Sound Success - Advertising, Editing, Production Sound Asbjoern Andersen


Welcome to the 3nd installment in our Sound Success series; a series dedicated to helping you to grow - or kickstart - your audio business, learn new areas of audio-related work, and give you multiple revenue streams to insulate you from the ups and downs of the audio industry.

In these 3 interviews, you'll hear what it takes to get started and succeed in Sound Editing from Lucy J Mitchell, Production Sound from Irin Strauss, and Sound for Advertising from Chris Pinkston:


By Jennifer Walden and Asbjoern Andersen. Images courtesy of Lucy J Mitchell, Irin Strauss, & Chris Pinkston.
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Sound Editing – insights from Lucy J Mitchell:


A woman with blonde hair smiles as she sits at her workspace.• What working in sound editing entails:

As a freelancer, my job is two-fold — the actual sound editing side, and the “running a business as a freelancer” side.

“Sound Editor” is a term that covers a variety of jobs. This can be just dialogue or effects editing, Foley or ADR editing, voiceover recording, or, for factual television, full tracklaying, which is doing everything: music, dialoduge, and effects.

For music, the picture editor will have cut the tracks up, to work with the visuals or to use more interesting parts of the song or whatever. But their edits aren’t always hugely accurate and you need to move stuff around to beat-match and make it all in time!

Trying to explain what dialogue editing entails would take a whole other article, but to summarize, you need to smooth over dialogue cuts made by the editor when mixing takes, or cutting down lines, etc. This is more difficult when using different clips with varying background sounds and noise floors. Your aim is to make the mixer’s life as easy as possible, so chose the best sounding microphones rather than leaving eight of them on the timeline for the mixer to trawl through. Remove clicks, lips smacks, rogue breaths and random noises. If required, perform some noise reduction on especially noisy/buzzy/hummy tracks. (Check with the mixer if they would rather do this themselves or not.)

Your aim is to make the mixer’s life as easy as possible, so chose the best sounding microphones rather than leaving eight of them on the timeline for the mixer to trawl through

Lay these all up in a clear way for the mixer to be able to do their job easily. If different clips need different treatment or EQ, put them on different tracks, and have them on neighboring tracks if possible so the mixer doesn’t need to spend time finding out which fader they need.

Sound effects editing is what it says on the tin. Sometimes it is purely “say what you see” spot effects for things that happen on-screen that need to be heard, like doors opening for example. Atmosphere effects need to be added to act as a bed for everything, like distant traffic, spring birds, country wind, etc. The atmospheres make everything cohesive. Then there are more individual background effects to set the scene. In an office for example, you might add phones, a printer, typing on a computer, outside traffic, etc. Then there are other sounds needed for creative effect, like whooshes, low bass hits, etc., the sorts of sounds you’d hear in a cinema trailer.
 

• What it takes in terms of skills and gear:

Gear-wise, you need a DAW you are familiar with (or feel is important to learn). Whether that be Avid Pro Tools, Logic, Adobe Audition, or whatever your preference, you will need to purchase some sort of software. Then all you really need is a computer that meets the software’s minimum tech spec requirements and either headphones or speakers.

Skills-wise, you need to know how to use the software, and have a good ear. And as a freelancer, you need to be good at dealing with clients as you are essentially running a business and have to do everything yourself. Organization is also key.
 

• How to learn it:

There are lots of college and university courses these days that are very good, and also specific to audio, not just “media studies.” However, this is not essential. I didn’t have any relevant training before my first job as a runner. I studied classical music and musicology at university. If you can’t do a tech degree, don’t be worried about the competition. I was the only one of my peers who did not have one and I seem to have done alright!

There are lots of college and university courses these days that are very good, and also specific to audio, not just “media studies.” However, this is not essential

There are lots of books you can read — Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures by John Purcell is great. There are online tutorials for pretty much anything on YouTube.

But I would say even if you have the degree, read the books, and watch the videos, there is nothing better than watching someone actually do the job in the real world — whether that be work experience, an internship, or making tea at a company and watching someone on your lunch break. You could know Pro Tools inside out but not know how to lay up a dialogue session for a mixer. I am a huge advocate for this type of learning.
 

• How to find work:

Freelance work is hard to find. People don’t usually advertise a freelance opening. If you want a full time job, there seem to be lots of Game Audio opportunities all the time. But for film and television, even for large post houses, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a job posting for a sound editor. Only runners. I hate the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” You, of course, need to be good at your job. However, there is a lot to say in this industry for networking and getting yourself out there. In this line of work, bookings will come through recommendations, or having met you and remembering you.

In this line of work, bookings will come through recommendations, or having met you and remembering you

I personally would not recommend starting out as a freelancer as you will be competing against a lot of experienced editors with long IMDb listings. I have a solid and varied CV and still am not the go-to person for lots of dramas and films like I’d like to be. My CV has got me meetings with people. Meeting them is what makes them remember me.
 

• Essential advice for working and making it in sound editing:

I would recommend starting as a runner or assistant (or editor if you’re lucky) in-house somewhere to build up your professional CV and learn as much as you can from both your superiors and peers. The experience you gain in work ethic and team working is also invaluable. Then make the leap to freelancing a few years down the line if that is your desire. That will put you in a much better position to do so. I don’t have a showreel, and don’t know many people at my level who do.

Always be willing to learn. This is an ever changing industry with technology and also people’s wants and needs, and you need to stay on top of that.

