Over the past few weeks, my group for Audio Post Production has been busy finishing up the sound for the short Animated film we’ve been working with. We’ll be starting to mix it in 5.1 tomorrow morning.
One of the most fun things for me has been creating the Foley sounds. Foley (named after famous Hollywood sound recordist Jack Foley) is adding in sound effect to fit the screen, such as footsteps, and is used throughout the film industry, not just in animations. Often the sounds produced on set are unusable due to outside interference, and contrary to popular belief cannot be ‘fixed in post!‘
Although the sounds can be edited into place, it is easier if they are as closely in sync with the picture as possible, so it needs a lot of takes to get right. When factoring in takes where the microphone needed adjusting and there were discussions over the exact sound and how to get it, even a minute of footstep sounds can take an hour.
Like all sound effect work, Foley involves a fair amount of experimentation. I spent quite a while rolling a nut down a metal pipe angled towards a camera (borrowed from a DIY-minded neighbour’s shed) to create the sound of a robot rolling out of the end of a drain pipe. The hardest part of this (which I wish I’d videoed) was probably getting the sound of the nut rolling towards the microphone without it popping out of the end of the tube and bouncing off the equipment
For anyone interested in trying this kind of thing, ‘The Sound of Effects Bible‘ by Ric Viers, and ‘Sound Design‘ by David Sonnenschein are fantastic reads, and of course there are plenty of great sites and YouTube videos- I might make a post listing them when I have time.