Asbjoern Andersen


When it comes to trailer sound design, Bryan Jerden is an inspiring expert. Having been in the trailer and cinematic sound design industry for over 13 years – working on hundreds of projects – he knows what it takes to put together a great-sounding trailer. And in this exclusive talk, he shares some of his approaches, tools – and how trailer sound has evolved:
 

Hi Bryan, what’s your overall approach to trailer sound?

My approach is really from several angles at once:

First I realize that it is my job to make the film makers happy and to make a trailer that is exciting or captivating for the audience. You only have a short time to tell your story and draw them in so the vision needs to be clear. You can’t leave it up to the mixer to figure out, you have to lay it out so that it sings on its own.

That said I take the music and the story into very strong consideration. I try hard to compliment the music and express the sonic story as much as possible. Working with music is an art in itself that involves both pitch and rhythm but telling the story within that context can be very tricky… especially if you want it to be exciting. Clarity is key.
 

What makes for a great trailer soundscape?

Soundscapes can tell sorts and reveal concepts that music can’t because it is based on sounds that are grounded in life, unlike music. Music is great at expressing feeling and emotion on a subject level. but sound design is rooted in life experience. The sound of a train of in the distance, a jet fighter ripping by or even ring of a gunshot.

We all can relate to those ideas because we all have been collecting those sonic images our whole lives… through life, through cinema and in our dreams.

A great soundscape is one that pushes what is familiar into a new experience

I think what makes a great soundscape is one that pushes what is familiar into a new experience. One that makes you collect all of the sonic images that bring to life all the images.

 

What are your favorite tools for trailer sound creation?

Having great sound source is key and knowing what will and what will not work is very important. I am all about processing chains.
I have saved templates that specific processing chains I like to use for certain things, I have racks that I have saved in Soundminer and lately I have been doing a lot of that same thing with Patchwork. That is a great plug-in that allows you to stack processes from top to bottom and left to right with an overall dry/wet control. I use Waves TransX quite a lot.

I like the GRM stuff, Soundtoys, Melda and a host off odd ball processors. I am always looking out for different processes and tools for shaping sound. Lately I have been having lots of fun with Reaktor. The Twisted Tools stuff is great and Meltedsounds Whoosh is endless fun.
 


Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
  • Foley Switch Play Track 124 sounds included $20

    124 recordings of various switches and buttons, flipped, pressed and clicked. This collection contains household light and lamp switches, radio buttons and a variety of other activate and click presses.

    Recorded in 2018 and 2019 with a stereo shotgun microphone.

    All sounds were recorded and edited at 24-bit / 96Khz resolution and mastered to broadcast quality, with only the best final sounds selected for this collection. Each audio file includes embedded meta-data.

    Add to cart
  • Whooshes Effective Trailer Risers Play Track 106 sounds included, 26 mins total $34.99

    Over 100 cinematic riser effects and epic buildups featuring distorted synths, eerie whispers, sci-fi glitches, hardcore guitars, dramatic reverses, drilling leads, and profoundly evolving textures. This original library is from the personal collection of trailer music composer Federico Soler Fernández (“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” – “Middle Earth: Shadow of War” – “Halloween – 2018” – “The Predator 2018”)

    Add to cart
  • Animals & Creatures Botswana Play Track 49+ sounds included, 136 mins total From: $60

    Botswana Faunethic sound library is a unique collection of 49 sounds recorded through several national parks of the country (Okavango, Chobe,…). All these sounds has been recorded and produced with high quality equipment in multichannel.

    This collection offers a wide diversity of soundscapes and animals sounds such as:

    -Bush, savanna and forest soundscapes.
    -Hippopotamus grunt and vocals.
    -Elephants vocals, showering and drinking.
    -Zebras and impalas fighting.
    -Lion chasing an elephant during one night.
    -Birds and insects at different perspectives.
    -Villages

    If you want to hear more about this field recording trip, feel free to check this post.
    The multichannel version contains 40 tracks in native 4.0 and 9 tracks recorded in stereo only.

