Star Wars sounds please...but not actual Star Wars sounds please!
Working recently for the first class visual effects company, Outpostvfx (http://outpostvfx.co.uk) of Bournemouth, I had a childhood dream come true...To make Star Wars sounds!
The brief: Provide the sound design and music for a VFX trailer to launch hi-tech flying 'BattleDrones'... the official Star Wars 'executive toy!' made by American company Propel and to be sold later this year worldwide.
Now obviously the Star Wars franchise is home to some of the most recognisable sounds in movie history, from the light sabres to the Droids, so it was a particularly challenging task to attempt them...from scratch!
Although working alone on the SFX, I made an interesting decision not to investigate the sound sources and the sound design that were originally implemented by Ben Burtt (http://filmsound.org/starwars/burtt-interview.htm) in the first Star Wars movies. I wanted to see if I could just use my ears to listen and recreate those SFX correctly. I'm sure that all those Star Wars and sonic purists out there would argue that they can tell my sounds are not the real thing but I think I like that!...It is, after all 2016 and not the 1970s and my sound design had to accompany a very clinical, sharp, fresh, current Visual effects film...so, a difference in the sonic finish also felt necessary.
I tried everything I could in order to create decent sounds that do justice to the originals. From using time-stretched animal cries, airshow field recordings, massive mod wheel alterations on an array of Logic Xs synths, to bags of gated reverb, wild EQ decisions and frequency shifted recorded conversations, I came up with a selection of Star Wars Sonic Clones (!!!sorry, can't help it can you!)
It was almost too exciting when I was asked to choose and layer a piece of the original Sound track into the trailer as well, although this was not to be the version that was used at the London Excell Star Wars celebration, another of my versions made the show using an original license free composition. I have the pleasure of working with a good friend Tom Lydon (https://thomaslydon.com/production-music/) who is an outstanding composer based in West London. Tom and I discuss the plans for the sonic workflow of a project and then after several flashes of genius and a few long nights in the studio Tom will magic up a short composition 'in the style of' and then I will produce it and layer it into or onto my page of sfx.
I couldn't have enjoyed the project more, and in the whirlwind deadline period (nothing motivates like a deadline!) I buzzed around from speeder bikes to synth-based jet engines until I felt like my studio was located somewhere on Edor!
Such a privilege and such a sound designers dream task!