Be persistent. People in our industry tend to genuinely be passionate about what they do, so prove that you are too. People like enthusiasm. If someone doesn’t reply to your email, chase them! Sometimes people just forget to reply!
 

• Further reading and resources:

I already mentioned the book on dialogue editing. I read Audio Post Production for Television and Film by Hilary Wyatt and Tim Amyes, and Pro Tools 101 from the Cengage Learning course when I first started out and found them very useful, as someone who had zero audio knowledge!

Nowadays, I tend to read a lot of audio blogs. If any of you already follow me on Twitter you will know that I share a huge amount of content from various blogs (including this one!) as I sometimes find reading a whole book tough going, and articles are easier to digest for me personally. The ones I like that are more techy and useful for learning about the job are Pro-Tools Expert, Pro Audio Files, Pro Sound Effects, and Mix Online, and of course it’s good to read up on general audio stuff in Resolution Magazine, Sound on Sound, and Audio Media International to name a few! There are so many!


 

About Lucy J Mitchell:

Named one of Broadcast Magazine’s “Top 30 under 30” in 2013’s Broadcast Hotshots feature, Lucy is a freelance sound editor for TV, film, and computer games, handling all aspects of sound editorial (voiceovers, dialogue, sound effects, ADR and Foley editing). Her credits include EastEnders, Top Gear, David Attenborough’s Rise of the Vertibrates, You, Me & Him, and computer game Guitar Hero Live. She is currently building a fully soundproofed studio in her garden for VO, ADR, and Foley recording and is setting up her new business LJ Studios — a full service audio post facility with eight freelance audio and music specialists on-board.

Website: www.LucyJSound.com

 

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

 

Latest releases:  
  • Game Audio Packs & Bundles Dirt & Asphalt Series: Motorbikes Bundle Play Track 365 sounds included, 305 mins total $116.66 $99.17

    Dirt & Asphalt Volume 1 is the first addition of vehicle and transportation recordings from Output Audio. This library contains a selection of recordings from 3 road bikes, with additional bonus content from other road motorbikes. The library also contains acceleration ramps for use in granular playback engines.

    Road bikes included:
    • Yamaha 450cc Thumper
    • Triumph 600cc Dual Fuel Injection
    • Aprillia RST 1000cc Futura
    • A selection of bonus pass-bys and externals from a range of high performance bikes

    Dirt & Asphalt Volume 2 is the second addition of vehicle and transportation recordings from Output Audio. This library contains a selection of recordings from two motocross events and two practise sessions, with additional bonus content provided as race atmospheres.

    Library highlights:

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  • User Interface (UI) Ui Two Play Track 377 sounds included $45 $30

    Ui Two is the sequel to our overwhelming popular Ui One collection, this collection contains 377 original sounds uniquely crafted for creating user interfaces, telemetry, gadgetry and more.

    Empty Sea’s Mark Camperell, carefully crafted these sounds using a variety of beepers, boopers and other sonic tools. A sample of which include synths, samplers, spectral editors and more. Each sound was recorded at 48k/24bit. Planned, processed, mangled and otherwise destroyed, every single tone was tweaked until it was something new, original, and exciting.

    As usual, we meticulously edited, mastered and embedded the files with metadata. This collection is priced to move, so don’t hesitate. If you’re tired of the your same old UI inspiration, Ui Two from The Library by Empty Sea is a great addition to your library.

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  • Cars Hyundai Kona Electric Car Play Track 428 sounds included, 98 mins total $100

    An electric car sound library with a range of FX from the Hyundai SUV, Kona.

    The library includes numerous driving FX on both gravel and asphalt including pass-bys, take offs, corners, approaches and skids.

    It also contains a large range of interior recordings from driving at highway speed all the way to buttons and switches.

    Multiple FX on each track – recorded in Sydney, Australia

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  • Cars Car Interiors Play Track 430 sounds included, 14 mins total $69 $55

    car interiors library is a great supplement for all the car engine sounds that you already own. That way the action on the inside of the car is not stale at all. Dashboard buttons, seatbelts, automatic windows, switches, switching gears, brake, clutch and gas pedals, vents, turning signals. They’re all here!

    Got a whole bunch of roaring car engine sounds but then realised that you’re not equipped with all of the boring stuff like:

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    and all other Car Interior sound effects? Well then.. look no further! This is just the pack for you.
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  • Destruction & Impact Cinematic Strikes Play Track Up to 4140 sounds included From: $119 From: $95.20

    ENORMOUS SOUNDING PERCUSSIVE HITS

    CINEMATIC STRIKES joins the BOOM Library Cinematic Series – and it focuses on big sounding drums. A whole world of cinematic percussive sound design lies a few clicks away: From devastating cracks and stomps over crisp swells and rolls to epic ensemble hits – you will be sure to find and build just what you are looking for.

    With the ultimate flexibility of different microphone positions, single and ensemble hits, flams and swells using various drums and beaters, you couldn’t be better equipped to design huge blockbuster and trailer hits – or simply place ready-to-use DESIGNED sounds into your timeline and feel the earth shake.

    CINEMATIC STRIKES – CONSTRUCTION KIT:

    FLEXIBLE SOUND DESIGN TOOLKIT

    The Construction Kit offers you one of the most comprehensive drum hit packages ever recorded. Carefully planned to satisfy and complement every spot in the frequency range, you will never run out of low end booms, aggressive cracks, mid-range body impacts, reverberant tails and excellent sweeteners to top it off.

