Tutorial 1: S-Layer

Our review on: http://designingsound.org

Stadium Crowd – The back door

Empire Stadium MLS: WhiteCaps VS Sounders

Working on sports projects often requires crowd audio that helps to convey a specific place and responds emotionally to the actions of a game. Very often, you don’t even think consciously about the crowd as your eyes are deeply focused on the action and your hands are firmly gripped to your chair. The reaction of the crowd though can physically make you feel the drama and transport you in a fraction of a second into the stadium with the tens of thousands of fans.




Neumann RSM191 AS

Schoeps MS Cmit 5u + Ccm8

There’s a concept by Walter Much here that explains how visuals knock at the front door while sound tends to come from the back door. In fact, two different parts of our brain treat separately what we see and what we hear. That’s because our vision is meant to directly inform us of the front while our ears should prevent us from being attacked from behind.




BC Place MLS: WhiteCaps VS Timbers

Sony D50 for close proximity

Crowd sound is a powerful storytelling tool that has 3 characteristics: Behavior, Content and State. It can be yelling, swearing, cheering, chanting, roaring, idling… It may clap, rumble, whistle, blow some horns… And it finally may be positive, negative or neutral and play with tension, anger, surprise or joy.




BC Place CFL: Lions VS Eskimos

BC Place Stadium

PA announcements, music, chants, fireworks, swear words and anything not suitable have to be removed. I found it very useful to stay on the field and change location when needed.



Crowds can be very large and reach high dB SPL in half a second. With limited equipment and on my own time, I managed to access the fields during 2 soccer games and a football game. Soccer and football present different crowd behaviors and it was a chance to have indoor and outdoor alternatives. The Empire Stadium has a capacity to seat 27500 and BC Place 60 000, so by coming early enough, I could arrange to take the best spot and capture distant and proximity perspectives without disturbing the TV crews.

Abstract experiments 3 – TwistedTools’ Transform

I worked in early 2011 for Twisted Tools on a Sci-Fi sound library called Transform, that was supposed to embrace both sound designers and musicians. It’s available here for US $69.

Interview                                       SOS                                          SFX Lab

Happy accident 2 – Garden Snake

My landlord has this wild garden where flowers, vegetables, small trees and big plants share the same small space. One late night of Summer, she was still gardening and I could barely see her. She accidentally dropped the hose on the ground resulting in a sound that I interpreted as a hissing snake. It was actually the small stream of water that fluttered a big leaf. I waited until she was done and I went outside playing with this intriguing reptile.

The bee’s speech

When recording, one of the aspects I’m always striving for is emotion. There are so many kinds of emotions that human kind can perceive and I think it’s a great opportunity for us story tellers that most of them can be reproduced with sounds.

Very often, you want some control over your sound in order to achieve the right performance. This summer, I played with a long blade of grass like we all used to do in our childhood and then I tried with other materials like tinfoil, silk and some sheets of paper. This is the result:

The Emotion Annotation and Representation Language (EARL) classifies 48 emotions!