Monthly Archives: June 2011

Film Score and Sound Design Project – Final Fantasy: Advent Children

Myself and Greg Ellingworth have just today finished a collaborative music and sound design project. The aim was to completely strip a scene of it’s soundtrack and reconstruct everything from the ground up. I took the role of music composer and Greg had the mammoth task of recreating and designing all the sounds. We chose this scene as it provides frequent cuts and changes in pace, leading to a dynamic and challenging score. The scene also offered the opportunity for some creative sound design such as the sounds for the creature and the supernatural orb.

The final step was a collaborative mix, producing a stereo and 5.1 surround version. Enjoy!

Film Score and Sound Design Project – Final Fantasy: Advent Children from Nick May on Vimeo.

For more on Greg’s sound design work visit gregellingworth.tumblr.com

Puzzletube: Game Soundtrack

A current project I am working on is providing music and sound for an open source puzzle game called ‘Puzzletube’. An innovative 3D game which is like a cross between a Rubiks Cube and Bejeweled. So far I have written a couple of tracks for the game, both of which are in a chillout style. The aim here was to create music which loops and sets the mood and pace, but also to not be too intrusive, so that sound FX can take the forefront if necessary.

Below is a video containing a brief snippet of the first background music track. No sounds have been done as of yet. For more info on the game click here!

5.1 music mixing

I’ve finally completed my 5.1 monitoring set-up, so recently I have been thinking about and experimenting with surround music mixing. I’ve done experimental pieces before using quadraphonic set-ups, or diffusing stereo tracks live over many speakers. However, taking a piece of film score, and mixing this for the cinema standard of 5.1 is a different skill. I’ve noticed while watching films, that the music is most prominent from the front left and right channels, mostly avoiding the centre channel as this is mainly used for dialogue. Sometimes it sounds like the musics reverb is sent to the rear speakers, creating an ambiance, almost placing the listener into a concert hall. Sometimes however more creative use of surround channels is implemented by panning sections of the music to give the piece more movement, perhaps mimicking the action on the screen. I suppose a balance has to be found, as too much panning could lead to distracting music, perhaps clashing with the sound design, or taking the audiences attention away from the dialogue etc. This is what I’ve tried to implement in a current project I am working on. I have been experimenting with the 5.1 music mix before the sound design has been completed so I have to anticipate where sounds will be, and hence leaving ‘space’ for them. To conclude, I’m thoroughly enjoying being able to mix in surround sound, it opens up many new creative opportunities for movement in music. It’s also, however, quite daunting and knowing what to do with the extra speakers can be a challenge. There also doesn’t seem to be any right or wrong way of doing things, especially if the music is a stand alone multichannel piece!

 

Epic Music!

Thought I’d kick off by posting this short demo of some contemporary film music style tracks. Some tracks are perhaps not the most original but I feel I have pulled off the style I was trying to emulate. The demo includes some tracks written just for fun, some for video games and a brief section from my dissertation. Enjoy 🙂

http://soundcloud.com/nickmaymusic/nick-may-big-orchestral-epic 

New Blog!

I’ve decided to start a new blog here. My previous blog at Edublogs offered such a low upload limit, it quickly became useless. However, I will be keeping the Edublogs page as a history of my university work and can be viewed here: http://nickmay.edublogs.org/

I will now post links to new music and info on projects I am working to this blog, which will serve as an addition to my portfolio website at: www.nickmaymusic.com