    PERSPECTIVE & RHYTHM

    Not only are you able to produce impressive sounding hits, but also transition into, out of and between peaks. Control the attack and release of each sound, using rolls, flams, double hits and other meticulously performed techniques. Three coherent microphone positions make spatial adjustments a breeze.


    Files: 618 • Sounds: 3708 • Size: 13 GB


    CINEMATIC STRIKES – DESIGNED:

    MAXIMUM PUNCH – AND THEN SOME

    CINEMATIC STRIKES – Designed is what you get when layering and processing Construction Kit sounds BOOM Library style.

    From rumbling low-end BOOMS, soft and natural sounding WHOOSH HITS to aggressive, frontal CRACKS and PUNCHES, the Designed library showcases what’s possible, while saving precious time and budget on a tight schedule.

    This package is particularly useful for filmmakers and trailer sound designers.


    Files: 108 • Sounds: 432 • Size: 1.4 GB

    CINEMATIC STRIKES BUNDLE:

    THE BUNDLE – The best of both worlds at a discounted price.
    The Bundle gives you the full sound design power as it contains both – the DESIGNED and the CONSTRUCTION KIT edition at a discounted price.


    Files: 726 • Sounds: 4140 • Size: 14.6 GB
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    BASS DRUM, BOOM, BOX, CAJON, CONCERT TOM, CRACK, CRASH, DAIKO, DOUBLE HIT, ENSEMBLE, FLAM, FOOT, GONG, HARD BEATER, HIT, JAM BLOCK, KICK, KODO, LOG, MALLET, BIN, PUNCH, ROLL, SINGLE, SNARE, SOFT BEATER, SPLASH, STICKS, STOMP, SWEETENER, SWELL, TABLA, TAIKO, TAMBORA, THUNDER SHEET, TOM, WHIP, WHOOSH HIT, WOOD PERCUSSION, WOODBLOCK
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  • Aircraft - Jet/Propeller Planes B-25 Mitchell Play Track 115 sounds included, 71 mins total $199 $99.50

    A large collection of authentic B-25 flybys, takeoffs, landings, taxis, startups, and shutdowns with both internal and external perspectives – for a total of 71 minutes of recordings.

    This library was over 8 years in the making, and is the refined result of more than 30 field recording expeditions, including one recorded aboard a B-25 during flight. All sounds have been extensively quantified with metadata (action, event length, relative speed, perspective, microphone pattern, and much more) which will make it an ideal resource for those working in audio post production.

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  • Cars Cars In Motion Play Track 561+ sounds included, 340 mins total $150 $75

    The Cars In Motion sound library gets you exterior sounds of cars driving at different speeds, slow/medium/fast/very fast pass-bys, reverse sounds, accelerations, braking sounds and a lot of additional files. You’ll find different engines, and cars with different character.

    From a small BMW 114i through to a powerful Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 V8 with Magna Flow exhaust, up to a fast twin turbo BMW 640D F12. In addition to cars there are also files covering big machines like tractors and excavator.

    The library features 561 WAV files with total length of 340 minutes, recorded in 96kHz and 24 bits with a Sound Devices 702, two Sennheisers MKH 8040, Rode NTG3 and Sony PCM-M10.

    Here are the cars included in this library:

    • Audi A4 Allroad 2.0 TFSI – 73 files – 73 minutes
    • Audi A4 B8 2.0 TDI Avant – 11 files – 10 minutes
    • BMW 114i E87 – 20 files – 10 minutes
    • BMW 530D E60 – 55 files – 21 minutes
    • BMW F12 640D Gran Coupe – 87 files – 49 minutes
    • Excavator MF 860 – 30 files – 20 minutes
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 V8 – 62 files – 51 minutes
    • Renault Kangoo 1.6 16V – 71 files – 32 minutes
    • Renault Master II 2.8 dTi – 21 files – 13 minutes
    • Renault Master F3500 dCi135 – 30 files – 12 minutes
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    • Volkswagen Golf II – 26 files – 13 minutes
    • Other Cars – 60 files – 23 minutes

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  • City Life Nature Ambients Bundle Play Track 263+ sounds included, 683 mins total $160 $80

    This bundle includes 4 different libraries.

    The Baltic Sea sound library is compilation of 56 WAV files recorded with Sound Devices 702, Rode NTG3, Sony PCM-M10, two Oktavas MK012 set in MS, XY and ORTF setup. All the sounds were recorded far away from the cities and roads. Since most of the sounds were recorded in late winter, there are no insects or birds in background. There are few files that includes the sound of birds, but I left them on purpose, because of the overall feel of the files. In this library you will find beautiful sound of waves crushing on the rocks and shore, recorded from different perspectives in different stereo configurations, during calm and windy days. In addition to those sounds, there’s foley like walking, running and swimming in the water.

    The Harbours Of Norway sound library features 25 files with ambients recorded in Myre, Sto and Nyksund, very small towns with direct access to the sea. Most of the sound effects were recorded at night, but since it’s a polar day time of the year, it was very pleasurable to walk and look for convenient places to set up my gear. Everything was recoded with ORTF setup built from two Sennheisers MKH 8040. Inside this library, you’ll find a lot of seagulls, waves crushing on the rocks and plants, windy ambients from the cliff, industrial sound from port in Myre with ship unloading the cargo, walla with steam engine boat and additional sounds from boat engine market and air cooling aggregates from food containers. Every file was recorded in 96kHz, edited (i removed any unintentional bumps, pops and unwanted sounds). I limited EQing to removing harsh frequencies, or enhancing a little bit the good sounding ones. At the end of the chain there is a small compression, for louder sounds.

