• Eric

Creative Process #8 - Post-Production Part 3: Sound Design

Please visit my FreeSound page at the following link: https://freesound.org/people/ericnorcross81/


The sound design of FRACTALS is a mesh of real-world sounds, hyper-reality "movie" sounds, and sci-fi/horror/paranormal sounds all blended to create a soundtrack that is unique to my body of work.Most of the dialog and V.O. narrative was recorded during principal photography, and on-set dialog was used whenever possible. While there is some light ADR work spread throughout the movie, leaning on post-production re-recording was not my first or preferred decision.Every scene has either room tone recorded the day of the shoot, or "manufactured" room tone derived from quiet "spaces" between bits of dialog.Keep in mind, I had no crew to help me make this film. Sometimes my girlfriend was available to help out here and there, and much of the dialog recorded was recorded by her at my direction. So, to achieve the level of sound quality we have, is quite remarkable.All dialog was recorded on two SENNHEISER shotgun microphones: one mounted to the camera, and one held near the actors, recording into a ZOOM H6 recorder. Wireless LAV mics were used for scenes outside, where the actors were far from the camera, or couldn't be successfully captured by the Sennheisers for some other reason. These LAVs were piped into a first generation ZOOM H4n recorder.During the course of post-production, I engaged personally in the sound design efforts. I upgraded my H4n with the latest H4n Pro and used the device to record all the ambiance and most of the foley work. The on-board X-Y microphone is perfect for recording stereo ambiance, and much of the city sounds you hear in the film is from this basic, handheld device.{insert clip}Some scenes only have two layers of sound: a layer of dialog and a layer of ambiance. For example, this scene between Tim and Avis is simply their dialog via the LAV mics, (from the July shoot) and ambiance I recorded the following spring.(insert backyard scene).Some scenes have upwards of 20, sometimes 30 layers of sounds. At the time of the making of this video, they're still being mixed by a professional.Some of the hyper-reality sound effects include punching and kicking, which are layers of hits of various objects, plus the cracking of celery to imitate the sound of bones cracking. This is all very typical of sound design.The real invention came with designing the paranormal sounds of a sentient Black Hole that grows like a cancer throughout the film. The root of this was achieved by hitting a dull steak knife against a slinky in the echo-chamber of my shower.(insert footage me doing it at my desk followed by a mixed-clip from the film).Good sound design takes a concerted effort, a will to achieve, the right gear, and outside-the-box thinking. As a matter of garnering support and interest for my film, and because I am a believer in a work-together/succeed-together creative philosophy, most of the ambiance and sound effects I created for FRACTALS has been released into the public domain and is now available for download from the Freesound project (link in the description). What you do with these sounds, is entirely up to you. You don't need to pay or credit me. Just have fun creating!


Drafted: June 06, 2021

Recorded: 06/06/2021

Completed & Released: 07/23/2021



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