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:


Trending right now:

  • Car Sound Effects Extreme Drift Play Track 360 sounds included, 220 mins total $49

    The Extreme Drift SFX library includes 360 HQ (24bit/96kHz) close and distant range perspective, auto racing recordings. Audio material of vehicles, drifting and maneuvering around race tracks at various speeds and densities taking corners and speeding on long straightaways.

    You will find idle engine sounds, powerful engine revs, slow and fast starts, crazy accelerations and wild breaking, roaring overtakings, tandem battles, tire screeches and skids echoing beautifully in the air. The audio found in our library is not limited to startups, shutdowns and gear shifts, but also offers ambiences of pit lane and working team crews.

  • Mechanical Sound Effects Old Engines Grab Bag Play Track 486 sounds included, 265 mins total $129

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    The intention wasn’t to cover vehicles driving, but to get isolated and very closely recorded mechanical elements of engines and exhaust pipes as a source material for sound design. There are many starts, idles, revs, offs, RPMs variations, backfires etc. Some are heavy and large sounding, some are small and funny. Tractors were captured EXT and most of stationary engines INT, but since they are very closely recorded there is just a little amount of reverb on most of them.

    Most of engines are 1 or 2 cylinders and low horse power and their RPMs are also low. Thanks to this, many of those sounds aren’t tonal and can easily be used as additional layer with other design elements. They work great for adding vintage character, designing junky or funny vehicles, crazy huge steampunk machines or engines malfunction.

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    We invited a lot of babies at the age from 3 to 24 months – boys and girls – to our studio.

    They followed our call, brought their parents and the funny and often loud recordings started. We also equipped every new parent in our office with our best microphones and recorders and instructed them on how to record their own babies at home. You'll just love the multicolored, sweet and piercing high-quality recordings.

    The library comes with 152 files in 96kHz/24bit High Definition Audio and has a size of more than 500MB. All sounds are royalty free, guaranteeing you best quality as always.


Latest releases:

  • User Interface (UI) Sound Effects Casual UI Play Track 3345 sounds included From: $129 From: $103.20

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    CASUAL UI | Sound Effects | Trailer

    Upgrade your UI

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    Feedback sounds

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    From arcade to how-to
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    INCLUDED SOUNDS – KEYWORDS
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    WHAT’S INSIDE?

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    • Categorized, organized, and individually labeled files for maximum efficiency
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    With over 1000 games worth of experience in audio production and a passion for gaming, we understand the importance of high-quality audio in creating immersive experiences. Our library is curated to ensure every sound is top-notch, allowing you to focus on creating unforgettable games that keep players coming back for more.



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    Royal Cannon


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  • Over 375 sounds of creaking materials, including breaking cables, ropes under tension and about to split, wires and strings under stress, metal friction causing tension. Recorded with a combination of Sanken CO100K and Nevaton microphones for full frequency sound content. Saved as 192KHz these files allow for high resolution editing. Useful for impact sounds in cinema, games or documentary, but also for cartoon sounds or even creature sounds as many of the recordings contain vowel-like screeching and scraping.

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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:
  • Car Sound Effects Extreme Drift Play Track 360 sounds included, 220 mins total $49

    The Extreme Drift SFX library includes 360 HQ (24bit/96kHz) close and distant range perspective, auto racing recordings. Audio material of vehicles, drifting and maneuvering around race tracks at various speeds and densities taking corners and speeding on long straightaways.

    You will find idle engine sounds, powerful engine revs, slow and fast starts, crazy accelerations and wild breaking, roaring overtakings, tandem battles, tire screeches and skids echoing beautifully in the air. The audio found in our library is not limited to startups, shutdowns and gear shifts, but also offers ambiences of pit lane and working team crews.

  • Mechanical Sound Effects Old Engines Grab Bag Play Track 486 sounds included, 265 mins total $129

    “Old Engines Grab Bag” is a pack of numerous old, unique and characterful engines from early 1900s. It’s a massive collection of 56GB multitrack 192kHz recordings of old tractors and stationary engines, both diesel and gasoline fueled.

    The intention wasn’t to cover vehicles driving, but to get isolated and very closely recorded mechanical elements of engines and exhaust pipes as a source material for sound design. There are many starts, idles, revs, offs, RPMs variations, backfires etc. Some are heavy and large sounding, some are small and funny. Tractors were captured EXT and most of stationary engines INT, but since they are very closely recorded there is just a little amount of reverb on most of them.

    Most of engines are 1 or 2 cylinders and low horse power and their RPMs are also low. Thanks to this, many of those sounds aren’t tonal and can easily be used as additional layer with other design elements. They work great for adding vintage character, designing junky or funny vehicles, crazy huge steampunk machines or engines malfunction.

    Sounds were recorded using multi-mic setup: Sanken CO-100k (most of the time pointing mechanical parts), Sennheiser MKH-8060 (mainly for isolated exhaust pipe), Schoeps CMC6XT mk41/mk8 (general image) and part also with Trance Audio Inducer contact mics (adding unique mechanical perspective).

    The library is delivered as multitrack 192kHz files, as well as stereo mix of all microphones. Thanks to using microphones with extended frequency range, drastic pitch changes can be applied.
    All files have extensive metadata created in Soundminer, including leg picker with microphone labels.

    Demo files include pitched sounds, which are not delivered with library.

  • Foley Sound Effects Pickups and Small Item Sounds Play Track 280 sounds included, 7 mins total $4.16

    Great Audio is Essential

    Essential Audio Pickups and Small Item Sounds contains 280 Foley sounds designed specifically for Video Game Sound Designers who need the usual Pick-Up sounds and SFX for common small items, including: Keys, Coins, Access Card, Pills/Health, Latches, Locks, Chains, Bags, and many many more!

    Features:

    •  280 sounds
    • Bags
    • Coins
    • Keys
    • Pill Bottle
    • Cable Ties
    • Camera
    • Lighter
    • Access Card
    • Chains
    • Locks
    • Clips and Clasps
    • Computer Mouse
    • Boxes
    • Papers
    • Clicks and Ticks
    • Tools
    • Scissors
    • Wood Game Pieces
    • Zippers

    Number of Audio Waves: 280

    Sample rate / bit rate: 44,100 Hz / 16 bit

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