Flikli’s Production Notes – Sound Design: Where Are We Now?
This is the third, and final part, of a new series where we invite you into our studios to take a look behind the scenes and see what makes us tick. Previously we discussed what sound design is , a brief history of sound design , and today we’ll see how sound design is used presently and at Flikli.
Now that we’ve learned a little about where sound design has come from, this leads us to where is sound design today? To the traditional sound designer, this is somewhat saddening, however it is a testament to the progress of an ever advancing and connecting world, that as a professional sound designer today there is little need to even own a recording device. This is due to ever-growing audio libraries being readily available online.
Many online royalty free audio libraries exist (Pond5, Audiojungle, AudioMicro, and Soundrangers to name a few) that contain literally tens-of-thousands of sounds covering practically every imaginable pop, whoosh and pumpkin-draining (ahem) you can conceive. And the majority of audio clips within these libraries are often of quality far superior to what a sound designer on a budget could realistically match if recording his own.
So it is now that for the sake of efficiency, quality and accessibility we see most sound designers in animation never have to leave the comfort of their own laptop when it comes to painting the SFX over a visual piece of work. They simply need a sound library membership or two, any number of audio-editing software applications readily available (think Adobe, Avid, Steinberg, Propellerhead etc) and they’re good to go. Oh how times have changed!
Now, one fundamental piece to any sound design production in an animation that has yet to be mentioned in this post is, arguably, the most important consideration of all – the designer!
Sound Design @ Flikli
To put it simply, the style of sound used in our productions can be labelled as “cartoon”. We always aim to find the balance between getting a customer’s message across in a professional, yet affable way. We find humor above other approaches to be the most effective and engaging method of sound to use with the visuals our artist and animation team create.
The Flikli sound design team is a very rare and special breed indeed. As far as hardware and software goes, well, let’s just say we humbly utilize the modern methods – but regularly enjoy paying homage to the sound designers of yesteryear by whipping out the microphones and having some good ol’ Foley fun while adding to our own ever-growing audio library.
What our sound designers do have in bucket-loads are the passion, consistency and attitude, not to mention those all important rare and ethereal qualities that always shine through in every production we create.
Ah, sound design! It’s always a pleasure to take a trip down memory lane and see what made you what you are today. Where this wonderful art/science will develop to in the future seems quite clear with continuous increases in efficiency, quality and portability. Here in Flikli Town we will be happily welcoming the software and hardware advancements as they roll out, but one thing’s certain – our sound designers will never forget where it all began. You’ll regularly find in-house recorded sounds on our productions, be it a mouth-pop, finger click, or even a bumblebee!
We’d love to hear you thoughts on the wonderful world of sound design. Feel free to let us know in the comments below!
in Video Production
on 3 December 2012
An audiophile to his core, Chris laid the foundations of sound design best practices during his tenure at Flikli. His passions are listening, writing, wandering and wondering. Being a Scottish soul through-and-through, he can be seen regularly enjoying porridge in the rain. Find him on Twitter and Google+.