Bojack Sound Replacement | Foley, Edit, Mix, Repeat
So here we are, the final week of this sound replacement project. It's been quite a big learning curve working on a production that I've been on the other end of (Watching Bojack obsessively) since the show first launched. I'd first like to thank the creators of the show (if they read this) and Jesse Novak for creating such an interesting soundscape which was fun to try recreate.
After our spotting session which I talk about briefly in my third blog for this project, Liam and I were set up to get this foley crushed to it's proverbial end. We booked out the C-24 studio and made full use of the Avid C-24 controller and live room. This was slightly challenging at the beginning of the session, due to some technical software issues, and the fact that in the middle of the day (or any time) this studio is not very isolated. We persevered and just did what we came to do and got it done.
The first foley element we had to do was the footsteps and falling sounds. This was achieved using a sandbag, which we would have otherwise used to keep the light from falling over, but we took the risk. The sound of the sandbag had enough crunch and dead surface doof to mimic what we imagined a multi-eye monster would sound like deep under the ocean when it walked away. As a secondary purpose we used the same surface to recreate some falling sounds in the beginning of the scene by simply putting a tea towel over the top of the bag.
To get the sound of the slurp, we have to apologize in advance, but we used actual slurps. In most circumstances this would be incorrect studio procedure, but for academic/project purposes we deemed it necessary. Here is a video in all of our guilty glory recreating the sound of a multi-eyeball monster slurping that drank!!
The most substantial editing that we had to do in this session was with the bell sounds that happen at each surface contact with a sea anemone. Because these hits happen so quickly, we needed to find the most realistic position for transients to trigger. We found the more we did it, the preferred position would change, and the context of the last hit would be different. To solve this we needed to work quickly and ensure we could here each bell drum in separation between the others. I suggested we use a soft gate and use automation on the release to cut the ambient tale off each bell. Below is an image of the automation controls used by the standard Pro Tools 2018 gate/expander. By automating the release, I was able to control the timing of the gate and ensure we had clear separation.
As for other editing, it was just a matter of lining up the foley we had recorded to their corresponding marker. which I talk about in the third blog for this project. We than added standard linear fades to everything to make sure there were no pops.
To get to this stage, we had to pass the ultimate test...being happy with the edit we did. This has been the first time Liam and I have sat there with a piece of paper and wrote a timeline for how the session is going to pan out. It works! a simple notepad with times and production stages on it, will often find you finishing before you intended.
The mix was simple, just some complementary EQ and compression on each channel was the majority of the work. We had intended in the beginning to do as little processing as possible in the mix and just try to recreate those sounds as best we could straight to the microphone. Because of this, we had time to be creative and get some use out of some of my favourite plugins. In particular, one of my favourites for sound design, the standard Lo-Fi plugin that comes with Pro Tools. We mostly used this plugin to degrade some of our sounds, rather than relying on the EQ, we could change the sample rate of the sound and add noise and saturation to give a muffled under water effect.
I enjoyed the process of this project, from planning to post-production stage. I learnt how to manage my place in a session and truly collaborate while at the same time staying true to the reference track. I'm hoping that we can get this to the original creators now, for them to see what we've done. I also hope it makes them happy, and for us to be able to show this as part of our portfolio. I'd like to keep working in post-production and composition for films and animations, hence the "Repeat" headline and this project has only bolstered my enthusiasm for sound replacement.
Bojack Sound Replacement - The First Real Spotting Session. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.sonicbakery.com/audio-dev-diary/2018/6/5/bojack-sound-replacement-the-first-real-spotting-session
C|24 - Avid. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.avid.com/products/c24
Ecosia - the search engine that plants trees. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.ecosia.org/images?q=lo+fi+plugin+pro+tools#id=E4E43CDA02606FDB504ECD5967F91EDD2CFE70C3
Jesse Novak. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2920765/