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    Layering sounds?


    Hey guys! I'm wanting to learn more about layering sounds for filmmaking. I saw a video recently stating the trick to good sounds is to layer sounds on different frequencies to be effective.

    I mostly use Logic and Reaper. Any tips or links to good tutorials out there for this? Thanks.

    -Brandon

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    Hi there

    I highly recommend you browse this youtube channel:

    Designing Sound on Youtube

    If you scroll back to a few years ago you will find many videos explaining the sound designers technique.


    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...

    Freesound Housekeeper
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    Thanks so much for responding. I will check out this page. Thanks.

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    It's not exactly what you were asking for, but It will be a help on your sound design journey nonetheless smile


    I am the thing that goes bump in the night...

    Freesound Housekeeper
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    I'm afraid I can't remember the whereabouts of any tutorials off the top of my head, but hopefully I can be of some help.

    When you talk about layering sounds, do you mean microscopically as it were, i.e. to create a spot effect for example, or do you mean macroscopically to create a scene. this consideration, coupled with the particular effect you are going for, will influence the techniques to use when layering sounds.

    When layering sounds, it's important to consider contrast and timing as well as the frequency spectrum. Explosions can be made to sound more powerful when they are layered, especially when you stagger their start times. Done right, this can really fatten the sound.

    Let's say you have an explosion that starts with a sharp cracking report, but it doesn't have the rumbling trail-off you want, neither does it have sufficient flare - that harsh, sand-apery sound that can give grit and muscle.

    Start with the crack, then bring in another element with more of a rumbling trail-off, perhaps with a short fade-in at the front, both to avoid having two attacks, and also to control your levels.

    Mix in a third element with the desired flare, perhaps filtered to remove the rumble that you have already catered for, a little falling debris, all staggered to give the size and impact you want, and you have your explosion.

    Using EQ to make sure that each sound has its own space is crucial as you've already mentioned. With the rumbling element of the explosion described above, there's not really any need for much high-end, being as that will hopefully be taken care of with your other two elements. Not filtering it out where its not needed can result in all kinds of issues such as phase problems and a muddy sound.

    Say you wanted to create the sound for a lightning bolt spell. You could just have the sound of the strike, or you could include some kind of a build-up sound to signify the gathering of power before release, perhaps with some electrical sparks included in the trail-off to emphasise the searing quality of the energies involved and to give a sense of how they discipate. This is where the contrast between loud and soft in the right place really makes a sound greater than the sum of its parts.

    Ptich changing a sound and layering it with itself can also work, particularly for creating other-worldly beds of distant moaning voices etc. Pitch shifting anything down makes it sound larger at the expense of the high-end. So, for example, if you pitch shifted a door slam down to make it sound more impressive, you could layer it with high frequency clicks to preserve the realism of the sound.

    Hope this makes sense and helps

    Follow me @JustinMac_84 for updates on my various projects, what I'll be posting to Freesound and various other goodness.

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