In part 3 of our series on creating audio drama we discuss sound design and music with guests Hedley Knights from We Fix Space Junk, Daniel French from Fishbonius Sound Design and the Chronosphere Fiction Podcast, Richard Campbell from Red Valley, John Bartmann of the How I Make Music podcast and Chris Gregory of Alternative Stories and Fake Realities. If you've ever wanted to get into creating audio drama this podcast will help you master the basic skills of sound design and editing you'll need to learn. We also hope that established sound designers and composers will find plenty to enjoy and learn in this podcast.You heard clips from the following shows in this podcastWe Fix Space JunkRed Valley Chronosphere FictionAlternative Stories and Fake Realities You also heard the track " Heart of Acceptance" by John BartmannAll extracts and clips are provided by the contributors and are used with their permission. They may not be reproduced except with the owner's consent.Follow our contributors on social media and listen to their shows here Hedley Knights https://twitter.com/Hedley_K Hedley's production company : Battle Bird https://twitter.com/BattleBirdProdand We Fix Space Junk https://twitter.com/WeFixSpaceJunkListen and by We Fix Space Junk merch here https://battlebird.productions/Daniel French https://twitter.com/FishboniusChronosphere Fiction https://twitter.com/ChronosphereFi1Listen to Chronosphere Fiction here http://chronosphere.podbean.com/Richard Campbell Red Valley Podcast https://twitter.com/RedValleyPodListen to Red Valley here https://pod.link/redvalleyJohn Bartmann https://twitter.com/johnisthemusicWebsite and podcast http://johnbartmann.com/music/Chris Gregory Alternative Stories and Fake Realities https://twitter.com/StoriesAltSound design and mixing in this edition were by Chris GregoryThe Alternative Stories and Fake Realities Theme music is by Chris Gregory and published by Scared Crow MusicThe presenter in this edition is Kelli Winkler
The piece of music in this week's episode is called Kitchen Mischief. It’s a funny, suspenseful and quirky children’s comedy soundtrack which is suitable for depictions of naughty, adventurous fun and even low-level danger. It uses a combination of pizzicato string plucks, organ, bass clarinet, English horn and percussion to convey a sense of mischief, fun and childishness.
IN THIS EPISODE
For this piece, I had a strong image of children trying to steal some cookies.
01:36 Two sounds are instrumental in conveying naughtiness and fun: the violin pizzicato and the bass clarinet. Perhaps the pizzicato sounds a little like tiptoeing. The vibraslap conveys a little bit of quirkiness. It sounds so much like a rattlesnake that it can also be used to convey danger. These well-established tropes are quickly able to place the listener and instruct their mood.
03:35 For this piece, I had a strong image of children trying to steal some cookies. I wanted to create the sense that our characters are taking a few steps, and then pausing and listening for danger (in the form of a lurking mom!). I used a 5-bar cycle. Four steps, then a pause, four steps then a pause.
04:18 The triangle and hi-hats are really soft, but really sets the rhythm and almost reminds the listener of a lookout character who rings the bell when it’s unsafe.
05:09 The A-part is more staccato, while the B-part is more legato. Having a second part creates forward motion in the music. Making it legato conveys the sense that the cookie adventure is progressing smoothly, and that we’re on the right track.
06:07 The piece has some interesting harmony. Both passages move between a diminished or tritone interval, which is the most un-harmonious interval in the Western music canon. It always creates a sense that something is a little offbeat or even menacing. The piece uses this strangeness to create suspense, a lingering sense tension that is only finally resolved in the closing chords.
DOWNLOAD & USE THIS MUSIC
Download ‘Kitchen Mischief’ by John Bartmann https://gum.co/maVAU
Search music by John Bartmann https://johnbartmann.com/music
SOUNDS & DEVICES USED
Native Instruments Symphony Essentials
Native Instruments Battery 3
Subscribe to How I Make Music https://pod.link/1460793686
ABOUT THIS SHOW
How I Make Music is where behind-the-scenes musicians tell their own stories. Every Wednesday, we break apart a song, soundtrack or composition and investigate the insights into how it was made.