    The Summer Ambients sound library contains 33 beautiful WAV files recorded with Sound Devices 702, Rode NTG3, two Oktavas MK012 in MS and stereo XY pattern. All sounds were gathered in different and beautiful places like forests, lakes, meadows or swamps. You can expect amazing ambients, textures, different birds, insects, forest during rain, calm and windy days. It’s a perfect library for designing background sounds. Everything was recorded in amazing Masuria in Poland.

    Summer ambients Update – library got 2x bigger and heavier than the original library. 59 additional files, 123 minutes of high quality audio recorded with Sennheiser MKH 8040 ORTF setup, Rode NTG3, Oktava MK012 XY setup plugged into SD702 and Sony PCM-10. It features ambients from the forests, ponds, swamps, meadows, lakes and suburbs recorded is very quiet locations, mostly just before the sunrise, during the day and before sunset far away from the cities.

    Water Flow sound library took me about six months to record, consumed about 15 thermoses of tea and 42 litres of gasoline to get to all locations. It offers 90 BWAV files recorded in different locations. Huge part of this library is based on the recording sessions on the rivers. Two completely different locations, recorded regularly for the last 5 months allowed me to create this unique sound library. Most of the recording sessions took place during winter just before the sun was rising to reduce the amount of unwanted sounds. Almost all recordings are completely clear and only few have birds in background, since it was my intention to record some location ambients with natural backgrounds.

    You can see the metadata and sound list below.

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  • Environments Rare Winds Play Track 102 sounds included, 233 mins total $149 $74.50

    From all 4 earth’s corners, air streamlines the environment and shapes our stories. Discover the cinematic world of rare winds!


    This sound library is the ultimate achievement of a really ambitious project of recording winds from very remote places across the world.

    Included are authentic recordings from the Boreal region (North hemisphere: in Canada and Iceland), from the Austral region (South hemisphere: Tierra del Fuego in Argentina and the Last Hope province in Chile), on Islands in Mediterranean region (Thira in Greece), in the Sahara desert (Marocco), Isle-aux-Grues (Canadian winter), and more (see file list for more details)


    These were recorded either in urban settings, countryside, or complete wilderness.

    Included is a set of useful synthesized, tonal, and designed winds.

    The sounds are categorized into 3 folders: Designed, Indoor & Outdoor.

    WHAT’S INSIDE:

    • 102 stereo files
    • Highly focused and meticulously edited sounds
    • Ready to use Loop
    • Urban area and Wild area
    • Useful Designed & Synthesized Wind Sounds
    • Recordings from the Boreal region (North) in Iceland & Canada
    • Recordings from the Austral region (South) in Argentina & Chile
    • Recordings from Islands in Greece & Canada
    • Recordings from the desert in Marocco
    • Abandonned houses and shelters
    • Marina, lake, forest, car, flags, arctic, metal pole, prairie, street, mountain, grass, …
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Production Sound – insights from Irin Strauss:


A man wearing a baseball cap sits at his soundboard.• What working in production sound entails:

You need a thorough knowledge of the principals and applications of audio recording plus the tools needed to provide exceptional sound quality to production for each job.
 

• What it takes in terms of skills and gear:

While it is relatively easy to learn the basics of production sound through books and various tutorials you can find online, or even in class, the best way to get a working knowledge is experience and that means working on film and video projects. Also, being a good listener, being able to discern what is good clean sound and knowing the limitations in each location what can be achieved.

People skills are also a plus. “It takes a village” is a good catch phrase to make a project come together. Even with sound, you may need to call on different departments to aid you in achieving your goal and knowing the proper channels to go through (etiquette) to do so.

As you progress in your profession in production sound you may need to buy equipment pending on the role you take in the department. A sound mixer will need a good recorder, a variety of microphones, boom poles, monitoring devices, possibly a sound cart, and a wireless system. The boom operator may want to buy their own pole, a set of headphones, a box to put their boom pole in on-set, and basic utility tools to make quick fixes if they should arrive. The sound utility will want to carry a pouch with wireless accessories, spare batteries, scissors, tape, and maybe headphones as well though the mixer should have enough to go around.
 

• How to learn it:

There are several approaches to learning the job like those mentioned above. In my opinion, finding a mentor to help you along is the ideal way to segue into the field. If you want to be a sound mixer, my advice is to learn the basics of boom operating. The boom operator may get into certain situations on-set that may require the expertise of someone who’s been in similar positions. The knowledge is invaluable and will facilitate a smooth workflow, solving problems as they arise.

In my opinion, finding a mentor to help you along is the ideal way to segue into the field

To be a good boom operator takes on-set experience and lots of it. It takes time, patience, and a lot of ego shredding.

Shadowing a sound mixer as they work is a great way to learn mixing. Ask a lot of questions, and learn why certain mics are used in different situations, or when to mix boom, wires, or both, and how to plant microphones, and so on.

There are also film schools that offer courses in production sound and theory. It is a good way to establish a foothold by working on student projects which is one way of getting off to a good start.
 

• How to find work:

Once you’ve become an established boom operator or sound mixer it becomes easier, not to say that it is easy at all to land a long-term job. The best way to do that is to start off doing short term jobs until a long-term job offer comes along. Some people prefer one over the other. But most of the time it’s through references from your contacts.

