All posts in the category "News"

Web applications and cloud computing to facilitate organization, sharing, and exchanging files in remote post production

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

This article will address the topic of Web-based applications that can be efficient tools to organize and manage team work, particularly in audio and sound related environments, but also for remote postproduction in general.

Throughout the course of a production, there are many aspects that are not directly related to the job at hand. For example: organization, data management, task allocation, backups, scheduling, and the exchanging of files are all very important tasks that rarely receive the attention they deserve. In recent years I have incorporated several new ways to improve communication and data management between collaborators of a sound project, as there are many new resources out there aimed at boosting productivity and communication in remote work environments. Although these tools will never replace human contact, they do enhance the fluidity of the process and augment certain elements of collaboration in new and interesting ways. I plan on continuing to integrate these tools to better exploit their full potential and I encourage their widespread adoption by other teammates and members of the audio community.

The overall objective is to simplify the process of project supervision and execution for all the steps between task & responsibility allocation up through the final delivery. This desire for simplification and improvement comes in response to existing organizational and efficacy related hindrances that we have encountered thus far. One way we have achieved improvements in these department is by centralizing information via shared cloud resources in order to minimize the need for direct exchanges of information, schedules, documents, and files between team members. These modifications to our workflow increase flexibility as a team in our collective ability to quickly respond to changing needs, demands, deadlines and budget considerations.

The challenge lies not only in discovering the tools that are available, but also in collectively trying them out, and finally choosing and agreeing on a selected list of the Web (and otherwise) applications that best suit both our needs and the needs of our customers. I am always open to trying out new solutions that can improve the flow of audiovisual production, though I do prefer applications that are polyvalent and versatile. Please feel free to post your recommendations for other efficient collaboration/organizational tools in the comments below. It is by experimenting with various prospects that we will eventually arrive at and agree upon specific solutions that best fit our respective workflows. As a kick off, here are a few that I am trying out right now.

Asana: a project and task manager

I had the opportunity to implement Asana during the last season of work. It proved to be a useful platform for assigning tasks to specific team members, and for following their progress and confirming accomplishment. It allows us, amongst many other things, to keep track of tasks and to-do lists as well as being a good communication platform for team members. Features like email reminders and project updates allow the team members to stay informed with completed and incompleted tasks of a particular project. Asana is free for 15 collaborators and less. A Smart Phone and Wifi Device App makes it portable and enables instant access to consult and to modify any parameter of a given projects.


Dropbox, a reliable storage solution with many possibilities

  • Automatic synchronization and simple sharing properties and presentation of who is co-sharing folders
  • Ability to share sessions between Pro Tools users

Very useful for sending, storing, synchronizing, and sharing files via the public link. I updated my account from the basic to the 100 Gig package. When I work on a project, I can now have a Protools session (along with related audio files) on Dropbox, which I can then share with my teammates. We can collaborate remotely on the same session (just not at the same time). There is a lot of potential in improving the editing workflow using Dropbox, and I look forward to integrating it more and more in the future.


WeTransfer: a simple file sharing application with a download link in an email

  • Email confirmation of receipt
  • File size limit to 2 Gig.

WeTransfer has been reliable, fast, direct. When the user sends the file, the application will then takes care of multiple steps all at once (faster, better, cheaper! Yes it is possible):

  • Direct uploading the file to WeTransfer
  • Sending the recipient a notification email with a note from the sender
  • the recipient accesses a direct download link
  • the application sends a confirmation when the file has been downloaded by the recipient to complete the exchange


Google Docs/Drive

  • sharing and editing multiple types of files and multi-user setup

When organizing a recording session with several sound recordists, we can set up a shared folder in Google Drive in which we put all important documents and data concerning a recording session, such as location, pictures, maps, sounds, videos, activity descriptions in reference to time, and equipment used, such as which microphones were in use and their perspectives or orientation. These comments are modifiable and accessible by anyone, anywhere, at any time, and are very useful in organizing and managing the metadata afterwards. We encountered a few times with file size limits of documents and spreadsheets in Google Drive which has forced us to split our documents in multiple sets.