    This library provides authentic and interesting sounds, recorded with DPA, MBHO and Neumann mics powered by an Aeta 4minX.
    All Faunethic tracks includes metadata carefully edited, compatible with Soundminer, Soundly and Basehead.

  • City Life Shenzhen Play Track 53 sounds included, 266 mins total $39.99 $19.99

    Shenzhen is the first ever sound library of the Silicon Valley of China. Jzoo Sound invites you on the first ever audiological journey to the unique locations in Shenzhen that only locals know.

    This is a unique collection of sounds captured of various atmospheres at different times of the day. From energetic local farmer’s market, to howling subway tubes, to local middle school performance day, to old alleyways of a forgotten part of town.

    The library also contains many rhythmic elements, such as meat chopping, construction hammering, and ominous beeps. Not to mention the echoing Chinese announcements between two schools, and the cacophony of crying and construction in a forgotten alley. I hope this library will even meet your sound design needs, and ultimately show you a local and unique side of China.

    All recorded in 24 bit/96 kHz. Some recordings contain detail information above 20khz. The library is passionately described emotive words, and all the recordings are fully tagged with metadatas compatible with Soundminer, Basehead and Soundly.

    Gear Used: Roland R26, four channel built-in microphones (OMNI and XY), four channels merged down to a stereo file.

    Shoot me an email if you have any questions: shiheng_xu@emerson.edu

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1561845600
    Add to cart
  • Twisted Reality – Drones & Other Worlds, brings you 50 dark, twisted, ominous and magical drones / underscores for all your sound design needs. Perfect to create that unworldly atmosphere in your theatre show, film or game. Made from original field recordings and twisted into something quite different, the styles vary from monotone drone to full soundscape. All styles covered from, the condemned man's last walk, to the Snow Queen's, Ice Palace, and with most of the files over 3 mins, there should be plenty there to cover your scene.

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1561845600
    Add to cart

Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

The past few years have seen a lot of sound designers creating their own libraries and releasing them independently of any publishers. What does this mean for sound designers such as yourself?

I am a big fan of Independent sound libraries because they make it easy to expand your possibilities at what is usually a very reasonable cost. Most of the independent libraries are recorded at a high quality and you know when go for something that for example Frank Bry has recorded that it is going to have all of the character you need it to. But there are a lot of great independent library makers out there and they deserve a lot of credit for making our lives a lot easier.
 

Have you considered making your own indie trailer SFX library?

Here is one I get asked quite a lot. The short answer is no. As I work on a trailer I am essentially coming up with a whole pallet of sounds that fit the style of the whole trailer campaign, from the first teaser until the featurettes. Some trailers campaigns have 15 different trailers to them and for each one there has to be a consistent style to them that makes a connection with the feature film. The reason why I have not considered an indie trailer sound library is because those sounds really belong to the life of the trailer.
Right now I am focused on making the best tracks I can.
 

What are the three most important things to get right when doing sound for trailers?

First you better get the music ironed out correctly. It amazes me sometimes how poorly the music editorial can be on some trailers. Second is the Dialogue.

Clean, understandable dialogue seems like a given but it is one of the hardest challenges in trailer audio.

Having clear, clean, understandable dialogue seems like a given but it is one of the hardest challenges in trailer audio.

Last is the sound design and sound effects editorial and how it relates to the music and dialogue. I think it is obvious but worth mentioning is that having a skilled mixer to make the trailer come together is vital. Their choices on what to play and not play ultimately shape the product into what it will be. My goal is to give them as little to think about as possible.
 

How has sound for trailers evolved during the time you’ve worked with it, and what trends do you see in trailer sound – and trailers in general?

Trailer sound has changed in dramatic ways. Trailers are now big business with composers, vendors, producers, editors and studio creatives all having a deep interest in how the get made. Trailers are all over the internet with websites dedicated to trailer content, websites dedicated to trailer news and trailer music companies being listened to like pop music on the radio.