Also, you can seek them out by researching what’s out there through your local mayor’s office, or website that lists available jobs, like Staffemeup MediaMatch, or Mandy. Make calls to other sound people and let them know you’re available or if they know of jobs coming up. After awhile you may want to join the union and through them you may be able to find work.
 

• Essential advice for working and making it in production sound:

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find work since the market is getting saturated with sound mixers and there are a limited amount of jobs. So my advice to anyone getting into the field is to expect a few lean years starting out and don’t give up. Your passion for your profession and positivity will be your selling point as like-minded people will want to work with you. Love what you do. Keep learning as much as you can about your craft.

Expect a few lean years starting out and don’t give up. Your passion for your profession and positivity will be your selling point as like-minded people will want to work with you

Get in touch with working professionals and colleagues and ask for their advice. I’m sure they would be happy to talk to you. Keep learning and work hard and soon you will be an asset to any sound crew. I guarantee you will be sought after and before you know it able to pick and choose your jobs.
 

• Further reading and resources:

I’ve written a few articles that get into more of the specifics of production sound mixing and the role played on-set along with the relationship formed with producers and directors on some links in my website www.soundmindpictures.com

I can also recommend some books to read like Jay Rose’s “Producing Great Sound for Film and Video.” And Ric Viers’s The Location Sound Bible.


 

About Irin Strauss:

Irin Strauss is a veteran freelance production sound mixer with 28 years experience. He has worked on both coasts but primarily resides in New York. Projects include, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Manny and Lo, Blues Clues, Sesame Street, Tangerine and Madam Secretary. He currently lives in Westchester, New York.

Website: www.soundmindpictures.com

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Sound Design: Advertising
– insights from Chris Pinkston:


A man with a short beard and button-up shirt smiles.• What working in sound design for advertising entails:

Being a sound designer/mixer in the ad business is very similar these days to longer-form industries. In fact, more often than not, we’re doing long-form projects, augmented reality, video games, and virtual reality projects in addition to documentaries and animated short films/TV shows.

However, the main difference for commercials specifically is there are usually several shorter versions of the same commercial that need to be created. Also, advertising sound post houses are generally not union-based. Projects can last weeks and months or they may last an hour or two. We do mix ads for cinema on occasion, but usually we are mixing in the broadcast or digital spectrum. Like any short-form subject, advertising is often about selling concepts rather than complete story acts. The commercials I work on are usually packed with great talent on the production, editorial and agency side, so usually I’ll get very cinematically-driven projects to design sound for. I’m always fascinated when talking with other filmmakers about how they were able to pull off some of the amazing visual ideas that they do in such little time. I love the advertising world because people are usually friendly and well-versed in the audio language. Clients are usually very excited to be a part of the sound process so that makes it all the more rewarding.
 

• What it takes in terms of skills and gear:

We expect the same level of skill-set and experience as in any other post production audio business. We all use Pro Tools, but we also use other software to help out with sounds that Pro Tools can’t make.
On the technical side, having a strong knowledge of Pro Tools and basic machine room skills is a must.

We’re often mixing in music from composers, and knowing how to mix that in with dialogue and sound effects is essential

As mixers, about half the time we’ll be recording the actor’s voices in our booth or remotely. We’re often mixing in music from composersm and knowing how to mix that in with dialogue and sound effects is essential.

Having great people skills is also a big plus.

On the creative side, studying how film editorial and story devices work is very important. I’d recommend watching a lot of movies/TV shows/commercials and reading about how the sound/picture editors created those sounds. There are many devices that are commonly used today (ie, French New Wave) that weren’t being used 20 years ago. With that in mind, it’s also good to study film history and see how those concepts worked.

Creating sound for advertising can be either entry-level or an advanced career. I and many of my colleagues have worked in a variety of avenues in the audio business and most mixers have many years of experience. When I started in the business in the late 1990s, it was important to know about timecode, video machines frame rates, laybacks and the recording process. Those skills still apply today, regardless of technology changes.
 

• How to learn it:

There are many avenues in learning the job. I started in film school, which I highly recommend. In film school, you get to be a part of every side of the project, so you can understand what those skills are when becoming a sound editor. I think learning how films are edited and created are essential for a career in audio.

I think learning how films are edited and created are essential for a career in audio

We also get interns that are still in college and wanting to explore the audio business as a career. On the mixing side, some are lucky enough to start as mix assistants and on the editing side, many start as Foley editors, dialogue editors, radio technicians, sound librarians, music studio assistants, projectionists, radio engineers, or editorial assistants and work their way to becoming sound effects editors or mixers.
 

• How to find work:

There are a variety of post production houses in Los Angeles/NYC as well as in some other US cities.
 

• Essential advice for working and making it in audio for advertising:

I’d recommend anyone wanting to succeed in audio for advertising to have some projects under their belt. Films, TV episodic/reality and animation skills all apply. Try to find a post production house that you like and try to find a way to go to work for them :)
 

• Further reading and resources:

I’d say all of the articles on this website would be a great resource for the aspiring audio editor/mixer. There are a number of sound design books that are great supplements to going to film school.


 

About Chris Pinkston:

Chris is an award-winning mixer/ lead sound designer at 740 Sound in Los Angeles, CA. He’s earned Telly, Aegis and Silver Microphone awards for his sound work on commercials for top brands such as Levis, Hewlett Packard, America West Airlines, and the Oakland Raiders.

