Lovecraft Country sound Asbjoern Andersen


HBO's Lovecraft Country series is currently underway and its interesting mix of historical-drama and horror elements have given the sound team lots of avenues to explore. Here, sound supervisor Tim Kimmel and sound designer Paula Fairfield talk about their approach to world-building and monster making.
Interview by Jennifer Walden, photos courtesy of WarnerMedia/HBO. Note: Contains some spoilers for the first 2 episodes
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F ormosa Group’s supervising sound editor Tim Kimmel and Eargasm, INC. sound designer Paula Fairfield — known for their Emmy-winning sound work on HBO’s Game of Thrones — are together again for HBO’s intriguing new series Lovecraft Country, created by writer/producer Misha Green and Oscar-winning writer/producer/director Jordan Peele.

Based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name, Lovecraft Country (airing new episodes Sundays at 9pm on HBO) follows Atticus (Jonathan Majors), Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) as they travel through 1950s Jim Crow America in search of Atticus’s missing father (Michael Kenneth Williams). Their journey becomes a fight for survival against racist white America, a magical secret society, and terrifying monsters inspired by H.P. Lovecraft stories that continues even after the travelers return home.

Here, Kimmel and Fairfield talk about their sound work on action-packed Ep. 1 “Sundown” and Ep. 2 “Whitey’s on the Moon,” which sets the tone for the rest of the season. Kimmel shares details on his collaboration with showrunner Green and her focused direction for sound, the use of loop group to help create Chicago of the 50s, the challenges of working on VFX-driven scenes, and more, while Fairfield details her process of discovery for the Shoggoths’ sound and reveals how she creates believable creature vocals.



LOVECRAFT COUNTRY Trailer (2020)


Lovecraft Country: Official Trailer | HBO

What were the showrunner’s directions for sound on Lovecraft Country? Overall, how did Misha Green want to use sound to help tell this story? What were some of her initial focal points for where to get started with the sound of this show?

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Supervising sound editor Tim Kimmel

Tim Kimmel (TK): Misha Green is a fantastic showrunner to work with. She really has an amazing ear for details and sound and a great vision. Going off of the first spotting session I had with her on the first episode, I was able to see that immediately because she was just rattling off details of what she was really looking for. With most showrunners, you have to try and pull that information out, but she was great. As we were watching the show, she’d say, ‘I want this. I want to hear that. When she gets up from that chair I want to hear a creak. When they’re walking on the wood floors, it should be a little hollow sounding with a little creak to it. And once we get to the Shoggoths, they should have this otherworldly feel. They should be intimidating and otherworldly.’

She was great at describing the palette that she wanted the show to have but also, even once we had done our work, she really liked to experiment. Once we got to the mix phase and she could hear what we had done with it, she liked to experiment — to see how far she could take certain things or how much she could dial in certain details.

 

LovecraftCountry_sound

There were a lot of VFX-driven moments in these first two episodes, with the Shoggoth attacks, the magic secret society, and the mansion implosion to name a few. What was the VFX process like in regards to sound? Were you able to share your early sound ideas with the VFX team? Or, did you update your sounds to match the visuals as they were updated?

TK: It was generally more updating sounds as they sent the visuals to us.

With the Shoggoths, we got to see a general idea of what they would look like size-wise, texture-wise, and what their movements would be like so we could start creating. Sound Designer Paula [Fairfield] could start creating the palette for them. Then it wasn’t until the final moment of really seeing the detail of their tentacle movements and their mouthpart movements as they vocalized. Especially the turn of Sheriff Hunt into a Shoggoth, they were fine-tuning the visual effects for that up to the last moment so we were fine-tuning sound-wise exactly how quickly he was transforming.

 

LovecraftCountry_sound

The Shoggoths sounded amazing! Paula, can you walk me through your process of coming up with their sound? What were your initial thoughts on them?

Paula Fairfield (PF): I got zero direction on how they should sound, which is fine. I didn’t have direct contact with Misha. My conversations have been with Tim. He and I have collaborated for years and I love working with him. That’s always fun!

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Sound designer Paula Fairfield

The direction was to just go have fun, and so, you know me. I went off on various tangents. I started by doing some research about the Shoggoths (or ‘Shoggies’ as I call them, of course) because they’re based on a piece of literature and a mythology. I wanted to see what ideas were already out there. In the book, At the Mountains of Madness, they actually describe a little bit about the sonic character of the Shoggoth. Their vocals are described as a piping sound or whistling of some sort. I take that as a high-pitched sound. It’s described as ‘Tekeli-li’ … whatever that means! I looked at that and thought it has a staccato element to it. This sound was made in reverence to the elders, as a response to the elders’ commands, I believe. I could be off on that but it’s what I gathered for what I read. So even though the Shoggoths in the show are Misha’s interpretation of the literature, I wanted to pay homage to it in some way. So that was one element, one thought.

Another thought stemmed from the dog whistle aspect. I’ve worked with dogs for years, with Malinois. I’ve worked with them and trained them. In training working dogs, they appear to be very aggressive, very fearsome, very furious. Those dogs, if properly trained for the work they do, bare their teeth and seem ferocious as hell but their tails are wagging. They should be. They should be happily doing their work. They do the work for the reward, which is often a ball or a treat. In higher professional work, it’s a ball that’s used as a treat. So, the whole whistle thing and the Shoggoths running around the woods made me think about them as a pack of working animals that she’s got doing stuff. So that was another element. They should be happily doing their work.

That was egged on by an early visual effect. In Ep. 1, when the Shoggoth comes down the hill and jumps on the cop and chomps off his head, the very early version of the visuals were just tracking the Shoggoth’s movements. They had it almost skipping down the hill and it had no teeth so it looked almost funny. When I first saw it, I literally laughed. It looked like it was so happy. It was jumping and chomping and it was like the cop’s head was the treat. It started giving me a lot of weird ideas, like how perverse would it be to have this happy sound, like a call of some sort that gave this weird element to it. That was one part.

When you’re faced with a creative challenge, you have to set up parameters for yourself somehow.

But, the Shoggoths are ugly and I imagine they have the worst breath on the planet. Its teeth are unbelievable. And they have these tentacles that come out of their mouths. They’re big, fat, robust creatures with a millions eyes all over. So, there were many fun visual aspects to play off of. But the basic concept for me was the aforementioned elements.

For me, the reason I come up with these concepts isn’t to be wacky. When you’re faced with a creative challenge, you have to set up parameters for yourself somehow. I have 2 million sounds in my library, so where do I start? I like doing some research and finding things I can hold onto that create an interesting concept, that can add value and meaning to a scene based on what I choose. It’s why my process is like that.

I try not to make it super strict but the internal logic of it translates and makes it feel natural because animals, creatures, and people — whoever is vocalizing — their sound isn’t haphazard. It has to do with physicality, personality, and how the organism is constructed. It’s like the Ice Dragon on GoT with the ice on its vocal cords. Would that really work in reality? We don’t know but it’s fun to think about.

If you have some sort of structure to follow then it leads you to other ideas and keeps everything quite cohesive. You don’t go wandering off in no man’s land. It makes everything more purposeful if you have some sort of structure in advance. For me, I don’t know how else to do it.

If you have some sort of structure to follow then it leads you to other ideas and keeps everything quite cohesive.

Plus, it’s fun to go on all these little journeys to find something interesting. After doing this for years and years, that’s how I keep it interesting and fresh for myself too. That’s important when you are working because if you are bored then it is going to come across in the work. If you’re excited or curious, that comes across in the work too. I want to stay in the second category. And that’s hard. Even during these times when we have work to do, it’s hard. We are all carrying quite a burden and I found it difficult to work at times. But I really enjoyed my work on this. I’ve been very grateful for it because it has allowed me to play a little and that’s been great.

So, the Shoggoth is a combination of the tentacles, the teeth, the slime, and a big low-end that’s the sound of its physicality. It also has the detail of the high-end weirdness, plus the call.

It also reminded me of Predators and the Predator’s hounds. I was thinking about them too as I was looking at this. They don’t look the same but there’s something similar about them in a weird way.

All of those things came together and, looking at their range of action and what they had to accomplish, I started to assemble lots of little pieces. The way I usually work, and for this creature in particular, all the layers are collections of small pieces of sounds that are put together in a mosaic. Of course, I always try to give Matt [Waters, effects re-recording mixer] a high-end vocal, a low-end vocal, tentacle movements, claws and feet, and body movements. So he has six or seven layers of things per animal.

For the high-end sound, I ended up using a combination of a few sounds. One of the main elements was a weird hyena call that I found. I like that idea in the concept of the story. Hyenas have this trill, and African women also have a trill-like sound they make, called ululation. It’s a trill that’s similar to that of the hyena. I like that kind of connection, even though it’s a little obscure. There’s an interesting element to it that I like because, later on in the series, there’s a scene where that trill sound pays off. That feeling pays off in a weird way.

I find that with creatures like the Shoggoth, it’s nice to have a sound that’s a high-pitched call that plays well with reverb.

When I presented the piece, Misha responded to that sound in particular. I like that she liked that! It’s the weirdest sound in the palette for sure. And I used it as a call. I find that with creatures like the Shoggoth, it’s nice to have a sound that’s a high-pitched call that plays well with reverb.

In addition to the hyenas, I used sounds of boars, camels, pigs, low-end alligators, a bit of bear in there…

One of my favorite scenes in Ep. 2 is when the Shoggoths surround Tic, Leti, and Uncle George and the Shoggoths are belching. They are making big ass belches — huge, gross, disgusting burps. All I could think about was how gross their mouths probably smelled. So I played around with belch pushes on the screams to give it that weird vomiting feeling almost.

It’s a fun creature to play with because there is so much to them, and they’re so weird.

 

LovecraftCountry_sound-1

And you got to create the baby version of the Shoggoth, too!

PF: I know! And that one was just a big old slimeball.

Having done sounds for dragons of various sizes for Game of Thrones, it was fun to play around with that idea again.

So I took some of the Shoggoth sounds and squished them down into baby-sized sounds, to make the connection to the mature animal.

That was fun to play with baby belches and lots of slime.

 


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LovecraftCountry_sound-2

How did you handle the sound of Sheriff Hunt’s transition into a Shoggoth?

PF: It was tricky. That stuff is always very hard. We had some stuff from production and Tim shot a bunch of stuff with the actor and then gave that to me. I took the actor’s performances and moved them into ‘monster land.’

At first, there’s lots of coughing up blood and transformation on the inside, so you hear him choking and his voice starts to change as his vocal cords starts to twist perhaps. Then you have the beginnings of that nasty mouth full of teeth and fluttery, mouth tentacles. I tried to play around with the transitions because at the same time Leti is running back to the car and she’s being chased down by a Shoggoth.

I could pick up on a strand of the Shoggoth’s sound and have that start to develop in the Sheriff’s sound as he’s turning.

I love the way the scene is put together because you can bridge the Sheriff’s transformation sound to the sound of the Shoggoths that are harassing Leti. It would’ve been harder if those two scenes were completely separate and not intercut. It was cool because I could pick up on a strand of the Shoggoth’s sound and have that start to develop in the Sheriff’s sound as he’s turning. Then you cut back to the Shoggoth and that sound continues.

It was interesting to go back and forth. I felt like it helped the transformation because you could hear elements of the Shoggoth carry across into the Sheriff’s transformation. It became this neatly woven sequence and I appreciated how it was constructed because it did help to give me an opportunity to really point out that this guy was turning. He’s turning into one of them. It’s not often presented that way. It makes it harder when it stands alone because you have to sell the transformation more. Sonically, it was much tighter to have the sequence split between Leti and the Sheriff.

To create the Sheriff’s vocals, I used a lot of different things. Some of it was just cutting. The actor who did the ADR did some choking but then I found some really gooey, gross, disgusting, gurgling, belching sounds that fit the palette. Then I used Soundtoys Tremolator a bit on that.

It was really about the sounds, finding the right source sounds and then getting them to feel like they are all one thing. So, one really interesting tool that has helped me a lot is Dialogue Match from iZotope. If I have five or six layers of elements, all from different sources, I can very quickly make those sources match and make them sound much closer together. That’s the biggest challenge with how I work, it’s the matching. So I make quite a bit of use of the Dialogue Match tool. It’s become an interesting add to my toolkit that I use on a regular basis.

 

[tweet_box]Crafting the Sound of `Lovecraft Country`[/tweet_box]

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The opening sequence was this crazy dream sequence that goes from war into an alien invasion. Because it was VFX-driven, was that one of the last things that you worked on for that episode?

TK: It definitely was! I saw a rough cut of it way early on but once Atticus comes over the hill, we were basically looking at a green screen with a few extras running around. Misha described to us, in her mind, what it was going to look like, but as the VFX team got into it more there were certain features being added and others being taken away. That was one that definitely came down to us scrambling to get these final sounds in there for each thing that you see. We got that episode early on but we knew that scene was one to avoid until the end. We could put in some background war sounds just to get that first part done but we needed to wait on the final creatures and the UFOs. We could get some general sounds in there but the real details were really at the last second as they were fine-tuning it visually.

 

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Do you feel there could be a way to improve the pipeline between the sound team and VFX team?

TK: That’s always a challenge on our part on any VFX-heavy show, trying to work with the most up-to-date visual effects that we can to try and get stuff created. It would always be great to try and work with them some more but I think for something like this everyone is so under the gun to get things done that I don’t think they have time to address anything from us sound-wise. They’re busy trying to please Misha and anybody else who has an opinion on how it’s supposed to look and once we get that, we take it from there.

We had a good dialogue with them as the season started to progress because there were so many visual effects shots and we’d get updates upon updates. We were trying to know if a shot was good enough for us to start tuning-in some details. They gave us good spreadsheets saying that these shots were this far along, or for the Shoggoths let’s say, the animation is final so their movements are the same but the texture of their skin is not final yet.

So there was good communication and we had an idea of how final the shots were as we were working on it.

 

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We go from that crazy dream sequence into the world of the American south in the 1950s. It’s so alive and visceral in a way that’s very different from the dream sequence. What were some challenges in creating this real world of the 50s that’s filled with sci-fi creatures?

TK: This show was really up there on challenges. It was really fun to try and get this environment of being in the 50s. Brad Katona (sound effects editor) had to be careful when going through our sounds that would be playing in the background to make sure that all the cars and traffic or other sounds were period specific. We had to do some research to make sure the background traffic sounds we were putting in were correct. They had to be really careful that it didn’t sound too modern.

We were trying to get that Chicago feel…making sure the lingo was accurate for the neighborhood.

For the background loop group and walla, they did fantastic research on slang terms that were appropriate for the 50s and things we had to be careful not to say because it would feel too modern. Really, we were trying to get that Chicago feel and differentiate between the north side of Chicago and the south side of Chicago, making sure the lingo was accurate for the neighborhood. It was tricky for the voice actors to not throw in phrases that seemed familiar to them but wouldn’t be appropriate for the time.

We relied a lot on loop group, especially the first episode. There was a ton of it for the block party scene with Ruby and Leti singing. For the Chicago scenes, we were trying to make it feel as authentic as we can.

Misha hates what she calls the ‘cafeteria walla,’ where it just sounds like a mush of voices.

Misha really likes specifics when it comes to background voices. She hates what she calls the ‘cafeteria walla,’ where it just sounds like a mush of voices. She really likes to be able to pick out specific voices and hear specific things they are saying, while still not crowding the main dialogue/production dialogue. It took time to record it all and mix it properly.

The process was different on this show because of the pandemic. We had barely started shooting loop group for the show before everything shut down as far as people working in the same environments together. We had not shot loop group for Episode 1 yet. So, we shot with ten actors who were all at their homes. Everything was recorded separately, which is a little bit more of a hassle but it really helped for a show like this. Instead of recording six people at a time for a background walla, which can get a bit too busy, for this show, because I had control of each person I could single them out so that Misha could hear individual voices.

 

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Looking at the scene with Ruby and Leti singing at the block party, what did this require in terms of post sound? Was it live vocals or playback? What were some challenges in making that performance feel of the moment?

TK: That was playback, so there was zero production sound to be used while the band was playing… which was tricky because the crowd is calling back to the song. They’re responding and calling back and to try and make that feel live and not like a bunch of people in their homes on microphones was definitely a challenge. Getting the playback to feel right and in the space, Marc Fishman, our dialogue/music re-recording mixer, did a great job of making it feel like it was on stage there.

On the sound editorial side, it was about getting some good background crowds. We shot a ton of loop group for the crowd reacting and calling back specific things, shouting out song names, and that kind of stuff. We tried to get it all together to feel real.

 

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I never would have guessed you were working from zero on that scene. It felt real!

TK: Thank you. We spent a whole lot of time on that scene. Misha has such a great ear for specific sounds. She would get picky about the exact reverb being used to make it feel like it was in that space. She could hear that it was too gritty or too echoed. She really helped to dial that in as well.

 

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There were a lot of action-packed moments in Ep. 1 and 2, with the creature attacks and also with Atticus, Leti, and Uncle George running for their lives (literally) from the racist cops and townsfolk. For instance, there’s a scene where Leti came running out of the bathroom in the diner and yelling at Tic and Uncle George to get out of there. They ran to the car and sped away while being chased and shot at… Was that production dialogue on that scene? Or did you have to shoot ADR because of all the movement?

TK: The majority of that is production. What’s interesting is that everything in the car was 50/50, whether it was useable or not because there was too much of the car engine on it. Some shots we could save production and in others the car was just too loud. We tried to dig out bits of the production to minimize ADR because Misha, like most showrunners, prefers production dialogue. We try to use as much as possible but there were a few lines that were too hard to dig out. Or, there were added lines that she would put in there to help story-wise or to help tension. John Matter (dialog editor) had his work cut out for him on this show, but he really did an amazing job cleaning things up and making really difficult scenes actually salvageable so we did not have to rely on ADR as much.

So the car scenes were 50/50 (production to ADR).. or at least in that car scene.

 

LovecraftCountry_sound-12

And what about when they are running through the woods? They’re running full speed through twigs and things. Did you have to ADR much of that?

TK: The majority of that was production dialogue. We’re not afraid for it to be a bit gritty as they’re running around. It just feels more natural, as long as we can pick out what they’re saying. So, most of that is production. There are some ADR lines here and there to help with efforts and stuff, if they’re being attacked. We wanted to get some good close ups and heavy breathing. But the mass majority was production.

LovecraftCountry_sound-4

 

How would you make ‘running’ ADR sound convincingly real?

TK: If the actor is saying lines while they’re running — one of my favorite expressions to use is ‘more physicality’ — it’s tricky because they have to stay in front of the mic and move their bodies a little bit but they can’t make too much noise. Some people run in place but then you start to pick up their feet and all that. Most actors are good at getting back into that place so that vocally it sounds real. They will get that breathiness to their performance. So, a few seconds before we record, they’re jumping up and down to get themselves a bit out of breath to get back into that moment.

 

 

Highlights from A Sound Effect - article continues below:

 
  • Using the popular module format, the 6030 Ultimate Compressor offers ten different compressors. All of these designs are by McDSP – some completely from the ground up, while others are emulations of existing gear with unique variations created by McDSP. Each 6030 Ultimate Compressor module is easy to operate, and yet has enough sophistication for the most discerning professional.

    Whatever your style, from smooth tube emulations to aggressive solid-state designs, the 6030 Ultimate Compressor has a custom-made dynamic range control module that is just right for you.

    Features
    • Unique twists to classic designs in addition to several completely new designs
    • Multiple compression algorithms in a single compressor
    • Side chain support
    • Analog Saturation modeling
    • Double precision processing
    • Ultra low latency
    • Mono and stereo versions

    Formats
    • Native v7: AAX Native, AU, VST

  • The AE600 is the next generation of active equalization. New and unique EQ modes, independent control of fixed and active EQ bands, and an ultra low latency algorithm make the AE600 the perfect solution for any audio production.
    Every fixed and active band in the AE600 has its own gain, frequency, Q, and mode controls. EQ mode options include parametric, proportional Q parametric, 5x Q parametric, Baxandall shelving EQ, vintage styled EQ, X-style shelving EQ, Baxandall shelving EQ plus filtering, and high and low pass filtering. All bands are completely overlapping and can use the input signal or selected side chain inputs to trigger the active EQ response. The active EQ bands can be controlled via the response plot itself, or from the text readouts above and below the response plot.
    The AE600’s active EQ response is determined by each band’s threshold, attack and release settings. Additionally, a ratio control determines input signal level sensitivity to further articulate how the active EQ will reach maximum active equalization – a feature unique to the AE600 (and AE400) active equalizers by McDSP.
    Peak signal text readouts for each active EQ band’s key signal allow quick setup of each band’s active EQ threshold, and are located underneath band dynamics plots. Input and Output controls, individual band bypass, band control linking, and band key signal monitoring round out the features of the AE600.

    Features
    • Six fully overlapping fixed and active EQ bands
    • Independent control over all fixed and active EQ parameters per band
    • Selectable EQ mode per fixed and active bands
    • Unique active EQ ratio response control
    • Side chain support
    • Double precision processing
    • Ultra low latency
    • Mono and stereo versions

    Requirements

    McDSP HD and Native plug-ins are compatible with Pro Tools, Pro Tools HD, Logic 9 and Logic X, Cubase, Nuendo, Ableton Live, MOTU Digital Performer (DP), Studio One, and other DAWs that support AAX, AU, VST, and/or VST3 plug-in formats. McDSP HD plug-ins also support the Avid S3L and S6L live sound systems running VENUE OS 5.x or later.

    McDSP Native plug-ins support AAX Native, AU, VST, and VST3 plug-in formats. McDSP HD plug-ins additionally support the AAX DSP plug-in format, as well as AAX Native, AU, VST, and VST3 plug-in formats. McDSP plug-ins support Mac OS 10.7.2 or later (Lion), 10.8.x (Mountain Lion), 10.9.x (Mavericks), 10.10.x (Yosemite), 10.11.x (El Capitan), and Windows 7, 8 and 10.

    McDSP plug-ins require an iLok2 USB Smart Key for authorization.

    McDSP AAX plug-ins require Windows 7 or later, Mac OS 10.7.2 or later, and support Pro Tools 10.3.8 or later, 11.1.3 or later, and Pro Tools 12.x or later.

    McDSP AU plug-ins require Mac OS 10.7.2 or later, and support Logic 9 and Logic X, Digital Performer, Ableton Live, and other AU compatible DAWs.

    McDSP VST and VST3 plug-ins require Windows 7 or later, Mac OS 10.7.2 or later, and support Cubase 7.x or later, Nuendo 6.5.x or later, and other VST and VST3 compatible DAWs.

    Formats
    • Native v6: AAX Native, AU, VST

  • FilterBank, McDSP’s first product, is an equalizer plug-in that rivals any analog EQ with its flexible design and substantial feature collection.
    FilterBank can emulate any EQ, or be used to create a distinct custom EQ.

    FilterBank is 3 plug-ins:
    • E606 – parametric, high and low shelving EQ, high and low pass filters
    • P606 – parametric EQ with variable Q modes
    • F202 – steep high and low pass filtering with resonant Q control
    With its unique Peak, Slope, Dip controls and variable Q modes FilterBank can emulate any EQ, or be used to create a distinct custom EQ.

    Features

    • Shelving and Parametric EQ
    • High and Low pass filters with resonance control
    • Unique Peak-Slope-Dip Shelving EQ parameters
    • Variable parametric Q modes
    • Analog Saturation Modeling
    • Double Precision Processing
    • Ultra Low Latency
    • Mono and Stereo versions

    Formats
    • HD v6: AAX DSP/Native, AU, VST

  • Dialog. The focal point of any movie, television show, documentary, or for that matter, any creative media production involving the spoken word. Add to the mix a sweeping musical score, dozens of foley effects, and plenty more – and it becomes clear the job of dialog mixing is a tall order. After all, if you can’t hear what the actors are saying, why watch it at all!!

    The SA-2 Dialog Processor is based on hardware originally conceived by Academy Award winning re-recording mixer Mike Minkler and used on over 100 major motion pictures. The SA-2 is designed to improve the overall sound of recorded speech. But the SA-2 is not just for dialog. It’s equally useful for vocals, and is a great tool for adjusting the timbre of any track, a reliable de-esser, and a fine multi-frequency compressor, in our completely biased opinion.

    The SA-2 Dialog Processor is made up of 5 bands of strategic active equalization, configured in a variety of modes to best address common issues of dialog. Each band of active equalization has a threshold control to determine at what signal level the active equalizer begins to effect the signal. There are also enable buttons for each band to quickly audition the effect of any given band. Two mode selectors – one for controlling the ballistics of the active equalization, and a second for placing the five bands at strategic locations in the frequency spectrum. Finally, there are input and output gain controls for overall adjustment.

    Features

    • Five independent bands of strategic active equalization
    • Multiple process modes for a variety of applications
    • Unique signal reduction metering
    • Double precision processing
    • Ultra low latency
    • Mono and stereo versions

    Formats
    • Native v6: AAX Native, AU, VST

  • Realtime Pitchshifting PlugIn version 2!

    Elastique Pitch is the real time pitch shifting solution for RTAS, VST, AU and AAX. Powered by zplane’s élastiquePro pitch shifting engine which is used by millions of end users around the world, the plugin ensures the highest, program independent pitch shifting quality.

    Elastique Pitch focuses on the essential things: you won’t find any unnecessary or confusing controls or functionality. Instead, the plugin offers you quality, stability, and ease of use.

    In the second edition we´ve added a feedback delay and the infiniSTRETCH function of the new élastiquePro v3 engine. Both make it easy to use Elastique Pitch in a more creative way.

    The key features of Elastique Pitch V2 are:

    • multi channel: support for synchronous pitching of up to 8 audio channels
    • real time: no offline pre-analysis required
    • feedback with delay for more creative usage
    • Three different views
    • Program-independent high quality with the highly-acclaimed élastiquePro v3 engine (speech, single-voiced, classical/popular music, etc.)
    • phase coherence: absolute phase stability between all channels
    • MIDI input: for pitch control
    • formant shifting: shift formants independent from pitch
    • factory presets: for typical film pull-ups/pull-downs
    • AU, VST, AAX and RTAS support for Mac & PC

    technical specifications

    • audio format: 1-8 channels (I/O), 44.1-192kHz sample rate
    • plugin format: AAX, RTAS, AU, VST
    • pitch range: ± 12 semitones = 50-200%
    • timbre range: ± 12 semitones = 50-200%
    • plugin latency: 150ms @48kHz
    • min. system CPU: 2GHz
    • OS: MacOsX >10.6.8, Windows 2000/XP, Vista, Win7/8
    • Host: Pro Tools > V8

    DOWNLOAD THE DEMO HERE
    WIN | MAC

  • An equalizer is probably the tool you use most while mixing and mastering, so you need the best of the best. With FabFilter Pro-Q 3, you get the highest possible sound quality, a very extensive feature set, and a gorgeous, innovative interface with unrivalled ease of use.

    Mixing and mastering features
    Pro-Q 3 offers everything that a demanding engineer could wish for: top-quality linear phase operation in addition to the zero latency and unique Natural Phase modes, smooth dynamic EQ, per-band mid/side processing, full surround support (up to Dolby Atmos 7.1.2), an intelligent solo feature, optional Auto Gain and a built-in, fully customizable spectrum analyzer.

    Effortlessly sculpt your sound
    FabFilter Pro-Q 3 is designed to help you achieve your sound in the quickest way possible. Via the large interactive EQ display, you can create bands where you need them, enable dynamic EQ for any band, and select and edit multiple bands at once.
    Unique features like Spectrum Grab, Full Screen mode and EQ Match will speed up your workflow even more. Try it yourself!

    FabFilter goodies
    Of course, you also get all the usual FabFilter goodies: perfectly tuned knobs, interactive MIDI Learn, undo/redo and A/B switch, Smart Parameter Interpolation for smooth parameter transitions, an extensive help file with interactive help hints, sample-accurate automation, advanced optimization and much more.

  • A crush on music

    Distortion and saturation play a very important role in music production. From subtle, clean and warm tube or tape saturation to the wildest multiband guitar amp effects: FabFilter Saturn 2 delivers.

    Saturn 2 introduces a host of new features such as a redesigned interface with modulation visualization, new subtle saturation and linear phase processing for mastering, many new distortion styles, and more.


    Warmth, harmonics, color and dynamics

    FabFilter Saturn 2 offers a range of different high quality distortion models, inspired by the vintage sound of tubes, tape, transformers and guitar amps. In addition, you get five creative FX distortion styles to mangle your sounds in weird and unexpected ways.

    With its multiband design and per-band feedback, dynamics, drive, tone and modulation options, Saturn 2 will bring a unique flavor to your music.

    Bring your sounds to life

    Add life and depth to your music using the extensive modulation section. By applying subtle modulation to crossover frequencies, dynamics, band levels or tone controls, great warmth and definition can be achieved.

    With all the XLFOs, EGs, XY controllers/sliders, envelope followers and MIDI sources you will ever need, you get practically unlimited modulation possibilities. Creating new modulation connections could not be easier: just drag and drop. And Saturn 2 visualizes all modulation in real-time to show exactly what’s going on.

    FabFilter goodies

    Finally, FabFilter Saturn 2 contains all the usual FabFilter goodies: perfectly tuned knobs, MIDI Learn, Smart Parameter Interpolation for smooth parameter transitions, interface resizing and full screen mode, support for Avid control surfaces, GPU-powered graphics acceleration, extensive help with interactive help hints, SSE optimization, and much more.


What were some challenges in creating the sound of the house imploding in Ep. 2? How did you use sound to help describe the magnitude of the event?

TK: That was something that went through a few variations. That was one of the scenes we did last because of the visual effects. Misha likes to experiment with letting sound effects have their moment and then, even though there’s still a lot going on, pulling the effects back and letting the music take over for a moment. So when the house really starts to come down after the ceremony is over, you’ll hear it crumble and when you get into the hallway and it’s crumbling you don’t hear much of it. The music takes over for a bit and the effects were pulled back. Then the house crumbling effects take over again at the end.

Matt Waters, the effects mixer on this, had a lot of effects tracks to mess with so he had the freedom to push the stone sounds more, push the wood crumbling more, and feel the debris more. So he had the ability to push which ones Misha wanted to hear in specific moments.

 

LovecraftCountry_sound-19

There was a lot of opportunity for off-screen sound, like when they’re in the woods and you hear the Shoggoths running around before you actually see them and when the Shoggoths are on the cabin roof. Did Misha have exact ideas about what should be happening with the off-screen sounds?

TK: Misha gave us some direction in spotting, like, “Here, we should hear four or five in the background. And here it should thin out a little bit.”

She let us be pretty creative as far as what their vocals should sound like. Paula did a rough sketch of the scene and sent it to me. We talked about it a bit and then we sent it to Misha. She really liked it but she wanted to push the otherworldly vocal she was hearing in there. She wanted more of that. It was this higher-pitched, almost laughing vocal that they make. She liked that sound and so we pushed it quite a bit.

Misha was very specific once we got into mix playback and doing the final tweaks. She would say, “I only hear a few here but I should here like six or seven. We need to feel the panic, the dread that more of them are showing up.”

She’s all about story and feel. She’s all about how it feels.

In the cabin, we had originally made more sounds of them on the roof, landing on the roof and scuttling around. We could hear their claws and stuff. But Misha wanted them to feel light on their feet. She wanted to hear them a little bit on the roof but it was more about hearing their vocals, to make us feel intimidated. She was very specific once we got to the mix, as far as how much to hear them here and how much to hear them there and when to pull them back. She’s all about story and feel. She’s all about how it feels. So it was a matter of feeling the dread, and feeling the panic they have, and feeling how overwhelmed they can be by these Shoggoths.

PF: We were creating the idea of chaos and trying to imply that they are running around the woods, eating things and having a good time. It’s great because they’re calling to each other. It’s not unlike coyotes. When coyotes make a kill, they are screeching and trilling like crazy. It sounds like a frat boy party. It’s crazy.

Because I construct in this puzzle piece/mosaic style with multilayers, the pieces can be pulled apart and rearranged quite easily…

Because I construct in this puzzle piece/mosaic style with multilayers, the pieces can be pulled apart and rearranged quite easily and also individually effected to change proximity and size, and things like that. It’s also good for keeping the sound fresh. You don’t hear the same thing over and over again. I try to bring variety. It’s like the dragons in GoT, I want to bring you as close to the feeling of those creatures being real as possible. It was hard with the Shoggoths; dragons seemed easier suddenly!

Bonus: Explore the Ultimate Horror Sound Guide:

The Ultimate Horror Sound Guide
Want to know more about horror sound? Be sure to explore the Ultimate Horror Sound Guide here, giving you a wealth of exclusive sound stories and interviews, both free and premium horror sound effects + guides on how to make your own scary sounds.
 
Read the Ultimate Horror Sound Guide here
Animals have a personality. Each dog has its own bark. Sometimes it can sound quite repetitive but then they will make other funny little sounds in between and that is really their personality. Every once in a while their bark will change; it will be slightly different. So I would do that with the different elements for the Shoggoths. Sometimes you hear their high pitch sound and it’s slower. Sometimes it’s really slow. Sometimes it’s faster, higher. I keep arranging all those pieces so that it stays fresh and feels real, like they are organically changing and moving and out there in the woods. The end result, what we were trying to achieve, is this terror of the weird sounds in the forest and the characters imagining what is going on when they hear them.

I keep arranging all those pieces so that it stays fresh and feels real, like they are organically changing and moving and out there in the woods.

The challenge always is to make them feel real. Part of it is the little kid in me; I want to believe they are real. I want to run around with Shoggoths in the woods or fly on dragons.

The Shoggoths were tough. I try to push myself to do something completely different. And I feel good about them. I was very curious to see how people would respond to them but I’m glad to hear that they are responding well because there was some risky stuff in it. I’m glad Misha was open to that. If you’re working with a creator who is not willing to take risks or is more closed, it’s harder. You really have to make them believe and if they don’t for one second — if there’s something that people bump on — it’s more difficult. Misha seemed really open to stuff and I liked that a lot. But then again, you look at the show and you can clearly see that she is a risk taker, a dreamer. That’s fantastic.

 

LovecraftCountry_sound-21

How did you handle the mix playback? Was this remote playback? Or was Misha on the dub stage?

TK: This was remote playback, and we mixed in 5.1.

We had gone back and forth. There was the potential of her coming in with all of us being safe by wearing masks and all that. But, in the end, it came down to what everyone felt most comfortable with. She had a nice setup at her apartment and so we streamed the mix to her and she would give us notes and we’d address those and play it back for her again.

We could see her and, what was really fun is that she’s very detailed in her notes and she’s specific but also, as we were playing back, there would be scenes where instead of sitting back in her chair she’d be standing up and moving around the room and dancing to some of the music. She really gets into it. She’s a lot of fun to work with in that way.

 

LovecraftCountry_sound-20

Anything you’d like to add about the sound of Lovecraft Country?

TK: What’s fun about this show is that we created this fun palette. We really enjoyed getting this 1950s feel but also getting to do these creatures and seeing where that goes. We had to make sure we didn’t paint ourselves into a corner, especially with something like the Shoggoths. We see what they can do in Episode 1 but there are other things that they do that’s different going forward, that we’re able to adapt our sounds to and make things work while still keeping their palette the same.

PF: The feel of this show is really fresh, and different. You really get transported to a different place and time. And believe me, the show gets mind-bending; it keeps getting better and better. Misha is a powerhouse and I’m excited to see another season of Lovecraft Country or what she does next. It’s cool to have fresh voices taking risks.

A big thanks to Tim Kimmel and Paula Fairfield for giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the sound of Lovecraft Country and to Jennifer Walden for the interview!

 

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    vielklang utilizes zplane´s widely-used élastique SOLOIST engine for high quality pitch shifting and time stretching.


    The new version introduces the following features:

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    Number of Files :  18    

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    KEYWORDS : Ambient, Bubbling, Cooling System, Dripping, Droning, Factory, Humming, Mechanical, Metal, Pipes, Tank, Watery, Whining, Workshop

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  • DopeSick blends organic cinematic, sci-fi and modern electronic sound design for the creation of percussive impacts and rhythmic sonic cues for film scores, hi energy movie trailers, IDM, Futuristic Hip-Hop and different forms of electronic music that require sophisticated sound design at its best.

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