Recently I have found myself in somewhat of a plateau in reguards to my sound design abilities. It seems I have hit a little wall with creative implementation, propelling story, and believability in general.
I have this idea that I got from a book, The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin. Josh Waitzkin is a World Class Chess Champion, the movie Searching for Bobby Fisher was about him as a kid. Well once the movie came out he ended up leaving the competitive chess scene and picked up Tai Chi Chun, in which he then became a World Champion in that. The book is an autobiography in which he analyzes his methods for learning. Highly recommend this book, it is a quick read.
Anyways, one thing he mentions is going back to the basics to propell your high end skillset. It directly applies to competitive fighting in which he would go over the basic forms until they were so ingrained in his muscle memory that they ceased to be a conscious thought process and instead became a subconscious, an instinct. He found that when he reached a plateau, he would work with the basics and then after much practice on the basics, he returned to high level fights, his skillset had increased dramatically.
So this is what I am doing. The basics of Sound Design/Editing.
This has been hard to try and figure out what the basics neccessarily are. I am ignoring basic editing skills as in cuts and crossfades but have decided to work on individual plugin basics. My plan for this practice is to completely remove the creative utilization of these plugins and instead focus on implementation of reproduction.
Here is what I mean and where SSD could lend a hand. I have chosen to work with reverb as my first plugin, basic ole D-Verb. Yes there are other better reverbs, but the purpose of this is to use a basic plugin, that almost everyone has, and work with only that. If someone has another plugin that is free that could be used I am all ears for it.
What I am looking for is a set of files files, 1 being dry source sound, and the 2nd being end product using Dverb, and lastly a listing of the settings used. My thought process is to try and match the sound/settings of the 2nd file using the dry source material.
I believe it will help out a few things, first being a better understanding of reverbs, two, it will excercise my critical listening, and 3 it will start a foundation in which I can figure out how to start implementing more complex and realistic reverbs when an impulse is not present, like creating an alley with multiple brick walls, moving from large rooms into small during a scene etc.
I am posting here so that hopefully some of the more experienced could grab something dry, throw some simple reverb on it and print it along with listing the settings, and then maybe over time build up into more complex situations. That way I have something to replicate that I did not originally create. I also invite anyone else who feels like participating in this to please join in.
I am currently editing a handful of different projects, my time is limited, so I am trying to have small simple practice sessions where a little bit of time per day/week practicing on it. The more time I end up having free, the more I will work with. I believe doing something like this, a little regimented non creative practice, while a little boring, will pay off down the road.
Let me know if you all have any ideas of a better way to approach this and maybe what the next "basic" thing to work on should be.
Thanks in advance