Website: www.740sound.com/staff/2017/5/25/chris-pinkston
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chris-pinkston-30b8ba6/

 

A big thanks to Chris Pinkston, Lucy J Mitchell, and Irin Strauss for sharing their valuable insights with us!

 

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Succeed in sound:

• How to Set (and Get) the Right Price for Your Audio Work

• 10 Essential Tips for Game Audio Freelancers

• How to be a successful sound designer – with Scott Gershin

• 5 Useful Tips for Upcoming Sound Designers and Sound Editors

• Sound Opinions: How to get game audio pricing right

• Building a successful audio post studio – with Kate Finan and Jeff Shiffman

• Rebuilding your studio: Goals, tips and lessons learned

• Creating audio for games – with Martin Stig Andersen

• A life in sound: How to foster creativity and protect yourself from burning out – with Chance Thomas

• Tips and thoughts on running your own audio post production house – with William McGuigan

• 7 Sound Alternatives to Working For Free

• Audio Outsourcing Success: Essential Tips, Thoughts and Working Practices from Adele Cutting

 
 
The sound success series:

• How to succeed in UI/UX Sound Design, ADR Recording, & Audio Programming

• How to succeed in sound design for Film, Documentaries, and Trailers

• How to succeed in sound design for Games, Animation, and Television

How to succeed in Field Recording, Foley, and Teaching Sound

• How to succeed in Audio Branding, Music Editing, and sound for VR

• How to succeed in Sound Editing, Sound for Advertising, and Production Sound

 
Breaking into audio – guides and resources:

• The ‘Quit Aspiring’ book – by Adam Croft

• 4 Effective Ways to Break into Game Audio

• Tips for Creating a Perfect Resume for Audio Industry Jobs

• Yet Another Game Audio Hiring Article – by Ariel Gross

• 5 Tips for Getting a Job in the Audio Industry

• Applying for a job in game audio – by Matthew Florianz

• Freelance Game Audio: Getting Started and finding work – by Ashton Morris

• How to get started (and make it) in game audio – 10+ fundamental questions answered by Akash Thakkar

• Courses: How to network and get paid for your work in the game industry – by Akash Thakkar

• How to Craft a Perfect Cover Letter for Audio Industry Jobs
 
 
Finding those audio jobs:

• Get the weekly Audio Jobs newsletter

• Join the Audio Jobs Facebook group
 
 
Showcasing your work:
 
• Get a free profile on Soundlister

• Upload your demos to Soundcloud

• Upload your demos to ReelCrafter
 
 
Networking:
 
• Find game audio community groups around the world

• Find interesting audio events around the world

• Find other audio pros around the world
 
 
Coping with a layoff - and how to bounce back:

• How to prepare for – and power through – a layoff in the game audio industry, with Brian Schmidt:

• How to Survive a Game Audio Layoff – insights from Damian Kastbauer

• What it’s like to be laid off from your video game studio

• What To Do Before and After Being Laid Off

• Facebook Group: Survival Skills for Creatives
 
 
Education and knowledge:
 
• Get an audio mentor at the Audio Mentoring Project

• How To Learn Game Audio Online – A talk with Game Audio Educator Leonard Paul

• Read the 100s of sound stories and guides on the A Sound Effect blog (search for stories here)

• Browse Industry Data: Game Music and Sound Design Salary Survey Results

• Browse 100+ Sound Design Guides

• Get tips and ideas for making your own sound effects

• Discover 1000s of sound libraries from the independent sound community

• Take online courses in Wwise, FMOD Studio, Unity, Pure Data & Unreal at the School of Video Game Audio
 
 
Getting into independent sound effects:
 
• DIY SFX libraries - Your guide to your first sound effects library

• Sound effects survey results: Here are 90+ ideas for new SFX libraries

• How to create an indie sound bundle

• The quick-start guide to adding sound FX library metadata

 
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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:
 
 
  • Environments Rare Winds Play Track 102 sounds included, 233 mins total $149 $74.50

    From all 4 earth’s corners, air streamlines the environment and shapes our stories. Discover the cinematic world of rare winds!


    This sound library is the ultimate achievement of a really ambitious project of recording winds from very remote places across the world.

    Included are authentic recordings from the Boreal region (North hemisphere: in Canada and Iceland), from the Austral region (South hemisphere: Tierra del Fuego in Argentina and the Last Hope province in Chile), on Islands in Mediterranean region (Thira in Greece), in the Sahara desert (Marocco), Isle-aux-Grues (Canadian winter), and more (see file list for more details)


    These were recorded either in urban settings, countryside, or complete wilderness.

    Included is a set of useful synthesized, tonal, and designed winds.

    The sounds are categorized into 3 folders: Designed, Indoor & Outdoor.

    WHAT’S INSIDE:

    • 102 stereo files
    • Highly focused and meticulously edited sounds
    • Ready to use Loop
    • Urban area and Wild area
    • Useful Designed & Synthesized Wind Sounds
    • Recordings from the Boreal region (North) in Iceland & Canada
    • Recordings from the Austral region (South) in Argentina & Chile
    • Recordings from Islands in Greece & Canada
    • Recordings from the desert in Marocco
    • Abandonned houses and shelters
    • Marina, lake, forest, car, flags, arctic, metal pole, prairie, street, mountain, grass, …
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  • City Life Nature Ambients Bundle Play Track 263+ sounds included, 683 mins total $160 $80

    This bundle includes 4 different libraries.

