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May 2013

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long sequence that shows the transition of the main character as he is taken from the woods and brought into civilization. Golden scored this sequence using a blend of acoustic guitar, synth pads, strings and drum hits. "Typically, Sousa likes to keep the film's sound more abstract, and use almost no music, but for this sequence he wanted to have a music track that was melodic, and that had a build and swell and felt like it was going somewhere." This music track is also used to score the film's trailer. Golden does most of his recording, editing, and mixing in Logic Pro. He also uses Cubase, particularly for pitch shifting. He mixed the film in stereo, because the main audience will be people viewing the film online once it's finished with the film festival circuits. "We thought about doing 5.1, but in reality, you're going to need a good stereo mix. We went to Sundance and the mix sounded great in the theater. The stereo mix just seemed like the way to go." HEAD OVER HEELS Head Over Heels, an Oscar-nominated short animated film, was created by students at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, UK. The stop-motion-style film tells the story of an old married couple who occupy the same house but live two separate lives. Freelance sound designer Axle Kith Cheeng ( created a soundscape that helped tell the story without any dialogue. Cheeng structured the sound design in three parts to mirror the changing mood of the film. The beginning of the film portrays the separation of the couple and how they live together in the same house, but everything is divided. One person lives over the other. "The sense of loneliness and the staleness of their relationship resonates with sounds of cold wind and wooden creaks." Like the couple, the objects in the house are old. The chairs squeak, the floors creak, and the television doesn't get good reception. "They didn't make the effort to keep up their marriage, or the condition of the house, so it had to feel old. Foley was used extensively to create the sound of the husband's chair. That had seven or eight different layers of sound," she says. In Head Over Heels, the house is floating through the air, and as it changes position, you hear the wood creaking. Cheeng used a low-rumbling sound to indicate a looming change as the house's position becomes more precarious, and finally crashes to the ground. The second part of her sound design conveys change and uneasiness. The characters, who have been stuck inside for years, can now venture out into a world that is strange and inviting. To translate those adjectives into sound, Cheeng says she used a combination of small birds chirping and the bizarre call of a distant vulture. The wife leaves the house and walks along a lakeside. "The wife's uneasiness at being away from home is suggested through the water lapping and the squishy sound of her footsteps in the mud; this is a place she does not belong. When she returns to the house, the atmosphere becomes cozy.The house is no longer floating, and she has made up her mind to reunite with her husband." The last part of the sound design conveys the emotions of rekindled love. When the wife returns home, she picks up a fallen wedding photo. The glass broke when the picture fell. The wife notices the ballet shoes she's wearing in the photo. They are the same shoes her husband fixed earlier in the film, but the meaning of his gift was lost on her at that moment. Realizing their importance, she nails the shoes to the ceiling, along with all her other shoes, so that she can walk on the husband's floor. (She lives upside down in his world). "There is a special emphasis on the sounds of the glass shards rattling inside the wooden frame. Her feelings here are tender, and these quiet, detailed sounds help us feel them." Cheeng mixed the film in 5.1 on a Euphonix console. "Mixing in surround gave us more room to play with the precarious position of the house and panning helped with the position of the characters, since the characters were living on each other's ceiling," she explains. "For example, when Madge (the wife) is vacuuming her ceiling, I panned the sound to the left and into the surrounds to create the sense that it's on the ceiling." TOTAL WAR: ROME II — CARTHAGE TRAILER Richard Beddow, audio manager at Creative Assembly ( has had a long history with the popular Total War game franchise. The newest addition, Total War: Rome II, is set for release late in 2013. In anticipation of the game, Creative Assembly, located in Horsham, West Sussex, UK, released several game trailers, including the Total War: Rome II — Carthage Trailer. This is a combination of in-game graphics and animation created specifically for the trailer. The Carthage trailer opens on a scene of the harbor at sunrise, and fluidly moves to scenes of soldiers marching through the city, and then moves back out into the harbor. Over the animation we hear the voice of a Roman senator calling for the destruction of Carthage; another Roman senator debates the success of an attack. We hear the reaction of the crowds. After a fade to black we return to the harbor outside Carthage, where several boats are waiting. A commander yells, "Fire!" and a trebuchet on the ship launches a ball of fire into the walls around Carthage, signaling the beginning of the battle. Total War: Rome II — Carthage has an "epic" and "cinematic" feel, and to translate those adjectives into sound Beddow relied on the performance of the voiceovers, which run throughout the trailer, to emphasize the drama. The orchestral-based music, written by composer Ian Livingstone, adds energy and rich textures up top and eventually takes over near the end of the trailer. Beddow used long cross-fades in the sound design to create smooth transitions between the continued on page 45 Post0513_032-37-audioRAV3finalread.indd 37 Freelance sound designer Axle Kith Cheeng created a soundscape for Head Over Heels that helps tell the story without any dialogue. Post • May 2013 37 5/3/13 4:46 PM

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