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Things I would do differently after watching it again:

  • Offset the track so it has the proper echo delay.

  • Found more crumbling sounds for the roof caving in (but they would have to be the proper perspective i.e. you wouldn't hear rocks crumbling from that far away).

  • Balanced it out so it builds more and climaxes better.

  • Added more distant echo rumbles.

[vimeo]14342987[/vimeo]

http://vimeo.com/14342987

  • p.s. That's not my voice at the end if you're wondering ;) – Utopia Aug 22 '10 at 23:50
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    I wish I could give it a proper listen, but I don't have any speakers around me. Not heading to the studio till I come back from a 2 week vacation :-( hope you get good feedback. BTW, listening to it on crappy headphones, it sounds pretty nice. Love the muffle bombs... – Andrew Spitz Aug 23 '10 at 16:32
  • And it's Dynamic InterfERENCE ;) – Justin Huss Aug 23 '10 at 21:10
  • lol. I feel like such a ditz. Thanks everyone for the critiques! – Utopia Aug 24 '10 at 4:21
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First off, great job. Your sounds fit the visuals very well. Anyway, here's what I found:

  • I think you're right, given that your design goes for a sense of realism, offsetting the track just slightly would help.
  • I don't know if it's the crumbling of the roof that I want to hear so much as those I-beams tearing away and clanging around.
  • Love the [BLEEP], but the "Holy" is a little too buried. I had to repeat it a couple times to figure out what was being bleeped.
  • The explosions along the base don't seem to vary as much as the size of the blasts do. The picture tells me there are a number of different charges being detonated, especially when you get to the pillars, but the concussions sound like they're all very similar.
  • The very last pillar explosion seems early.
  • Overall in my room the low-end translates nicely, but the mid-highs are too present. Given the style I would expect them to smear a little more and sound a little more distant. Maybe the offsetting would correct this.
  • Thanks! All those points are spot on. Funny thing about the guys at the end is there was a boom file I have that the recordists said that after some huge explosion and I thought it would be hilarious in there. – Utopia Aug 24 '10 at 4:23
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The only critique I can really offer, that hasn't been already, is that it feels like there's too much low-end rumble at the start of when the roof starts to collapse, so there's not as much additional perceived mass as the building keeps coming down.

  • Thanks, Dave! I personally never know when it's too much or too little. I've heard both from people on my mixes and I don't know what I should do to train my ear to perfect it... It seems like an opinionated thing because I've heard many mixes that have wild variations of low-end content. How do you think I should judge it best? – Utopia Aug 24 '10 at 4:24
  • I'm not really sure... just less in the onset. – Dave Matney Aug 24 '10 at 13:26
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It is sound design after all, and you have to tell us what you were aiming at... For example, I saw the stadium as a defenseless animal that people just hunt down because they're afraid of it when it just committed the crime of being big and not aesthetically pleasing. It made sense to me to insist on the whipping explosions along the pillars and the deformation and fall of the structure. It might not translate so well in the finished video but at least I enjoyed doing the thinking...

But in general I would expect a sharper attack for the explosions and a tad more of content in the mid-lows.

I also believe that the fall starts earlier than when you actually notice it appearing in the picture. I found that just about nobody saw it that way.

Finally, none of use has treated the back side of the building that we don't see. You seem to have a lot of free space in your mix and you could consider including that too.

I'm not a good critique, am I? :D

  • Actually, I think that's a great critique -- not so much of the video itself, but of ways to possibly look at videos differently. – Dave Matney Aug 24 '10 at 0:59
  • Thanks, Justin! I was aiming at realism - as if you were there. You're totally right about the backside of the building. – Utopia Aug 24 '10 at 4:25
  • Personally, I'm kind of glad that the backside explosions were ignored in most (if not all) of the entries. I worried that people would end up with a cluttered mess if they tried to cover those as well. Where are the important visual points? What needs to be supported or augmented by sound? Those are the important questions. It is possible to throw too much at the audience. That being said, a talented sound designer/mixer could cover the back blasts as well in a meaningful way, but it would be difficult on top of everything else. Probably unnecessary to boot. – Shaun Farley Aug 24 '10 at 11:45
  • I stand corrected. – Justin Huss Aug 24 '10 at 12:16
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    @Shaun A good example of this reasoning is the humongous elephants in Return of the King. They decided only to cut the front two stomps of it's feet and not all of them because of that very reason: mud. – Utopia Aug 24 '10 at 23:02

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