Back To The Future - Sound Replacement - Reflection 1


  • Discuss our plan for this project and determine individual roles.

  • Work out our timetable for studio work for this project.

  • Create Asset List in order from source video.

  • Create DAW session and import video and original audio assets.

  • Go through all previous recorded sounds from our own sample packs.

  • Record every switch and button sound in the 8024 studio.

  • Play around with guitar amp and leads to generate hum noise.

Before our first session took place we had already sat down as a group and watched the video. We had decided exactly which section we wanted to use and made a list of every sound in chronological order with some loose ideas on how we could achieve those sounds. This allowed us time to ponder on the possibilities before the first session. Doctor Duck was responsible for getting the video edited and ready before our first session. Our first session for this project was mainly focused on mapping out exactly what we had to do and how we were going to do it. We loaded the video into a new ProTools session and watched it, encouraging brainstorming and adding to our notes.

We went through all the samples from a previous project and managed to salvage a few clicking sounds from a toy hammer and a door opening and closing. We moved a few clicks into time but realised the clicks in the video were double or triple clicks so the sounds we have are in time with the sound of the switch, hitting home but we may need to layer a few other sounds.

Then we set out to do exactly what we booked the Audient 8024 for, to record the sounds of every switch on the mountain of outboard gear in this particular studio. We set up a Rode NT2a on cardioid and positioned it directly in front of each area of switches to record them into the DAW with the intention of sorting through them later and choosing the ones we want to move into time with the switches in the video and to layer them if needed.

Then got a guitar lead and recorded some insertion sounds into a small amp that was in the room. We set the mic up a few feet back and turned it on just to see if we could get any cool sounds out of the amp for the humming noises. I plugged the lead into the input and headphone input. If it was halfway in it would create a feedback loop. We set the mic up a few feet back from the amp to get more of a room tone, based on where he is standing in the video. We then proceeded (with ear protection of course) to play with the settings on the amp until we had a humming sound similar to the sound in the video. We were recording this whole experiment and actually got some really cool sounds, We stopped and played it back to check the sound of the recorded signal and we were pretty happy with it.

The interesting thing was that if you turned the volume knob up the tone would go lower and start to oscillate and if you turned it down the tone would go up. The volume stayed the same in both cases.

We watched the video again and realised that the tone raised in the video as he turned the knobs up. So we aimed to record our version of this shift in tone. We played with the tone by moving the volume knob (it doesn't make sense, but in this case it does) and we found just the right spot, then we watched the video and attempted to record the tone increase in time with the dial turns in the video. The first pass was too fast but Adam Higginson nailed it on the second take.

We played it all back together with our door sounds, clicks, and guitar noise and then watched it again with the original sounds talking a lot more about what we needed to add and how we were going to do it.

In reflection, we treated this first session as a way to start our planning and get a head start on some of our tracking. We really improved our workflow in the next session but all in all, I think we got off to a good start and learned a lot in the process.

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