Catching a few lobsters...
/ Temp Audio: An Explanation

To best turn in a team PPJ that showed everyone’s work for the past week, I knew that I wanted to submit an edited draft of our project, but to start cutting and editing, we needed some audio. I took it upon myself to mix that audio. Here’s where I show my work.

Our project is about traveling long distances with a sort of lonesome feel, and I really wanted to capture that in my audio. Luckily, I have a perfect frame of reference to capture that lonely traveling spirit. I live in Hawaii, and about once a year I fly home for the holidays. It’s roughly 12 hours of lonely traveling, and I always associate it with the sound of the jet engine and some music played over my cheap store-bought headphones. I knew this is what I wanted to capture in my audio.

To capture the engine of a sound rumbling, I knew that I needed to get a lot of noise, and only export the lowest sounds. To do this I started by generating static in Adobe Audition, then ran it through a low-pass filter. This essentially created random noise, then chopped off all the high parts of the noise. The result is that low rumbling we’re looking for.

The next important part was the music. I wanted something that really captured that lonely feel, and if it could have some space themes, that’d be awesome to. Enter Neko Case of one of the greatest indie bands of all time, The New Pornographers. Neko Case’s song “I Wish I Was the Moon Tonight” perfectly captured what we wanted in this project– A listful timbre, vocals that discussed being tired and lonely, and a strong solo vocal performance. Watch the unedited performance here:

To capture the quality of listening to the music in bad headphones, I passed it through a mild high-and-low pass filter, which kills the parts of the audio that bad headphones couldn’t play. I also boosted the middle tones, which is a trick employed by bad headphones to boost the audio. And, when you’re trying to drown out airplane engines, that boost helps. I also edited the piece down for time.

From there, I also recorded some extra noise for the supernova, and ripped the NTSC color bar tone off a YouTube video. They were just for sound fx. In Adobe Primere, I also mixed the levels of the engine and the static to create a feel of distance between the viewer and the ship. When the ship is near the camera, we hear the engine louder.

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