I think if you went back 15 years or so you would find a very different trailer world. The industry has evolved but so have trailers. The visuals have gotten better, the audio and the audience for them has grown. I like artistically stylized trailers, what I don’t care for are commercials that are trailerized. I understand there is a market out there for that it is just not what I am personally in to.

So yeah I have been a part of it for a long time and I have seen a lot of changes. I hope that the industry continues to change for the better.
 

Thanks a lot to Bryan Jerden for his insights!

 

Please share this:


 


 
 
THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog
from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement
- a few highlights:
  • Mechanical Gizmo Play Track 2500+ sounds included, 244 mins total
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    $125

    Gizmo is a mechanism library for designing mechanical actions in machinery without the engines. This library covers the gambit of steam, ronks, clicks, clanks, clunks, servos and all sorts of mechanical actions from various props.

    Unlike most libraries, this one was recorded at 192 with a stereo pair of Sanken CO100k microphones for extreme lossless pitching, so you can take something small like a typewriter, and make it sound like a massive printing machine.

    Add to cart
  • Roomtones & Ext. Ambiences British Stately Home Play Track 256 sounds included, 496 mins total $49

    British Stately Home is a collaboration between two award-winning sound designers, Stefan Henrix (Chernobyl, Batman Begins) and Steve Fanagan (Room, Frank). It is a collection of 256 files recorded at 24bit/96kHz, totalling 18.6GB. The recordings are a mixture of mono, stereo, LCR and 5.0 files. In some cases there are multiple perspectives on the same recording (close, mid and wide). There are also Impulse Responses from several of the building's more characterfully reverberant rooms, which have been recorded from different perspectives and edited for use with Altiverb.

    Sounds for this library were recorded over two days in a beautifully maintained rural British Stately Home; a late-18th-century neo-classical mansion. We set out to record any and all aspects of the building and its surroundings. The collection includes doors, windows, fireplaces, clocks, drips, keys and various unusual, period specific props we came across.

    The interior of the building was one of the quietest places either of us have ever recorded and the Roomtones we've captured here are some of the most still and neutral recordings we've both made.

    All of the sounds are authentic and the spaces we recorded in are reverberant, have their own ambience, and have coloured each of the recordings with the natural acoustic of this magnificent building.

    We often set-up with multiple mics to capture different perspectives of the same recordings and these will hopefully offer the user interesting options as they work with these sounds.

    At times we have left our own movements at the beginning and end of recordings, as they captured something of the building's unique acoustic and have proven useful to both of us in our own film work with this library. This is a diverse and versatile library and the recordings take well to pitch and time shifting, and to other plugin manipulation.

    Equipment Used: Sanken CMS-7S, DPA4060, Sennheiser MKH60, Rode NT4, Sound Devices 702T, Sound Devices USB Pre-2, Roland R26

    Add to cart
  • rOtation is a sound effects library built for sound design centered around things that spin. It contains nearly 200 exceptional sounds and is the first of its kind. If you’re looking for brand new sound design source material, rOtation is the ticket.

    Several months of research and recording has led to this very unique collection. It’s props range from ball bearings to trash cans; magnets to fireworks; water to nuts – all in the realm of rotation.

    It contains sounds of things that have never been included in a sound effects library before: The sound of a Euler’s Disk speeding up exponentially fast – the whir and chatter of Hurricane balls spinning to 5000+ RPM – Nuts and quarters zipping and buzzing by in a rumbling balloon – The power of neodymium magnets bending the tones of vibrating glass.

    Add to cart
Explore the full, unique collection here
 
   
FOLLOW OR SUBSCRIBE FOR THE LATEST IN FANTASTIC SOUND:
 
                              
 
GET THE MUCH-LOVED A SOUND EFFECT NEWSLETTER:
 
The A Sound Effect newsletter gets you a wealth of exclusive stories and insights
+ free sounds with every issue:
 
Subscribe here for free SFX with every issue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.