    The Baltic Sea sound library is compilation of 56 WAV files recorded with Sound Devices 702, Rode NTG3, Sony PCM-M10, two Oktavas MK012 set in MS, XY and ORTF setup. All the sounds were recorded far away from the cities and roads. Since most of the sounds were recorded in late winter, there are no insects or birds in background. There are few files that includes the sound of birds, but I left them on purpose, because of the overall feel of the files. In this library you will find beautiful sound of waves crushing on the rocks and shore, recorded from different perspectives in different stereo configurations, during calm and windy days. In addition to those sounds, there’s foley like walking, running and swimming in the water.

    The Harbours Of Norway sound library features 25 files with ambients recorded in Myre, Sto and Nyksund, very small towns with direct access to the sea. Most of the sound effects were recorded at night, but since it’s a polar day time of the year, it was very pleasurable to walk and look for convenient places to set up my gear. Everything was recoded with ORTF setup built from two Sennheisers MKH 8040. Inside this library, you’ll find a lot of seagulls, waves crushing on the rocks and plants, windy ambients from the cliff, industrial sound from port in Myre with ship unloading the cargo, walla with steam engine boat and additional sounds from boat engine market and air cooling aggregates from food containers. Every file was recorded in 96kHz, edited (i removed any unintentional bumps, pops and unwanted sounds). I limited EQing to removing harsh frequencies, or enhancing a little bit the good sounding ones. At the end of the chain there is a small compression, for louder sounds.

    The Summer Ambients sound library contains 33 beautiful WAV files recorded with Sound Devices 702, Rode NTG3, two Oktavas MK012 in MS and stereo XY pattern. All sounds were gathered in different and beautiful places like forests, lakes, meadows or swamps. You can expect amazing ambients, textures, different birds, insects, forest during rain, calm and windy days. It’s a perfect library for designing background sounds. Everything was recorded in amazing Masuria in Poland.

    Summer ambients Update – library got 2x bigger and heavier than the original library. 59 additional files, 123 minutes of high quality audio recorded with Sennheiser MKH 8040 ORTF setup, Rode NTG3, Oktava MK012 XY setup plugged into SD702 and Sony PCM-10. It features ambients from the forests, ponds, swamps, meadows, lakes and suburbs recorded is very quiet locations, mostly just before the sunrise, during the day and before sunset far away from the cities.

    Water Flow sound library took me about six months to record, consumed about 15 thermoses of tea and 42 litres of gasoline to get to all locations. It offers 90 BWAV files recorded in different locations. Huge part of this library is based on the recording sessions on the rivers. Two completely different locations, recorded regularly for the last 5 months allowed me to create this unique sound library. Most of the recording sessions took place during winter just before the sun was rising to reduce the amount of unwanted sounds. Almost all recordings are completely clear and only few have birds in background, since it was my intention to record some location ambients with natural backgrounds.

    You can see the metadata and sound list below.

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  • Cars Cars In Motion Play Track 561+ sounds included, 340 mins total $150 $75

    The Cars In Motion sound library gets you exterior sounds of cars driving at different speeds, slow/medium/fast/very fast pass-bys, reverse sounds, accelerations, braking sounds and a lot of additional files. You’ll find different engines, and cars with different character.

    From a small BMW 114i through to a powerful Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 V8 with Magna Flow exhaust, up to a fast twin turbo BMW 640D F12. In addition to cars there are also files covering big machines like tractors and excavator.

    The library features 561 WAV files with total length of 340 minutes, recorded in 96kHz and 24 bits with a Sound Devices 702, two Sennheisers MKH 8040, Rode NTG3 and Sony PCM-M10.

    Here are the cars included in this library:

    • Audi A4 Allroad 2.0 TFSI – 73 files – 73 minutes
    • Audi A4 B8 2.0 TDI Avant – 11 files – 10 minutes
    • BMW 114i E87 – 20 files – 10 minutes
    • BMW 530D E60 – 55 files – 21 minutes
    • BMW F12 640D Gran Coupe – 87 files – 49 minutes
    • Excavator MF 860 – 30 files – 20 minutes
    • Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 V8 – 62 files – 51 minutes
    • Renault Kangoo 1.6 16V – 71 files – 32 minutes
    • Renault Master II 2.8 dTi – 21 files – 13 minutes
    • Renault Master F3500 dCi135 – 30 files – 12 minutes
    • Tractor Case II CX90 – 15 files – 10 minutes
    • Volkswagen Golf II – 26 files – 13 minutes
    • Other Cars – 60 files – 23 minutes

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Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Game Audio Packs & Bundles Dirt & Asphalt Series: Motorbikes Bundle Play Track 365 sounds included, 305 mins total $116.66 $99.17

    Dirt & Asphalt Volume 1 is the first addition of vehicle and transportation recordings from Output Audio. This library contains a selection of recordings from 3 road bikes, with additional bonus content from other road motorbikes. The library also contains acceleration ramps for use in granular playback engines.

    Road bikes included:
    • Yamaha 450cc Thumper
    • Triumph 600cc Dual Fuel Injection
    • Aprillia RST 1000cc Futura
    • A selection of bonus pass-bys and externals from a range of high performance bikes

    Dirt & Asphalt Volume 2 is the second addition of vehicle and transportation recordings from Output Audio. This library contains a selection of recordings from two motocross events and two practise sessions, with additional bonus content provided as race atmospheres.

