by Susana Alarcon

When mixing (not final) our project we realize that we needed to record a lot more than we thought. Suddenly, the lectures made total sense and we realize we had to create and modify (a lot) our own sounds in order to express what we wanted.

We want to recreate and translate our clip to certain emotions and feelings. Do we want to…

indicate changes in time/space?
continuity or emphasising transitions?
modify music tempo, pitch, style, filter?
the feeling implies harmony or dissonance? Which timbre/tone colors to use?

And then… everything has to be in synch!

Sound design, even our basic one, is not at all easy.





In animation synchronized sounds are the beginning are not perfect, rough sounds, imitation and exaggeration in “fake” and comic sound.

When creating animation, importance and capabilities of sound, change the content of the animations (with music in it) and it seems obvious the creativity comes in hand with technology and consistency in the creation of sound.
The intention of the animation also takes an important place in the creation/selection of sounds.
“There is not a conflict in listening and watching the animation at the same time” even nowadays… our mind is used to make connections with image, sounds. Even if we realize the asyncronicity but we understand the sounds.

With the unicorn scene… once again the sound takes a huge variable in how the animation flows. I guess in 1940’s time the animation was done first and the music was adjusted, or the opposite?
Fantasia is a good example of how the sound can run the show. The evolution of animation are hand in hand with the possibilities of sound. Disney focused in the exploration and exploration of sound, so then Fantasia became a music show idea and from there the animation was born.

Even in the situation the image is first (visual) I’m sure a drawer/animator already has the idea of what type of music was going to be played with the story. Or the director…


Today’s presentation was a very nice example of how a sound designer is not just doing his job, I think that once you come up with 2400 individual sound files that are carefully designed and planned, you have a love (and maybe hate) relationship with your piece.

On other side, It was really nice to know a bit more of the creation of Wall E, bacause, not mattering on the fact that has minimal dialogue, Ben Burtt created true souls and life to the characters.


Use of sound – to emphasize emotions or situations… as revelation “””

-Creation of voices to convince( give life and soul to a machine)

And is clear the close connection between the animation and story to create sound, or the sound is the one giving the emotions to the animation?… will it be rough? angelical? Which filter would be the correct one to use?

Layered sounds

Lord of the rings

We had a quick jump into the effects, music and grouping of the sound in one of Lord of the Rings movie. The layer option for sound arrangement creates a huge space able to work with, if it is used correctly it can create a new dimension, but if you are not the best at it it is kind of scary that you overuse sounds and layers and just create a mess. I hope me and my team can sort it out in the project…


Sound in Web Art

I was very impressed when the work of Arcangel Constantini showed up at class. I was like “I have seen it before”… quite a lot of times. I must accept that I never took much attention in the past, maybe because I’m not a big fan of animation or I hadn’t take the time to judge it in other context.

But now, talking about interaction and sound, it is interesting.  Most of his work floats in the interaction between visuals and sounds; simple flash animation and archaic web design merges and comes up with electronic sound help.

Arcangel is a mexican web/electronic/visual artist that tends to work with the combination of analog and digital worlds. For example, in “” we find a web page with different infections, the main (works with sound) is Infektados.

This animation comes from, as he describes, the use of a code like a line and a dot are, from the inner subconscious and through the coding/drawing process he animates these entities (bacterias) and plant them in the Web, so  when we, users, interact with them, we are being “infected”, by both, naturally by the entity that comes out of his brain and hand, but also by this medium that is the digital world.

A good interaction design comes with the success of the piece. Imagine if it didn’t have sound; the experience wouldn’t be the same,so the infection, or our interest in keep experimenting with the animation,  wouldn’t be that interesting.


Here the link—->

PS. one correction, some of his work is supported by musicians and other electronic artists in terms of sound.






Gravity by Alfonso Cuaron

It’s about great sound and visual effects!

I decided to go and watch Gravity last weekend; it was satisfactory in terms of visuals and sounds. But it is kind of strange being aware of what is actually happening in space. It definitively reminds you at some points, that you are watching a movie … We are too used to hear unrealistic and exaggerated sounds that, at least in my case, when I don’t I feel like I’m missing something.

I guess is about balance between visuals and sounds; and I am not meaning it is lacking in Gravity, sure there is balance , and realism, but who of us has been in space to feel it usual and real? Scientists, astronauts and kind of people know it or experienced it and talk about it, but in my very own experience, I don’t recognize it.

Going deeper on to the sound subject, I did further research on the movie. There are many comments on sound made by the director and (all=ologist in Gravity) Alfonso Cuaron. Most of them were that him and Re-recording Mixer Skip Lievsay used science and facts to create a vast space environment. Though is not 100% real, I must accept that in some points of the movie the use of silence creates an emptiness feeling that invite us spectators to interact (in our imaginations or even shout).

On one hand we have the transducer recordings for vibrations more than sounds; we have a sound that is more interactive; we can watch massive explosions that take place behind our characters in absolute silence till they crash on to the characters. On another hand, sound is geographically literal, sound is panned according of how characters perceive sound; we feel it more real, and in chaotic scenes, we feel the disoriented effect, chaos.

The surround mix was first, then the Atmos; they explain it is an awesome system to float around the sound, sounds became objects to work with in 3D, interesting… I wish I can try it soon.

There Will Be Blood

My partners decided to work on the movie “There Will be Blood” because I had the idea of the Clip for the Major Project and it was their ‘time”. At first, I was not very happy, I remembered just a bit of the movie and didn’t make me much sense.

When I re watched the movie with analytic and critic ears and also when I read about it, I discovered how deep was the meaning behind the sound; sometimes as audience we don’t identify and understand the “movie”, I can say, in the past my lack of knowledge and interest in the sound made me understand less the point and feelings of the movie. From now on, I am thankful to Sound Design lecture to have changed the way I experience a movie (media in general).