Host an episode of this podcast https://bit.ly/howimakemusic
The piece of music in this week's episode is called Afro-Sax Freakout. It’s an upbeat, exciting Afrobeat track which is suitable for depictions of action, exotic locations and energetic activity. It uses a combination of tenor saxophone, overdriven keyboards, funk-influenced electric guitar and high-energy drumming in the style of Tony Allen to convey a sense of freedom and excitement. Let’s break it down!IN THIS EPISODEHow is this Afrobeat?01:19 Instrument: Drum rhythmThe drum kit and the saxophone own the sound of Afrobeat, a powerful dance music genre pioneered by Nigerian artists such as Fela Kuti and Tony Allen in the 1970s and today played by bands like Vampire Weekend. This piece uses a typical Afrobeat double snare hit, cowbell and a 140BPM tempo. The reference track for this composition was Secret Agent by Tony Allen, who was originally the drummer for Fela Kuti before branching out on his own after Fela’s death in 1997. Tony Allen himself died just 3 weeks before this podcast was released. 04:02 Instrument: SaxophoneNothing quite like a sax to get the room moving. Afrobeat leans towards jazz music by allowing sax players to improvise over a core dance groove. Recordings can sometimes go on for 20 minutes! The sax in this piece was recorded by Duncan Johnson, a familiar face on the Cape Town jazz circuit. Some of his licks are “way out”, and really pay tribute to how free an afrobeat solo can be. 05:51 Instrument: Funk guitar and overdriven keyboardI tried to capture a certain keyboard sound by making it sound like it had been played through an overdriven guitar amp. The funk guitar uses the wah pedal of my Boss GT-6. There’s a plucky guitar solo later in the track that also captures the extreme rhythmic staccato which is used in this type of music. 07:14 Method: Repetition with variationThe track is a riff-based piece which doesn’t have a B-part. In groove music, repetition is your friend. But you need to create variation. I do so in this piece by allowing the various instruments to all take a round of solos each, and by creating unusual moments for parts to begin and end.09:03 Method: ‘Backbreaker’ interludeLong sections of soundtrack music can’t be too repetitive. Music editors often just duplicate a length of background sound to fill the dialogue time, but it’s horrible on the ears on anyone actually listening to the music in the background! Break long, repetitive compositions in two by including a few bars of filler time. It can be a drum solo, a jazz lick or anything that causes the rhythm to be momentarily suspended before resuming.11:04 Method: ‘Wrong’ notesAfrobeat is rooted in jazz, which has a more open and inclusive view of chromaticism than Western classical music. There’s a clear ‘wrong’ note in Fela Kuti’s ‘Water Get No Enemy’, which sounds fantastic, bold and subversive. I particularly like the way some of the guitar and sax licks in this piece use the ‘wrong’ notes. That’s jazz!DOWNLOAD & USE THIS MUSIC
* Download ‘Afro-Sax Freakout’ by John Bartmann https://gum.co/MxRHU
* Search music by John Bartmann https://johnbartmann.com/musicSHOW NOTES
* Additional music: Tony Allen - ‘Secret Agent’, Fela Kuti - ‘Water No Get Enemy’, Vampire Weekend ‘Mansard Roof’
* Saxophonist Duncan Johnson http://www.duncan-johnson.com/about-duncan/
* Sign up for the monthly mailout and receive new production music albums. This month: 90s Sitcom TV themes! https://johnbartmann.com/SOUNDS & DEVICES USED
* Native Instruments Studio Drummer
* Native Instruments Session Horns
* tenor saxophone, electric guitar, electric bassSUBSCRIBE
Pebble Shakers https://pebbleshakers.co.za
ABOUT THIS SHOWHow I Make Music is where behind-the-scenes musicians tell their own stories. Every Wednesday, we break apart a song, soundtrack or composition and investigate the insights into how it was made.Host an episode of this podcast https://bit.ly/howimakemusic