    Library highlights:

    AMCA Motocross Classes Included:
    MX1/MX2/Experts/Seniors Unlimited classes

    Engine Sizes Included:
    85cc/125cc/250cc/450cc engines

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  • User Interface (UI) Ui Two Play Track 377 sounds included $45 $30

    Ui Two is the sequel to our overwhelming popular Ui One collection, this collection contains 377 original sounds uniquely crafted for creating user interfaces, telemetry, gadgetry and more.

    Empty Sea’s Mark Camperell, carefully crafted these sounds using a variety of beepers, boopers and other sonic tools. A sample of which include synths, samplers, spectral editors and more. Each sound was recorded at 48k/24bit. Planned, processed, mangled and otherwise destroyed, every single tone was tweaked until it was something new, original, and exciting.

    As usual, we meticulously edited, mastered and embedded the files with metadata. This collection is priced to move, so don’t hesitate. If you’re tired of the your same old UI inspiration, Ui Two from The Library by Empty Sea is a great addition to your library.

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  • Cars Hyundai Kona Electric Car Play Track 428 sounds included, 98 mins total $100

    An electric car sound library with a range of FX from the Hyundai SUV, Kona.

    The library includes numerous driving FX on both gravel and asphalt including pass-bys, take offs, corners, approaches and skids.

    It also contains a large range of interior recordings from driving at highway speed all the way to buttons and switches.

    Multiple FX on each track – recorded in Sydney, Australia

  • Cars Car Interiors Play Track 430 sounds included, 14 mins total $69 $55

    car interiors library is a great supplement for all the car engine sounds that you already own. That way the action on the inside of the car is not stale at all. Dashboard buttons, seatbelts, automatic windows, switches, switching gears, brake, clutch and gas pedals, vents, turning signals. They’re all here!

    Got a whole bunch of roaring car engine sounds but then realised that you’re not equipped with all of the boring stuff like:

    car door handles, seatbelts, turn signal, air vents, buttons and switches, seats, storage compartments, horns, windows, pedals (gas, brake, clutch), handbrakes wend

    and all other Car Interior sound effects? Well then.. look no further! This is just the pack for you.
    160 wav files with over 400 single sounds in total. Car Interiors will spice up that car interior scene with real, crisp sounds, recorded from over 6 cars in total!

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  • Destruction & Impact Cinematic Strikes Play Track Up to 4140 sounds included From: $119 From: $95.20

    ENORMOUS SOUNDING PERCUSSIVE HITS

    CINEMATIC STRIKES joins the BOOM Library Cinematic Series – and it focuses on big sounding drums. A whole world of cinematic percussive sound design lies a few clicks away: From devastating cracks and stomps over crisp swells and rolls to epic ensemble hits – you will be sure to find and build just what you are looking for.

    With the ultimate flexibility of different microphone positions, single and ensemble hits, flams and swells using various drums and beaters, you couldn’t be better equipped to design huge blockbuster and trailer hits – or simply place ready-to-use DESIGNED sounds into your timeline and feel the earth shake.

    CINEMATIC STRIKES – CONSTRUCTION KIT:

    FLEXIBLE SOUND DESIGN TOOLKIT

    The Construction Kit offers you one of the most comprehensive drum hit packages ever recorded. Carefully planned to satisfy and complement every spot in the frequency range, you will never run out of low end booms, aggressive cracks, mid-range body impacts, reverberant tails and excellent sweeteners to top it off.

    PERSPECTIVE & RHYTHM

    Not only are you able to produce impressive sounding hits, but also transition into, out of and between peaks. Control the attack and release of each sound, using rolls, flams, double hits and other meticulously performed techniques. Three coherent microphone positions make spatial adjustments a breeze.


    Files: 618 • Sounds: 3708 • Size: 13 GB


    CINEMATIC STRIKES – DESIGNED:

    MAXIMUM PUNCH – AND THEN SOME

    CINEMATIC STRIKES – Designed is what you get when layering and processing Construction Kit sounds BOOM Library style.

    From rumbling low-end BOOMS, soft and natural sounding WHOOSH HITS to aggressive, frontal CRACKS and PUNCHES, the Designed library showcases what’s possible, while saving precious time and budget on a tight schedule.

    This package is particularly useful for filmmakers and trailer sound designers.


    Files: 108 • Sounds: 432 • Size: 1.4 GB

    CINEMATIC STRIKES BUNDLE:

    THE BUNDLE – The best of both worlds at a discounted price.
    The Bundle gives you the full sound design power as it contains both – the DESIGNED and the CONSTRUCTION KIT edition at a discounted price.


    Files: 726 • Sounds: 4140 • Size: 14.6 GB
    Included sounds – keywords:

    BASS DRUM, BOOM, BOX, CAJON, CONCERT TOM, CRACK, CRASH, DAIKO, DOUBLE HIT, ENSEMBLE, FLAM, FOOT, GONG, HARD BEATER, HIT, JAM BLOCK, KICK, KODO, LOG, MALLET, BIN, PUNCH, ROLL, SINGLE, SNARE, SOFT BEATER, SPLASH, STICKS, STOMP, SWEETENER, SWELL, TABLA, TAIKO, TAMBORA, THUNDER SHEET, TOM, WHIP, WHOOSH HIT, WOOD PERCUSSION, WOODBLOCK
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