Fame! FX

Here’s something for  all of you who work in radio production , particularly those of you who need to create station imaging, promos and other ear candy.

My friends Andreas and Oli at SoundQuadrat have just launched their own production library called Fame FX. I’ve  been sharing audio with them for a while  over at the BenztownBranding blog.  For aspiring imaging producers and those with lots of experience too, it’s a great read.

Here’s the demo:

When I was running the production department at Capital FM, we were constantly bombarded with news of the latest sound libraries – all designed to help give our imaging added bite. Some were great. Some were absolute tat.

In the end, we ended up working with Jeff Thomas as a production consultant – with a custom created package, and then access to his legendary library. Now that is the Godfather of movie trailer-esque sound design elements.

But for many stations – completely out of their budget.

Fame FX is a fantastic collection of ready to grab sounds – neatly categorised into 2 folders – FX and Impact Loops. And is just $299+VAT.

They say:

“The only Sound FX buyout package you need this year – an energetic, bad ass and powerful tool to make your stuff stand out. Fame FX comes with tons of mix outs, solo workparts and includes: impacts, hits, sonic IDs, starters, electronics, flyIns, combos, slow downs, stops, impact loops, zaps and much more. Get your station on the next level. This package brings you Fame.
Fame FX delivered via download and ready to roll in 3… 2… 1…”

The FX are huge – and there are a real variety – all nicely named to explain what they do – rather than random words. As a producer, I find this sort of thing really useful – random naming doesn’t really help – unless you are great at remembering that the name of the effect you need to end promos is called “HyperStaticNoiseConfuser1” or similar. I would personally like to have seen these effects categorised into more folders – since I tend to work that way – but I doubt it would take long to go through and sort out your own system.

The Impact loops are also excellent – particularly for last-minute promo elements, or if you need to slam together a top of hour for the weekend with 30 minutes notice. Many of them have a number of versions, with different elements, so that you can mix and match and use different parts within a promo.

Whether you’re producing in a big market or for student radio, this is a fantastic package.

Head over to http://www.fame-fx.com/ And tell them I sent you…

Expect the Unexpected

Turn on a TV drama like Doctor Who and turn off the sound. Does it change the viewing experience?

This afternoon I went to free talk at the Royal College of Music hosted by Matthew Sweet – focusing on the work of Doctor Who’s sound effects editor Paul Jeffries and dubbing mixer Tim Ricketts. And these aren’t people who merely add some sound effects and random music to the pictures. They provide an integral part of defining the pace of the narrative, the mood of a scene, and the intensity of the drama.

Being someone who works entirely in radio, the sound element of TV shows has always fascinated me. But working in radio promotions, it amazes me how often the sound mix is a mere afterthought. For dramas like Doctor Who, this is clearly not the case.

They revealed some pretty amazing facts. Like how the sound of Davros’s claws was 5 coins taped on someone’s hand whilst tapping a Le Crueset lid. Or how one alien sound was merely the sound of a squirrel barking. And if you counted the number of separate cyberman sounds in the most recent episode – it was in excess of 25,000 sound cues! (slightly dubious if this is exact number – failed to write it down – but was a lot – honest!).

Tonight, a few thousand people will enjoy some of the experience of the music that adds so much to a programme like this – live in the Albert Hall – as the National Orchestra of Wales play selections of Murray Gold’s musical scores.

But next time you watch, close your eyes and listen to the sounds that enhance the drama. You’ll be amazed what you hear!