update you visit the app store

Here is the updated iPhone interface:

and here is the updated iPad interface: