Raised by Wolves Sound Asbjoern Andersen


The new HBO Max series Raised By Wolves is everything you'd expect from director/exec. producer Ridley Scott — dystopian, addictive, memorable, and disturbing (in equal parts but not strictly in that order). He brings to life a thoughtful story by writer/series creator Aaron Guzikowski about two androids who set up camp on a remote planet with the intention of restarting the human race.

For sound designer Jamey Scott, the show's fictional new planet compelled him to take a sonic direction that prized originality — new sounds for a new world. Here, Scott details his approach to designing environmental sounds, crafting UI sounds that tell a story, and creating vocal designs and creatures using his own voice as the base.


Interview by Jennifer Walden, photos courtesy of HBO Max/WarnerMedia. Please note: Contains spoilers
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The years that award-winning sound designer Jamey Scott (of Dramatic Audio Post) spent in the game sound industry — creating UI sounds, creatures, weapons, vocal designs and bespoke environments for games like those in the Gears of War series, Myst III: Exile , and Hunted: The Demon’s Forge — have served him well on HBO Max’s new sci-fi series Raised By Wolves, from sci-fi writer/series creator Aaron Guzikowski and director/producer Ridley Scott.

Scott got to flex all those familiar creative muscles when sound designing this dystopian future on a new planet (Kepler-22b) where alien animals and environmental dangers threaten an android encampment and a group of religious pilgrims seeking a new start far from Earth.

Here, Jamey Scott talks about his collaboration with director Ridley Scott, sound supervisor Victor Ray Ennis, and writer Guzikowski. He also talks about his approach to sound design as sonic art — how he started from scratch with original sounds, used a sampler to shape the planet’s winds, designed delicate UI sounds, crafted Mother’s array of sounds (from morphing to flying to weaponizing), and more!



Raised by Wolves | Official Trailer | HBO Max


Raised by Wolves | Official Trailer | HBO Max

 

When you started work on Raised By Wolves, did you get all the episodes at once? Or did you work on them week by week?

Jamey Scott (JS): It went on for quite a long time because these are film people making a TV show. It wasn’t like a standard TV show workflow where you get a show a week, do the work, and that goes to air. For this, there were major revisions throughout the process. But, I got most of the episodes pretty early on and was left to my own devices to make heads or tails of it.

This is a rare show in that we got the opportunity to go back and remix the first few episodes due to some music changes. What we first mixed is dramatically different from what it ended up sounding like.

 

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Sound Designer Jamey Scott

The score lends such a strong tone to the show. Did it affect your choices for sound design?

JS: The score was a very unique element to navigate during this show’s 18-month post-production run. There were some large efforts to find the show’s sonic voice early on which had to deal with whether sound design or music would have the lead at any given point.

I had used sound elements extensively in my original designs to create non-tonal moods, as I always feel that sound is just like music in a lot of ways but just not so emotionally overt; it works on a subliminal level whereas music is always there, guiding the viewer along with more direct intent.

…it’s very difficult for anyone who is not directly involved with the show’s soundtrack to determine where the music ends and the sound design begins.

Naturally, there were some conflicts when it came time to mix the show with the music, and sound design definitely lost that first round. However, there was eventually a change in that desire and some conversations happened much higher up the food chain which resulted in a large majority of my initial background design concepts coming back from the dead and being remixed into a large majority of the episodes. These new mixes had a much more considered mating of sound and music, so much so that I think it’s very difficult for anyone who is not directly involved with the show’s soundtrack to determine where the music ends and the sound design begins. I think we were very successful in navigating that delicate dance and I couldn’t be happier with the ultimate results.

 

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What was your collaboration like with sound supervisor Victor Ennis? Did he have a specific direction for the sound design?

JS: Victor and I have this very collaborative and exploratory relationship which has been evolving for a couple of years now and is the source of much creative joy for me these days.

In the case of Raised By Wolves, most of the general FX concepts originated during my first pass of each episode, which were done in solitude with very little initial input. Victor doesn’t focus on specific FX design but he’s a great conceptualist, so a lot of the work we did together was very collaborative in a way that I think is pretty unique.

I would work on the show for a week and put together my concepts that I wanted to present and then Victor would come over and we’d hash it out; run it through the wringer. We’d talk about angles of specific things and throw wrenches in the tires which I think stretched how interesting the sound design ultimately ended up being.

I’m extremely grateful to Victor for giving me that level of trust and responsibility.

Sometimes his input made things significantly better. Other times, we would explore angles and then determine that what I came up with originally was the best route. It varied from case to case, but in general, I originated the vast majority of the ideas for how specific FX for things would sound and I feel I got to impart a very large part of how the show’s sound is stylized, which is very satisfying and I’m extremely grateful to Victor for giving me that level of trust and responsibility.

 

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And what about the series creator, Aaron Guzikowski? Did he have strong ideas for how to use sound to help tell this story? Or what about director/exec. producer Ridley Scott?

JS: Aaron wasn’t extremely hands-on in terms of post sound but he did like what we did and would certainly make it known if he was having a problem with specific things which happened infrequently. He’s very much the kind of person to let artists create art and that was certainly one of the greatest things that I really valued about working on the show.

Through Aaron’s writing, I’ve gotten to know him really well. I’ve come to adore his style and concepts. I read a lot of sci-fi and, in particular, in my 30s I used to read a lot of Issac Asimov. I feel like Aaron is highly influenced by Asimov, some of his concepts. I feel like Asimov could have written this show.

…sound played a crucial part in the storytelling, which is a welcome gift to be presented with.

So, I’ve explored Aaron from a writing perspective and I really enjoy his storytelling and I feel that almost gives me an innate sense of what he might like sonically. I had that in my head as a direct motivation throughout the show. There were a lot of cases within the series where sound played a crucial part in the storytelling, which is a welcome gift to be presented with. Something like Mother’s ‘Death Scream,’ that sound was like a linchpin to the effectiveness of her entire ethos. If the collection of sounds for Mother [Amanda Collin] had fallen short, it would not have had nearly the kind of storytelling impact that I think it ultimately ended up having.

But I didn’t have a ton of contact with Aaron directly until I went into my first design review. But, Ridley Scott was there, so, like all smart people in that room, you let Ridley drive the creative conversation and you listen. That’s exactly what Victor, Aaron, and I did in the meeting.

I ended up chatting later with Aaron a bit about some sound design level stuff on the mixing stage when we started mixing Ep. 1. He was generally happy with the work I was doing so I kept on doing my thing until I heard other opinions and desires, which usually came in the form of Victor telling me that we had to do something different for this or that. Or, there would be a new concept that would come through in the turnover updates from the picture department and then I would iterate on that.

 


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RaisedByWolves_sound-13

And did Ridley Scott have very specific ideas for the way things should sound?

JS: Absolutely. There were some initial exploratory days early on where I got to intake his input and interpret and translate his ideas into a workable and exciting context for the show.

As designers, we sometimes get tasked with esoteric-fueled concept commands, like, “I want this to sound orange.” It’s great and challenging because you stretch your creativity when you are presented with those kinds of things. And there were certainly a few of those coming from Ridley, but my concern was how to interpret those conceptual requests and turn them into practical designs that would serve both the function of fulfilling his desires but also creating contextual excitement and supporting the visual storytelling in a way that’s not calling attention to itself. That’s a delicate and frequently difficult balance.

I had to do the dirty work of following his direction but also walk away with something that…I’m satisfied with creatively as well.

For example, for the lander ship that Mother ship-jacks in Ep. 1, Ridley requested that it sound like a spinning top — like a toy top from the 1960s that, as it spins, creates this humming tone. (I’m not that old and so had to research what that actually was). When I heard the sound, I understood what he was going for. It was fine, but by itself, is it a cool sound?

I had to answer that call in the context of how I thought it should sound and then I had to do the dirty work of following his direction but also walk away with something that sounds awesome and modern and something that I’m satisfied with creatively as well.

So, there is some spinning top in that sound but also some processed Harleys and turbines and synth tones — sounds that I feel ultimately make it much cooler than it would have sounded if it was just a spinning top. And I didn’t use an actual recording of a top spinning but rather synthesized something that sounded similar to it.

 

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Aesthetically, as you’re coming up with the palette and tones for the show, what were some of the adjectives you used to describe how this show should sound?

JS: Being sci-fi, it’s all aesthetic. This is a totally new world that I got to describe sonically from the get-go. I felt a responsibility to do it in a way that was satisfying, both to me and everyone else involved on the team. Everyone needs to be excited about how it sounds and I’m the type of guy who will light myself on fire to warm the desires of my fellow storytellers.

Every project I’ve worked on — particularly ones where I’m defining the sonic characteristics of a new world — I set a limitation for myself. It can be anything from “don’t use any kind of whoosh sounds” or “let’s make the entire soundscape from sounds derived from my mouth” or any number of limiting potentials; limiting the palette always breeds creativity for me.

…my prime directive was to make the world visceral and physically expressive and hyper-original…

So, for this world, my prime directive was to make the world visceral and physically expressive and hyper-original, which meant using very little library sounds and limiting my palette to very earthy elements… rocks, debris, cloth, wind, fire, wood, etc.

I really wanted this world to sound unique unto itself. Like a lot of designers, I consider myself an artist. I would believe myself to be a bit of a fraud if I were to drop this great work on to the world with corners cut or haphazardly utilized library sounds. That’s my work ethic in general but with this show, I took that to the next level because I wanted the end result to be a bulletproof piece of sonic art — at least that is what I strove for. I bled deeply for the originality of the sounds in this show and I hope in the grand scheme of things it’s recognized as work that was unique unto itself, sonically.

Originality was my prime focus. All of the sounds had to be signature and recognizable but unique to this world (not something that was pulled from library). I sat down and gave the design thoughtful consideration and iterated on it.

A lot of the limitations were set up by the visuals presented in the world. Everything had to be very dirty and gritty. For the technology, it looked very beepy and I explored that area, but for the general tone, I followed suit with what I was seeing visually.

 
[tweet_box]Behind the Wildly Creative Sound of ‘Raised By Wolves'[/tweet_box]

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Did you capture a lot of custom recordings for the show?

JS: Absolutely. I recorded a ton of new material for the show.

The vast majority of the sounds in the show are original. So, if I didn’t record the source material myself, it was derived from designing complex designs from very basic core materials that I had either recorded in the past or I pulled from commercial libraries. But I wasn’t pulling anything pre-designed from those libraries. As the show’s designer, I feel like that’s my job, to design. So I was just pulling basic recordings of objects that I then shaped into my own designed sounds. I don’t think I’ve ever just searched for a sound in a library and cut it into the show. That’s not how I do things at all. Every sound is very carefully considered and most sounds are created from a combination of layers of material.

Every sound is very carefully considered and most sounds are created from a combination of layers of material.

If I had a call out one library developer in general that I used a lot for its core elements, it would be Frank Bry. I particularly like his earth, dirt, and ambience sounds. So much of the sound of this show is people connecting with the dirt — whether that’s Foley or debris being picked up in a fight scene, Frank’s dirt is always there and it always sounds killer.

 

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What went into creating the ambience and environmental sounds for Kepler-22b? Also, how did you create the sound of the giant hole that’s near the android encampment?

JS: Most of that sound was a combination of still wind recordings and a healthy dose of synthetically generated layers. It’s tough to find ambient sounds without birds or airplanes but it’s tough to make things sound interesting without them so I had to really flex my creativity.

While I did use a constant palette of basic airs and wind elements, I had it all loaded up in my sampler. There were tons of layers that I performed with my MIDI controller. All of the wind activity that you hear throughout the entire series has been carefully choreographed to the motion that the visuals dictate or by the context of the conversations or actions going on in the scene.

All of the wind activity that you hear…has been carefully choreographed to the motion that the visuals…

Some scenes are obvious — they’re outside and the wind is blowing their hair or kicking up dust, so I bring up those dusty and sandy layers.

If the shot is interior, I will create tension by bringing up the wind rattling against the gate and the stretching of the wood constructs. You can hear that going on when they’re inside their shelter. Loading the sounds into a sampler helps to perfect those moments, and helps facilitate making the background sound breathe with the arcs of the story.

For the hole, Ridley had dictated that should sound like a single breath but I wanted it to be far more ominous. Victor and I talked about taking it to a big, ominous level and we really went for it. That hole is always this threat. Every time you encounter it, it’s this living breathing character in the story. So, I took Ridley’s advice and I recorded myself breathing. Then, I built that up by running my voice through all kinds of reverbs and sub-harmonic generators. It’s 100% from my breath as the source but it’s made ominous by the processing.

 

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What sampler do you use? Was it Kontakt? Or Radium?

JS: For the winds, I used Native Instruments Kontakt. But Radium in Soundminer V5Pro has sort of taken over that conversation in my workflow. The reason I used Kontakt for the winds was because I had so many layers of wind sounds and Radium is limited to six layers.

But, I absolutely adore Radium. It’s become a pivotal piece of software that I’ve been using. I’ve talked with Justin Drury extensively about the functionality of it and I’m so thrilled that he’s so into building it up and having it become this crazy tool for what I do specifically — which is to create custom sounds.

I absolutely adore Radium. It’s become a pivotal piece of software that I’ve been using.

He’s creating custom tools and it’s getting to the point now where there’s so much functionality that it’s kind of like Pro Tools. There are a bunch of different ways you can manipulate sounds, but there’s always a simple way to just get simple things done too.

 

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You created such great tech sounds for Raised By Wolves. I loved all the UI sounds…

JS: Thanks! I’ve always had an affinity for great tech sounds. I got my start working in video games which is an ever-present aspect of that world. I’ve always been fascinated with how effective small, little sounds can elicit emotional Pavlovian responses from players. When I was working in games, I discovered that these small sounds can make the difference between someone understanding how to play the game or just wandering around aimlessly. So I spent a lot of time considering the ramifications of UI sounds. I really admire great UI sound design.

For Raised By Wolves, I felt compelled to utilize this practice of telling little mini-stories with the UI sounds. I created a sizable palette of UI sounds, starting with Mother’s ship ride up into the Ark in Ep. 1. That scene was originally a lot longer and there was an entire other counterpart to that conversation inside the bridge of the Ark. Inside that Ark was this blur of comm. lights and visual affirmations. It was a playground for creating these sounds.

I’ve always been fascinated with how effective small, little sounds can elicit emotional Pavlovian responses from players.

So I worked on that library for a few days and came out the end of that with several hundred sounds that were unique to the show but also complementary to each other. All the tech sounds I used throughout the series came from that exploratory grabbag.

I hope that I pulled those UI sounds off because I love great UI sound design and I don’t get to do it a lot anymore because I no longer work in games but I enjoyed the opportunity to do that on this show.
 

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The opposite end of those delicate UI sounds were the big, overt tech-based sounds — like all the sound for Mother’s eye blast, attack scream, and her flying sound. How did you come up with Mother’s sounds?

JS: Mother is a very compelling character to me. I read a lot of sci-fi and always have since I was a kid. I guess that makes me a sci-fi nerd which I freely admit but it also sets the stage for what I did with the sound of this unique sci-fi show. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a character quite as unique as Mother. So, working on her sounds was delightful. Every moment of it I embraced and got into it so deeply.

The final sound is mostly variations of my voice, tweaked and processed into oblivion.

As I explained earlier, I set up some rules for Mother in that I wanted her sounds to be organic but also metallic and resonating. She morphs into this brass necromancer. I wanted that to be part of her construction, her core material. I limited my palette for her to fleshy, metallic material — things that resonate and are a little more granular because of the ability to morph into things. I wanted to set up my palette to have a granular effect to it and then I’d morph her sounds.

The core concept that sits at the heart of everything she does, from bronzing to flying to speaking to destroying — her sound was probably the first thing I worked on in the show. That scream she does was an earned sound. By the time Ridley signed off on it, I felt like I had run a proper marathon around it. The final sound is mostly variations of my voice, tweaked and processed into oblivion. Like the giant hole on Kepler-22b, Mother’s scream is lots and lots of layers. Based on the feedback that I’ve been getting for that one sound, it seems like the work involved was pretty effective. I literally have people asking how I made that sound. And I tell them that, “It’s just me.” (and my computer).

 

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I’m guessing there was a lot of pitching involved. She hits a pretty high note!

JS: Yes. There was a sound that came over from picture editorial that sounded like an ostrich call or something. I couldn’t use it directly because no one could tell me where it came from. But, it was an effective sound. It had that tonal arc to it. So, I went about emulating that.

I hired a couple of vocal actors, like my good friend Lani Minella. She’s a big vocal artist for games. She does creature sounds for Blizzard. So, I worked with her stuff but I would send it to the picture department and some of it stuck and some didn’t. I just kept going and ultimately I decided to just do this how I do creature sounds — start with my voice and build from there. And, ultimately, that’s what they liked.

 

 

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    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.


On the topic of creatures, I loved the sound of the creatures that attack the androids’ camp. Father [Abubakar Salim] and Campion [Winta McGrath] capture one of the creatures and lock it in a hut. That creature had an opportunity to make a whole range of sounds. What was your approach to that?

JS: I spent six years of my life creating the creatures for the Gears of War games and developed a lot of techniques for doing just that. I’ve probably created hundreds of creatures of various shapes and sizes for those and other games. So, I knew I had to create a range of emotions from performances and then process them so it doesn’t sound human. That’s a key skill that I developed from creating all of those creatures.

When it came time to do the creatures in Raised By Wolves it all started as a base layer of my own voice. I performed the basic sound and then ran through all the emotions the creature exhibits in the show, from inquisitive growls to attacks to freaking out to being locked up and scared and all of the emotions in between. So I had this long performance of all the different things it could do.

I knew I had to create a range of emotions from performances and then process them so it doesn’t sound human.

After I perform my base layer of performances, then I start stacking up layers and shaping the envelopes of each layer so that eventually they meld into a distinct personality.

It’s probably the hardest thing we do as designers. For me, it’s very much an exploratory process each time. I throw a bunch of things into a pot and mix it all around and keep stirring until it all works together.

 

RaisedByWolves_sound-18

What were some audio tools that were helpful in making these creature sounds?

JS: It’s a delicate balance. You have to tweak endlessly to taste. I know exactly where that dividing line is for when it becomes unrealistic. Although I have it, I don’t use tools like that creature tool from Krotos, Inc. I don’t use that because I feel like it’s way too easy to make it sound synthetic or unrealistic and I feel like maybe it’s cheating if I just call up a monster preset and call it a day.

I use very basic tools — compression, EQ, pitch shifting — and then I do a lot of envelope manipulation inside Pro Tools with Clip Gain and filter plug-ins. I’ll have 6 or 7 layers, like a layer of high cackling sound, and if the creature is screeching I will slowly fade that cackling layer in right at the top so it has this cackling sound that just pushes it over the edge of emotionality.

It’s a delicate balance and you have to do a lot of it to get really good at it I think.

 

RaisedByWolves_sound-8

In Ep. 4, the Mithraic find an ancient rock-like structure while trekking across the planet. The rock has this cool plastic singing tube sound! What went into that?

JS: This was a tough one because I knew whatever I did was going to get annoying quickly so what started out as this very odd, wildly modulated sound, was eventually whittled down to what you hear in the final. This is a good example of my common technique of using very basic source material run through a chain of plug-ins to achieve something that works.

 

RaisedByWolves_sound-19

Let’s look at some of the vocal design work. Marcus [Travis Fimmel] hears voices in EP. 4, right before he smashes Ambrose [Steve Wall] into the ancient rock structure and he catches on fire. How were you able to have fun with sound on that scene?

JS: It was fun! And again, it was mostly my voice, processed in different ways, reversed, reverbed, flanged, and then reversed again, washed through reverb… rinse and repeat. I designed all of the voice processes in the show. So, all of the broken robots and the futzed dialog, to all the whispers and totally tweaked voices in the VR construct were all just me tweaking plug-ins and flipping until all sides were cooked.

 

 RaisedByWolves_sound-3

What would you want other sound pros to know about your work on Raised By Wolves?

I consider myself an artist and I believe that sound design is an artistic endeavor…

JS: Just that the sound work in this show is very much a labored artistic sonic vision from start to finish. I think we all know that it’s rare when you have all of the elements going for you and all you have to do is create something great. I had all the time I needed to do what I wanted and all of the support and input from a fantastic and supportive supervisor to make something great so I just ran with that and did the best work that I’m capable of doing, for better or for worse.

As I stated earlier, I consider myself an artist and I believe that sound design is an artistic endeavor if you treat it that way and always do your best work with integrity and intention. I stand behind the work in Raised By Wolves as a wholly creative work and hope that it inspires others to treat their craft similarly and effectively change this bonehead idea that sound is somehow an act of engineering.

A big thanks to Jamey Scott for giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the sound of Raised By Wolves and to Jennifer Walden for the interview!

 

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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:

  • Metal Sound Effects MetalMotion Play Track 2000+ sounds included, 239 mins total $110

    MetalMotion is a sound design construction kit that contains four hours of moving metal mayhem: clicks and clanks, rolls and drags, wronks and squeals, scrapes and rattles, ranging from from tiny to monstrous. Nathan Moody’s unique performances with unusual combinations of props produce everything from Foley-like movements to intense groans and howls.

    Whether you’re covering a robot’s movements, sweetening weapon Foley, making crafting or pick-up sounds in a game, placing unusual layers beneath a kaiju’s roar, or crushing a submarine with undersea pressure, this collection covers the full range of subtle to raucous. Each file has many performance variations for creative choice and game audio asset creation.

    While there are some tasty impacts within, this library’s true focus is on characterful movements: handling, rummaging, opens, closes, ratchets, swirls, rolls, drags, drops, spins, rubs, zuzzes, and bows. Metal containers, filing cabinets, modern appliances, vintage (and very rusty) tools, cymbals, bells, grills, plates, bars, rods, and tubes, and many other props lent their voices to this collection.

    This UCS-compliant library was recorded with a combination of standard, contact, and ultrasonic-capable microphones through Millennia preamps. Sample rates vary based on the amount of ultrasonic content in each file. The audio files are mastered for realism, ready for extreme processing and pitch shifting of your own, but still useful in more grounded contexts.

  • A comprehensive sound library from the enchanting world of the Middle Ages featuring meticulously recorded elements that come together harmoniously to create a realm of realism that transports your audience back in time, including isolated elements, acoustic impulse responses, noiseprints, and ambience loops.

    Medieval Towns and Villages - Full Library Presentation
  • Environments & Ambiences Curated Rain Play Track 39 sounds included, 183 mins total $44.99

    CURATED RAIN – is an extensive sound library containing 39 unique files of rain in varying environments and conditions ranging from city streets, back alleys, parks, forests and windows and heavy walls of rain to gentle and lite drizzles. Including isolated sections of rain as well as rain storms in their entirety. All of our libraries comply with the Universal Category System naming convention standard as well as traditional embedded metadata, allowing for accurate and easy granular searches. Original recordings were captured at 192kHz and 32bit float. Curated Rain (RAW – 192kHz 24bit) comes out to 11.7 GB and 3 hours 3 minutes and 10 seconds in overall length.

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  • Empower Your Compositions with Authentic Medieval Phrases.
    [Note: This product requires a FULL version of Native Instruments’ KONTAKT or Steinbergs free HALion Sonic]

    Embark on a journey through time with the latest addition to the MEDIEVAL PHRASES series: FIDDLE & NYCKELHARPA. With the Fiddle, with its rich and expressive tones, coupled with the Nyckelharpa’s distinctive resonant strings, we invite you to capture the mood of medieval times. Composers and producers can now use dramatic live performances by outstanding performers or freely play their instruments with varied articulations.

    Imagine the bustling markets and vibrant festivals of late medieval Europe, where the rhythm and bounce of the Fiddle & Nyckelharpa set feet tapping and light the hearts of weary travelers. These instruments were the lifeblood of celebration, often heard at markets and taverns above the chatter of merchants and the laughter of children. Their history is woven through countless generations, where they not only provided entertainment but also served as a cultural heartbeat during times of both hardship and prosperity.

    MEDIEVAL PHRASES FIDDLE & NYCKLEHARPA carry within tales of the past, each string resonating with stories untold. The Fiddle’s bow dances across strings to produce a vibrant, rhythmic melody, while the Nyckelharpa’s keyed fiddle design adds an otherworldly depth. These sounds, once echoing through medieval tavern halls and open markets, are now crisply captured for the modern composer. With MEDIEVAL PHRASES, breathe new life into your medieval compositions, delivering an authentic experience that is both profound and exhilarating.

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  • Volleyball Match Ambience provides three distinct soundscapes spread through long, evolving and captivating sound recordings from Portugal’s primary masculine and feminine leagues, in addition to a regional match.

    This is a highly intense and balanced sport characterized by its fast-paced nature, emphasis on teamwork and strategic play, where players use a combination of spiking, blocking, setting, and serving techniques to gain an advantage and outmaneuver their opponents. The game is played on a rectangular court divided by a net, with each team aiming to score points by grounding the ball on the opposing team’s side.

    All recordings were attained from a centered front-row seat position in crystal-clear stereo, meaning you have all the necessary field-of-play interactions, in addition to varied crowd reactions ranging from diverse support chants, booing, casual conversations, clapping, local team speaker asking for crowd backing, referee whistles, coach instructions and air horns. This versatility of content guarantees full immersion, drama, excitement, intensity and realism for film, television, videogames, podcasts and more. Your audience will be transported courtside in no time.

    The regional match sound files are the longest with a constant stream of clapping and chants from supporters and the players themselves championing their respective team, interspersed with quieter moments, making it ideal for a more balanced volleyball match ambience. Also included in this section are pre-match drills.

    With over three and a half hours of content, this library is your all-access pass to the dynamic, exhilarating world of volleyball.

  • Environments & Ambiences Curated Rain Play Track 39 sounds included, 183 mins total $44.99

    CURATED RAIN – is an extensive sound library containing 39 unique files of rain in varying environments and conditions ranging from city streets, back alleys, parks, forests and windows and heavy walls of rain to gentle and lite drizzles. Including isolated sections of rain as well as rain storms in their entirety. All of our libraries comply with the Universal Category System naming convention standard as well as traditional embedded metadata, allowing for accurate and easy granular searches. Original recordings were captured at 192kHz and 32bit float. Curated Rain (RAW – 192kHz 24bit) comes out to 11.7 GB and 3 hours 3 minutes and 10 seconds in overall length.

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  • Human Sound Effects Applauses Play Track 50 sounds included, 11 mins total $30
    It took me 2 years to create this sound library and for the first time I used AI to create a cover image! 50 applause recordings made in various interior and exterior places, small and big audience, some with cheering and some with only clapping. All files are recorded 32bit, 192kHz with FEL Pluggy EM272 and Sonorous Objects SO.3 microphones, Zoom F3 recorder. The library is also available in UCS.
  • Environments & Ambiences WINTER SCAPE Play Track 33 sounds included, 148 mins total From: $119

    Feel the coldness of winter landscapes. In the heart of the Cantal mountains in France, immerse yourself in a soothing nature or in the cold winter wind.

    All files are embedded with extensive UCS compliant metadata.


   

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