Google Apps

There are many ways to share photos, calendars, contacts, sounds, files, and documents using Google Apps. Searching, translating, scheduling, chatting, sending, alerting and file sharing are amongst the list of features you benefit from Google Apps.


Vimeo: a Public and private Video Player

  • Easy to share videos


Skype conversations, with free long distance

  • Possibility for ADR and projections

In many occasions, Skype really is a way to share video conversation. I recall one conversation with a film director making a final cut on the picture edit while watching, on Skype, the mixing studio screen with final mix sound.


Soundcloud, an audio sharing platform that provides multiple interfaces

I use it to share sounds with others. Further, the sounds can be embedded on web sites
Visit my Soundcloud Profile to explore my shared sounds and Demos of my SFX sound collections!


Evernote: a catalog of notebooks, it can include all sorts of file types such as sounds and images

  • Library of all information
  • Possibility to share notebooks with Premium account
  • The web clipper is a good way to store all web based information

Evernote offers several ways to create notes. It is possible to write, record, photograph, send an email and even use the web clipper from a web browser. When using a portable device with a GPS chip, It also integrates many functions of localization. When connected to the Internet, it gives access to the entire library of notebooks, a valuable source of information at my fingertips.


Feedly: an RSS subscription notifier, to stay informed with selective news

Using RSS feeds allows me to stay informed without having to actively seek out new information on subjects I’m interested in. I get a notice everytime a site I follow has updated. Feedly also has a nice user interface that integrates well with Smart Phones and Devices.


Of course, there are many other solutions that can provide similar services out there, so help me add to my list, by contributing with your suggestions. It is important to collectively adopt these new powerful tools, as their strengths are only realized in a collaborative setting. It is essential to test them out and to include them in our workflow on a regular basis. I believe that there is room for improvement in nearly all aspects of a production, and by pushing for the integration and uptake of these new tools we will continually refine our working habits. But it is only once we endorse these new solutions that we can then benefit for every other sound adventure ahead.

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Invited by NexT International Film Festival in Bucarest as a sound designer

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Life is full of surprises:

BUCAREST

A short film by Serge Marcotte, The Greens, for which I did sound design, was selected by a film festival in Romania (Bucarest, March 2012). This festival differs from others in that it welcomes both filmmakers and sound designers. On the thirty films in competition, about half were represented by the director or the sound designer, or both. Screenings, meetings, seminars with themes, group meals were on the menu!   Cultural exchange guaranteed!

How come this invitation for sound designers?

As a tribute to a pair of young Romanian director-sound designer, who tragically perished together in a car accident, the “Next Cultural Society” created the Next International Film Festival.  The creative approach of Andre Toncu, the sound designer of the Romanian duo, now serves as an inspiration for all generations of filmmakers and sound designers, a wish that he had made during his lifetime.  What a powerful example of the importance of sound in the film process. I would love not to have to convince anyone of that.

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Web Echoes 2: Sound Design, technical challenge, … innovation

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

It is still very hard for me to conciliate sound design and web design at the same time. I finished to work on War Witch at the beginning of February, so I am writing a series of posts that will lead to new collections. Stay tuned! A lot of new ahead!

As an appetizer, here are my Web Echoes…

Steve Papagiannis, a supervising sound editor from the Los Angeles area, started Stavrosound blog about six months ago. So far, his articles are oriented towards dialog editing and it’s particularities like crackles or even more dreaming ideas like this.  Very cool!

One Stop Digital, Excellent technical resource for Pro Tools users, published this post that talks about programs that conform sound to picture.  More possibilities.

Another blog about Sound Design is azimutaudio.  He takes the time to review few SFX libraries.

This post from irrationalgames.com has an super article about gun recording.

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Web Echoes 1: Impulse Response, Pro Tools functions and workflow

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Internet plays an important role in my creative, technical and learning process. It is also a great source of motivation, particularly when I discovered Sound Designer’s blogs and Independent SFX Libraries and their makers, few years ago. Since then, I improved my surfing skills by using RSS feeds to centralize information in an aggregator daily. Collecting, marking, saving and later following the flow of specialized news that come automatically in my computer without loosing any time searching. Every week, I discover new sites, blogs, SFX boutiques, opinions products, tutorials on a wide range of subjects… The content is accessible and contribute to my reflections and learning about sound. I would like to share a few of particular interest in this Web Echoes 1, an ongoing News Report that I instigate today, as a way to share content and help to grow collectively and individually! This one is more technically oriented towards Impulse Response, Pro Tools functions and workflow, conforming and sound metadata!

