Back To The Future - Sound Replacement - Reflection 3


  • Trash crashing to the ground

  • Boxes, bottles, paper

  • Voice acting

  • Skateboard

  • Editing

  • Mixing

We had discussed our plans to record all the crashing sounds when Marty McFly flies into the bookshelf. so we all brought heaps of empty boxes, plastic bottles, newspapers, magazines, paper, and just general trash into the studio.

We set up all the boxes in a big pile on the table all stuffed full of bits n pieces of rubbish. As we were setting it up we started discussing a more full-on approach with the mic placement for this particular recording. The idea we came up with was to have two overheads to capture the air at the top of the room, a perspective mic to capture the sound from the angle of the camera and a mic under the desk low to the floor to capture the sound of the rubbish actually hitting the floor.

Mic List:

We did lots and lots of takes of pushing the whole stack of boxes off the table which was heaps of fun and then we just got into the area and threw stuff around being careful of our footsteps and laughter. We made a point to try and get some sounds of paper so we waved paper around and threw paper in the air etc. Once we had done all this we tidied up our mess and took all our rubbish down to the bins.

The boxes all set up.

The mic set up.

The Push.

The aftermath.

We then set about recording some voice acting. Adam was the man for the job and we decided that we wanted his voice to sound distant not directly into the microphone and Adams voice being a bit higher would not hurt. So we decided to use the Se4 due to their boosts in the highs and stand Adam about a meter back from the mic to create a small amount of natural reverb. Adam gave his best American accent and tried to emulate the performance we omitted the words Jesus and changed it to jeez it was kind of a slip of the tongue that we thought worked better and was also more respectful. We did pace the words slightly different to the original as you can't see any lips moving and the dialogue in the original sounds quite rushed. It suits Michael J Fox but the best takes we got from Adam were just a bit slower, we still fit them in context to the sounds around them, such as the door closing and him putting down the skateboard etc

Mic set up for voice acting.

Our time was up in the C24 but clever us we had booked the Audient 8024. So we packed up, returned our gear and asked if we could book a zoom recorder to record the skateboard sounds. But alas they were all booked out. Not being as used to booking film equipment we just assumed we'd be able to go and grab one. Well lesson learnt they did have a zoom H2 we thought we'd give it a try, but it was very poor quality with way to much floor noise so we decided to just book an H6 for Monday night and do it then when there are not too many people around..We did have a good look around the building trying to scope out a good quiet area we could record a skateboard on cement. We had a few idea up our sleeves for Monday

We headed back to the studio and moved the vocal takes into place and started to go through all the guitar noises to layer up into the amp explosion. In the film, it just sounds like the sound you get when you tap a guitar lead on metal. So when recording the guitar strums and noise we had recorded a whole bunch of live lead insert sounds and just some tapping the lead on the input of the guitar. I took 6 of them and layered them. Detuned them slightly and went through lots of guitar noise and just trimmed a few little snippets of noise to layer in. We poked around with a bunch more editing until our time was up.

Overall, a good day's work, we went all out trying to capture a realistic sound of all the boxes falling and hitting the ground and I think we really achieved it. We got the voice acting done and in place but still had the skateboard sounds to capture. We rectified this on Monday night, straight after class recording skateboard sounds with a Zoom H6 in a small area near the exit to the smoking area. The floor was cement and with both, the doors shut the area had a slight natural reverb and we thought it was really in line with how it would sound in the film.

If you want to read more about this project, Check out some of my previous blogs:

Project Plan

Reflection 1

Reflection 2

Mixing Session

Featured Posts
Posts are coming soon
Stay tuned...
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square