It’s rare that I get to do original music, sound design AND perform the voiceover – but this project checked ALL the boxes.
A financial services company had created an animated video for their big year-end meeting. They wanted to add music, sound effects and voice talent to really get their audience revved up. Take a look and listen below:
The music was pretty straightforward: Light and quirky in the beginning, then transitioning to more epic and heroic for the closing and call to action. The voiceover was also straightforward.
The trickiest part, no question, was getting the sound effects right and there were two challenges: Firstly, how to get the sounds synced up in a way that wouldn’t cause huge amounts of rework later and secondly, how to get the sounds right?
To get the sounds synced up, I decided to use my software sampler to separate the timing of the sound from the content of the sound. By using the sampler, I could assign sound effect to the various notes of my keyboard and play them in at the right time. If a sound effect had the be changed later – it should be very easy to switch out the sound without affecting the timing of when the sound effect should occur. In my case, I used Native Instruments’ Battery 4 to create libraries of sound effects categories that I could very easily insert. mover and replace.I’ll do a separate write-up on this technique later – it really worked well.
Now that I knew how to manage the insertion and timing of the sound effects, I had to actually create them!
I divided the SFX into different categories:
2. Ball bounces
3. Everything else
For the voices, the client had mentioned that he liked the idea of the voices being a variation of the Minions’ voices from the movie ‘Despicable Me.’ I tried a variety of techniques but what ultimately seemed to work was recording a voice in a slightly higher tone with a ‘goofy’ inflection – then raising the pitch by 8 semi-tones and speeding up the delivery by about 40%. I recorded about 50-60 different phrases and vocalizations, raised their pitch and sped them up.
The ball bounces were tricky too. I had a certain sound in mind for the bounces and i knew I’d have to make it myself. I took my field recorder to the basketball court of my gym and recorded balls bouncing. The problem was that the sound I had in mind wasn’t exactly a basketball sound – there was a ‘squeak’ in there too.
So I also recorded sneaker squeaks on the basketball court floor. Later on, I mixed the squeaks and the bounces together to create the hybrid sound I’d had in my head.
The other sound effects came from various third-party libraries.
This was a project that was really transformed by the addition of music, sound design and voiceover. The client’s response was that the project was “about 100 times better than I could ever have imagined it”