1. Brought by Designing Sounds last week, from the team at ArenaNet, they did a recording session in a never completed Nuclear Power Plant, recording tones and all sorts of incredible sounds. Wow! I am very impressed! This presentation video is instructive for our ears as an authentic document for future constructions. I look forward to see more. Impulse Response in progress…

2- This post from Ian Palmer’s Post-Production Sound Blog talks about working from home. It confirms a reality that will increase over time. Technology gives us solutions to work remotely and gain flexibility and efficiency. Ian is starting SFX collections as well, here is the link.

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About the sound of Café de Flore

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Café de Flore is still warm out of the oven, it reaches this week our screens after exciting Premieres in Venice, Toronto, Montreal, Sherbrooke, Québec, Ste-Adèle and others!

2 films in one ::: The two stories of the film evolve independantly which allows for a different sound aesthetic. Then, they tend to bleed in each other, but the emotion persists, the pace is accelerating, the music spins and  the magic works.

Work in progress ::: Personally and passionately edited for more than 10 months by Jean-Marc Vallée, and gradually reaching the sound editorial crew as the version evolved, the film was built to the end… yesterday!  That defined the post production process.  As editor, Jean-Marc was very much involved in sound editing and mix.  Dialogue editor Mireille Morin digged down the sources with numerous additions and alternatives to clear the dialog to a very mediculous level. Sound effects editing was done using mostly original recordings.  We premixed and conformed before final mix, always aiming to improve  to the maximum potential of our sources and our resources, still ready for new ideas and picture changes… before the official deadline, Venice! Music is obviously a very important theme with Jean-Marc Vallée’s films.  Working closely with DJ/sound editor Luc Raymond to tweek and adjust the soundtrack to the end.  The entire sound process was a real and true team work.

The Evolution of technology ::: Work in progress needs control of all the elements to the end, not always easy to follow with picture changes. I discovered new applications and web tools during Café de Flore that helped to deal with the situations : DropBox, SoundCloud, WordPress, Google Apps, Evernote, and other sound related applications Edimarker, Edicue,Pro Remote, idisplay, Lockstep!  These apps are very promissing to help us achieve the tasks of film sound.  There are new solutions close at hand. First, should we adopt them collectively.


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martinpinsonnault.com is online!

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Seventeen years of projects, recordings and sound design are behind the creation of this website and my online Sound effects Collections store, available to sound designers from all over!

Development of a sound designers community on the Internet
In recent years, a larger growing community of sound designers took up residence on the Internet.  Sites like Designing Sound or SoundWorks Collection succeeded in firmly establishing themselves and offering a variety of very accurate content.  Their use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter has contributed to spread and extend the phenomenon.  The number gives even more meaning to sharing!  Other user forums sites such as Social Sound Design and Sounddesigners.org have become very popular platforms and facilitate discussions on any topic of interest regarding various postproduction sound professions.  Sound designers, mixers and other recognized professionals participate more and more actively.  Information is available to anyone who seeks it. I subscribe to this trend that seems beneficial and here to stay.  I would like to contribute progressively over time.

Bilingual website
The site is available in French and English. One way to promote exchanges between film cultures!

Exploring the site
The links on the right column lead to other sound design sites of high quality. They have inspired me and I warmly thank the authors.  The Films section covers my work as a film sound designer.  I wrote a text for the latest most significant work.

Sound Collections
The sound collections will be made available online gradually. The first two have the following labels:

MPSFX_WATER01 and MPSFX_TRAINS01

Enjoy your visit!

Website: www.martinpinsonnault.com/

SoundCloud account: http://soundcloud.com/martin-pinsonnault

French RSS feed: http://www.martinpinsonnault.com/feed/rss2

Subscription to the newsletter:


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Launch of my first sound collection! MPSFX_WATER01

Monday, June 20th, 2011

direct link to the online boutique of the Collection MPSFX_WATER01

This collection of water sounds focuses on different water surface sounds and water actions, such as lapping, waves, streams, brooks and rivers in different states and conditions.  These are the most interesting sounds from my personal sound library in the category WATER.  This category would be good for adding more precision and textures in doing sound design for films, video games, television, theater, webtv or other sound requirements.

