Sound Design Project. I'd be grateful for any help at all!

ckrhodes

Member
Hi it might be a long shot but it would be great if anyone could give their opinion or help on this task I've been allocated.

I need to create 4 different contrasting soundtracks (each being 1 minute in length) to a single image: https://normsonline.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/t00111_10.jpg <---- This image in particular.

Just wondering if anyone can give any ideas to certain soundtracks I could do. Any ideas at all will help. When I say soundtrack I don't mean music/composing, I mean that I need to create a soundtrack using sounds I can record myself. For example for this particular image I could do soundtrack of cars driving and generic factory/industrial noises, but I have no other idea what to do for another 3 contrasting soundtracks.

Hopefully someone can see this image and have their own take on a soundtrack. If you do please reply, It'd be much appreciated!

Thanks a lot guys,

- Callum
 
You want us to do your homework for you?

Look at the picture again. Pick out certain repeated items to use as your "theme" such as the smokestacks or the people. Think way outside the box, be completely off the wall. This is creative time, the most fun part of all.
 
For example for this particular image I could do soundtrack of cars driving and generic factory/industrial noises, but I have no other idea what to do for another 3 contrasting soundtracks.
Your approach appears to indicate that you have been given this sound design assignment without it being explained to you what sound design actually is! I have to say, this is not unusual with film courses, as those who design/create/teach them commonly have little understanding of sound design themselves.

Your approach appears to be: Spot those elements in the picture which make sound (factories, road traffic, clocks, trains or whatever), record/source those sounds and then mix them together. The problem with this approach, as you're discovering, is that once you've done this, that's pretty much the end of it, there is nothing else you can do except vary how you mix/balance those sonic elements against each other. The reason "that's the end of it" is because you're approaching this as a sound editing assignment instead of a sound design assignment!

The difference with sound design is that those elements (in the picture) which produce sound are NOT what defines the sound design! What defines sound design is the story that picture is trying to communicate, not the picture itself. Think of it this way; a sound designer and a music composer are (creatively) the same thing, the only creative difference is that a composer uses musical instruments and a sound designer uses (mainly) real world sounds. Only a small part of the composition process is choosing which instruments to use, most of the composition process is about what notes those instruments play and how those notes are played and combined and, what defines all of this is purely what the composer wants the audience to feel when listening to the composition. It's exactly the same with the sound design process, only a small part of the sound design process is choosing what sounds to use, most of the sound design process is about the colour/flavour of those sounds and how you combine them, all of which is defined by what you want the audience feel/experience.

With this in mind, your first task is obviously NOT to think about the sounds you should use but to think about what you want the audience to feel/experience. In this assignment, your first task is therefore to look at the picture and come up with 4 different stories or scenarios which the picture could be trying to depict. For example: Maybe the image is the story of bustling, happy people, enthusiastically going to work. Maybe it's depicting the monotonous drudgery of working in factories. Maybe it's a scene about the speed, stress and pressures of modern living/survival. Maybe it's a scene about the grey, smoggy consequences of heavy industrialisation. Or maybe it's one of dozens of other potential stories this image could be depicting. Once you've got your stories/scenarios, only then you can start thinking about which sounds (and about the flavours of those sounds) you should use to most effectively create the feel/experience/emotion of each of those stories. That is sound design!!

G
 

ckrhodes

Member
Your approach appears to indicate that you have been given this sound design assignment without it being explained to you what sound design actually is! I have to say, this is not unusual with film courses, as those who design/create/teach them commonly have little understanding of sound design themselves.

Your approach appears to be: Spot those elements in the picture which make sound (factories, road traffic, clocks, trains or whatever), record/source those sounds and then mix them together. The problem with this approach, as you're discovering, is that once you've done this, that's pretty much the end of it, there is nothing else you can do except vary how you mix/balance those sonic elements against each other. The reason "that's the end of it" is because you're approaching this as a sound editing assignment instead of a sound design assignment!

The difference with sound design is that those elements (in the picture) which produce sound are NOT what defines the sound design! What defines sound design is the story that picture is trying to communicate, not the picture itself. Think of it this way; a sound designer and a music composer are (creatively) the same thing, the only creative difference is that a composer uses musical instruments and a sound designer uses (mainly) real world sounds. Only a small part of the composition process is choosing which instruments to use, most of the composition process is about what notes those instruments play and how those notes are played and combined and, what defines all of this is purely what the composer wants the audience to feel when listening to the composition. It's exactly the same with the sound design process, only a small part of the sound design process is choosing what sounds to use, most of the sound design process is about the colour/flavour of those sounds and how you combine them, all of which is defined by what you want the audience feel/experience.

With this in mind, your first task is obviously NOT to think about the sounds you should use but to think about what you want the audience to feel/experience. In this assignment, your first task is therefore to look at the picture and come up with 4 different stories or scenarios which the picture could be trying to depict. For example: Maybe the image is the story of bustling, happy people, enthusiastically going to work. Maybe it's depicting the monotonous drudgery of working in factories. Maybe it's a scene about the speed, stress and pressures of modern living/survival. Maybe it's a scene about the grey, smoggy consequences of heavy industrialisation. Or maybe it's one of dozens of other potential stories this image could be depicting. Once you've got your stories/scenarios, only then you can start thinking about which sounds (and about the flavours of those sounds) you should use to most effectively create the feel/experience/emotion of each of those stories. That is sound design!!

G
Thank you very much!

We weren't given much of a brief on what to do, only that we had to do 4 different sound tracks to a selection of images. I didn't want to post on here for someone to give me the answers it's just I've been stuck at a wall in what to do and you've been extremely helpful by helping me to understand what kind of soundtracks I should be doing, rather than thinking about it too literally, and not to mention clearing up what sound design actually is!
 

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