The piece of music in this week's episode is called Spirit Of Java. It’s a slow and grooving psybient piece which is suitable for depictions of psychedelia and Burning Man scenarios. It uses a combination of flute sounds, a trap-influenced electronic beat and epic percussion instruments to convey a sense of both spectacle and spiritualism. Let’s break it down and explore the sound of jungle hedonism.IN THIS EPISODEI wrote Spirit Of Java as a way of channeling a few seemingly separate influences. On the one hand, I wanted to explore the power of woodwind instruments in conveying spiritualism. By using a trap-influenced beat, I offer a modernized take on the well-established “psybient” (psy + ambient) genre. Also included are clearly recognizable tropes from the genre such as gamelan bells, jungle ambiance, reversed samples, drone layers and a comfortably slow tempo. How does it convey spiritualism?02:38 Instrument: Flutes Flute sounds have long been musical bedfellows with depictions of spiritualism. The Hindu god Krishna is often depicted with a flute. In storytelling, exotic flute sounds are a type of regional riff, instantly placing the listener in a certain part of the world, especially in Native American, Indian or Asian mysticism. I used two flutes, one a software instrument and another one which was a gift my wife brought back from Bali. It looks beautiful but is probably more of an ornament than an instrument. Some pitch correction was required!04:17 Instrument: Drone stringsThe sitar emulation in this song plucks along to a simple harmonium drone accompaniment. In soundtrack music, making drone sounds using string instruments is a quick and common way to convey Eastern mysticism. I layered these two uniquely Indian instruments with some good old open-string acoustic guitar parts to accentuate the drone effect. 05:52 Instrument: Hare Krishna cymbals and percussionThe devotional music of Hare Krishna is quite easily recognizable. Group singing is accompanied by finger cymbals. I used finger cymbal sounds along with a shaker and a tambourine to articulate the “Hare Krishna rhythm”. There’s also a cavernous gong sound every so often, the type you’d hear in temple. Finally, spiritual sounds are associated with the use of big percussion sounds like the epic floor tom drum rolls.This piece was born out of a certain patch on my Korg RW-05 outboard synth module. It sounds like a gamelan bell. I used it with a simple straight rhythm to anchor the rest of the piece. 08:14 Method: Meditative, repetitive tempo This piece of music is an 8-bar cycle that repeats without introducing any new harmonic progression. In other words, it simply cycles around without introducing much forward motion, the same way that much liturgical music does. The tempo of the piece is synchronized with the tempo of sustainably slow breathing. Pace and repetition convey a sense of meditation. How does it convey outdoor festival psychedelia?09:15 For the sake of modernizing the piece, I opted to use a trap-influenced beat instead of the standard four-to-the-floor kick drum pattern used by much electronic music. The key was to exercise the right amount of restraint in the hi-hat rushes because they’re so fun!09:54 The title of the track references a jungle island. Besides the exotic choice of instrumentation, a few tricks went into creating the sense of being outdoors. One of the synthesizer parts resembles the sound of a flying insect. There’s also an occasional sound effect that resembles the sound of a condor.10:46 Psybient music often uses LFOs to create a ‘wah-wah’ effect that’s in time with the beat. In this piece, I’ve applied an LFO to the guitar droneDOWNLOAD & USE THIS MUSIC
* Download ‘Spirit Of Java’ by John Bartmann https://gum.co/pWhGQ
* Search for more music by John Bartmann https://johnbartmann.com/musicSHOW NOTES
* The Magical Native American trope https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MagicalNativeAmerican
* The flute as a Regional Riff https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RegionalRiffSOUNDS & DEVICES USED
* Native Instruments Kontakt 4 Persian Ney flute
* Alan Vista Chau Gongs
* Heavyocity Evolve
* acoustic guitar, bamboo fluteSUBSCRIBE
Pebble Shakers https://pebbleshakers.co.za
ABOUT THIS SHOWHow I Make Music is where behind-the-scenes musicians tell their own stories. Every Wednesday, we break apart a song, soundtrack or composition and investigate the insights into how it was made.Host an episode of this podcast https://bit.ly/howyoumakemusic