At first, I approach the sounds of watercourses.  Ditch, brook, stream, lake, river, cavern, sea, lapping, reef, wave are on the menu.  Sometimes, there are different perspectives of the same subject.

The sound of water varies greatly depending on the morphology of the site, the type of watercourse, its flow, the weather conditions, the seasons and the sound recording itself.  The key for me as a sound editor and sound designer is to maximize the possibilities.

The sounds were mostly recorded during various trips, first to the United States, in August 1994 when I traveled alone, microphone in hand, from East to West and North to South through a large part of U.S. territory, then in the Quebec rural and natural areas (boreal forest) of North America with its streams, lakes and rivers and also the St-Lawrence River and Gaspé Peninsula.

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Categories: News, Sound Collections

Launch of a new sound collection MPSFX_TRAINS01

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Consulting my sound effects library to determine the choice of the starting collections helped me notice the large range of train sounds that I collected through the years. The sounds of trains have always been very inspiring for me.

iStock_000000758775XSmall01They are part of the large family of industrial sounds. Steam trains, electric trains and diesels are on the menu. Trains become a topic interesting to develop in sound design. They are excellent for locating a place, a neighbourhood, to drive a scene, to mark the passing of time, to distract, to make a transition effect or other particular sound effect.  They can also be a lot more than just trains.

The collection of train sounds is made of atmospheres or ambiences, usually quite long, including grinding, rumbling, vibrating, steam hissing, Dopplers, horns, pass-bys, whistling, swishing, singing, rhythmic beats, clanking and squealing.

Key Elements:

  • A steam train with most movements necessary:
  • A 24-hours Electric train ride, in Eastern Europe that I did in 1996.
  • Train movements, pass-bys, squeaks, Doppler, creaks, crackles, rattles and others are included:
  • Sounds in rail yards with locomotives and rail impacts and Diesel Engines complete the collection of sounds

Here is a preview via my SoundCloud account:
DEMO MPSFX_TRAINS01 by martin pinsonnault


A wide range of possibilities for sound design
The large palette of sonorities and the large spectral response of train sounds added to the processing possibilities of pitch, EQ, compressors and other sound programs and tools, then added to the sound of movement makes it a very powerful tool for sound editor and sound designers or any audio artist in films, video games and  other sound editing profession.  By using various plugins, sounds of trains can be transformed into multiple objects and sounds. The possibilities are limited only by the extent of our imagination!

Metadata and technical specifications

The Metadata, embedded in the wav file, includes a clear definition of each sound, using an exhaustive vocabulary of audio description, available in English and French for the moment.  It is compatible with most DAW’s and Audio Software available.  The Metadata has a huge potential for the treatment of any digital file such as photos, videos and sounds. This cataloguing tool becomes very enriching for any type of sound editor, sound designer, audio artist or web designer. Descriptions are more precise and exhaustive and searches can be more specific by combining words when searching. I also hope this site deepens the theme of Metadata in future years. I followed what many of you have written on the subject. I already have few ideas!

Stay connected via my RSS feed to follow the discussion.

Technical Specifications:

  • 2 Go of original stereo recording sounds
  • 113 minutes of train sound textures and variations
  • Ideal for sound editor, sound designer, audio artist or web designer
  • Complete and exhaustive Metadata
  • Compatible with most DAW’s and Audio Softwares
  • Recorded with a DAT at 48kHz/ 16 bits using line-in and  Schoeps MS microphones (MK4 & MK8)  coupled to the supply box VMS02IB
  • Adjusted, decoded and mastered  in Pro Tools at 48kHz/24 bits
  • 53 TRACKS OF SOUND EFFECTS delivered  as a .wav file at 48kHz/24 bits

P.S. I will address specifically the railway station sounds and crowds in future collections.

Click on the picture or the link to go directly to the collection page:

http://www.martinpinsonnault.com/sound-effects-collections/MPSFX_TRAINS01/


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Categories: News, Sound Collections