professional editing and mixing with Logic

professional editing and mixing with Logic

Recently we finished the final sound design and mix of Anomaly with the talented Brett Hammond of Studio 11211! Brett cleaned up the location sound tracks, added SFX and foley, and mixed all the levels. It’s often said that film audiences will forgive flawed visuals, but have a hard time time focusing when the audio is inconsistent. How true!

another good tool in the box, Izotope

another good tool in the box, Izotope

One of the main challenges with this documentary was gathering the sound from our various characters in more than 26 different shooting locations and polishing it to seem like the same acoustic “space.” There was a dramatic before-and-after improvement that made it all more uniform and easy on the ears! Maybe we’ll post a few demo clips down the road. :)  Brett was a skilled and intuitive collaborator, with a fantastic ear for sound, and simply delightful to work with! Check out his various film and audio projects at Studio 11211.

That’s right! Spread the word to your contacts involved in media/audio. Thanks! Formal posting follows below. -JCD

Nyabinghi Productions is seeking a New York-based freelance post-production sound designer/mixer for a documentary film called Anomaly, which explores the lives of multiracial Americans. Designer must have experience with non-fiction films, own studio, and good references. The 47-minute documentary combines interviews, first-person narration, spoken word and musical performances, and archival materials. The film has a unique original soundtrack that is in place. Anomaly is intended for release this spring, to film festivals, colleges and universities, community groups, DVD/home video and more!

Check out our youtube clips and blog at:
http://anomalythefilm.wordpress.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/anomalyJCD

Please send a cover letter and resume/CV to info@anomalythefilm.com. You must include:
-why the film appeals to you
-your general availability
-specify what audio program you have. It must be compatible with Final Cut Pro OMFs.

If you have an online demo reel, include a link to its location. Do not send attachments of demo reels.

This is a paid position on a flat/package rate.

Can you find the anomaly? ;)

Can you find the anomaly? ;)

“I was born in a small town in West Virginia. On my birth certificate, in the line for color, I was unidentified…”

Oh boy was I in the hot seat the other day! Standing in front of the microphone re-recording my final narration was a learning experience. I had no idea the mouth was such a noisy creature! Thankfully J. Armen was doing audio editing, so he could edit and de-emphasize the pops, crackles and breath sounds. And objectively help me pick out the best takes!

Overall, it was not nearly as icky as it had seemed in my mind (picture going to the dentist) – the anticipation is worse than the actual experience itself. And I’m so glad/relieved that it sounds much better and more professional than the temporary voiceovers!

P.S. And happy new year to all of you! We hope everyone has a fabulous 2009, and that we’ll see you in person at a screening this year. :)   -JCD  

Jessica and composer J. Armen

Jessica and composer J. Armen

The original score for ANOMALY, as composed, recorded and mixed by J. Armen, is finished! What a joy it was to put back into the film, creating a thoroughly original sound for the scenes. Temp music is well, just that, temp music. Sometimes it’s too long, too short, too busy or too distracting.

J. Armen made some neat musical motifs that tied the score all together, drawing on vocal percussion, blues, a capella, improv, and broadly speaking, “world music.” In musician-speak, “pentatonic” and 9 part harmonies on some pieces. Check out the attached mp3! It’s a short sample from part of the end credits piece with vocals by Gwenviere Mann. (Click on and follow the link, and then play using the pop-up WordPress Snapshots.) To hear everything you have to come to a screening in 2009! :) -JCD

We had fantastic recording sessions this weekend! Working with composer J. Armen, the score has taken shape to create a unique, unifying vision of music that complements the content and visuals in ANOMALY. He found some fabulous musicians for the score.

Gwen Mann on vocal tracks

Gwen Mann on vocal tracks

On Saturday, we recorded Gweneviere Mann, versed in styles ranging from a capella to vocal percussion. Her alto voice sounded lush belting out some improv over a track underscoring a scene about the troubling social constructions of race and anti-miscegenation fervor. And what a coincidence! She previously sang in a group that performed Arirang at a wedding. Gwen could be in an ANOMALY sequel :) — she had a very poignant story about encounters with the KKK in the New Orleans area (they didn’t know what to make of her Filipina mom who could not pass the brown bag test).

Alex Garcia on congas and J. Armen at the sound board

Alex Garcia on congas and J. Armen at the sound board

On Sunday, J. brought into the studio bass player Ariel de la Portilla and percussionist Alex Garcia. There’s nothing like a live upright bass and congas to set a jammin’ groove with Latin and jazz roots. Ariel and Alex were so willing to do take after take, we have so much more excellent creative material than we could possibly use. The inspiration for another film, perhaps?:) Mixed race history throughout the Latin American diaspora. (That’s redundant, isn’t it ;) )

Ariel de la Portilla on upright bass

Ariel de la Portilla on upright bass

In half a second, J. put Alex and Ariel’s tracks together with a track from Gwen from the previous day. Wouldn’t you know they lined up exactly? It made a perfect musical fusion as if all three were in the studio at the same time. And our clapping recorded at the end of a really hot last take made J.’s studio sound like the new Club Armen.

There’s nothing like the energy of talented live musicians or artists honing their craft, especially when there’s room for improvisation! I played a bunch of musical instruments in my childhood (no I am not going to post a picture from the 8th grade in my band uniform!) so it was very exciting to be back in a recording studio. I will, however, post some mp3s previews in the future — after they have received J.’s professional mixing and fine tuning! -JCD