A few weeks ago, I made a blog post about my experiences in creating sound effects and foley for film, and mentioned that I might make a list of resources that I have found useful whilst doing it, so here it is.
There are two absolutely fantastic books on sound for films, which I may have mentioned before…
The first is Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema by David Sonnenschein (There is a link to a preview here.) It’s not a long book, or a particularly wordy one, but it manages to cover all the basics and then some of film sound. Everything is arranged by ‘Jargon/Technical Term’- Explanation, so it makes a great encyclopaedia of sound definitions too.
The second is The Sound Effects Bible by Ric Viers. (You can find out about the book here, and it seems to be mysteriously free as a .pdf all over the web.) This book is far more specific to Foley Artists. It covers all aspects of sound recording for films, from field recording to building a foley stage. Both books are full of examples from films that anyone would recognise – but mostly Star Wars, because Ben Burtt, obviously.
Both books start out quite basic, covering microphones, acoustics etc, so I feel that someone very new to sound would still be able to read them. I’m supposed to be more expert in these matters, but I often reread the beginning chapters anyway because I more get into sound, the more terrified I am that someone will call me out on not knowing something basic.
I should also probably mention Dialogue Editing For Motion Pictures by John Purcell, because it has a lot of information on dialogue editing and ADR, which the other books don’t cover in detail
Filmsound.org – I love this site, I really do. It’s huge, with lots of interviews with film designers and articles on specific films, and it also has a huge glossary of terms that I use more often than I should in this stage of my career.
Rode University on YouTube – (Please note, I’m really not being paid by Ric Viers to advertise his work or anything. He just crops up a lot in this stuff.) Rode University’s YouTube channel has loads of videos covering both music and sound effect recording.
Freesounds.org – Is the greatest site ever for free sound effects and sounds used to make them. It’s a database of creative commons sound files that anyone can upload to, and like many such sites that most people would look down on (urghh, free and user content?!), it is actually fantastic. Many of the sounds here are really high quality and I’ve used plenty of them, as well as uploading a few of my own.
And to finish, here is a selection of sounds effects I created a while ago, which I’ve just uploaded to freesounds.org. You can find them here, where they are available for download under creative commons attribution.