Spencer Clarke Sound

Engineer and Editor, for Music and Post

Stop-Motion Advertisement - "FIBR"

 As far as sound design for this ad goes, it is a lot simpler than it seems.

The "birdsong" track is comprised of four different samples of birdsong from different species, each corresponding to the mood that I wanted to express with the animated paper cranes. I recorded the voiceover using a Rode Podcaster Microphone.

The first sound effect, the "boom" heard about halfway through the video, is a heavily doctored sample of stomping on a rug. I pointed a microphone directly at the spot where I stomped, then added an EQ plugin to bring out the low-end, compression to bring out more aftershock, and then ran the sample through a Reverb plugin to get the long tail that characterizes the effect.

The next two sound effects are different portions from the same action. The sound effect for the rolling ball and the un-crumpling paper are both the result of crumpling a paper ball in front of a microphone. For this effect, I used a more sensitive microphone and crumpled a sheet of paper about 1 inch away from the microphone. The rolling ball portion was then treated with an EQ plugin to bring out more rumble, then compressed. The uncrumpling paper was just a quieter section from the same take, and wasn't treated with the EQ plugin.

The final sound of a pencil on paper was recorded in the same space as the crumpled paper foley effects. I pointed the microphone at the ground, and drew on a sheet of paper lying on the wood floors of the studio. The sample was then edited to sound like a more continuous sequence of strokes after I put the video together in AVID Media Composer.

Once all of the samples were placed where I wanted them in AVID, there were a few more tricks to get things to fit together nicely. Since the music would occupy the same frequency range as the effects, I carved out a large swath in the mid-range of the music with an EQ plugin, then carved away the extreme highs and lows from the other samples. After that, I added a limiter on the Master audio track to bring up the volume as a whole.