Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Infamous "Scene 4"!
That's what I have come to call the scene I am currently working on for "Spirit Blade: A World Of Shadows". I'm certain it is the single most complex sequence I have ever conceived or produced for audio drama.
It involves a one-man-assault on a room full of bad guys with an electronic-industrial re-mix of Mozart's "Dies Irae" blasting in the background as underscore.
To start with, rather than using purchased underscore for this scene, as I usually do, I created this version of the music from the ground up: Had friends help me record the choral vocals, designed and produced the instrumentation, adapted a similarly themed song from church liturgy to serve as my "verse" structure, so that in addition to being underscore the music would function as a song on its own.
After creating the "radio version" of the song, I then had to re-cut it and add entirely new material in some places so that the intensity of the music matches what is happening in the scene. This results in two very different versions of the same song: one "underscore" version and one "radio" version.
Having completed that I was finally ready to add in the sound effects for the scene. And there are a TON of them! The action is fast and brutal, with hard hits, flesh rips and blood squirts, intermixed with defensive gunfire and the sounds of someone supernaturally whipping back and forth around the room as he takes out a handful of bad guys in just a few seconds.
The final primary stage of mixing is to adjust fade-outs, stereo panning and volume levels for each of these numerous effects, so that the right effects and musical moments can be heard when I want you to hear them. It's similar to the way written dynamics of a choral piece will instruct altos, sopranos and basses to sing softly for a phrase while the tenors momentarily carry the melody before handing it off to the altos. In this scene, prominence in the mix needs to be quickly and purposefully handed around to multiple sounds, giving each a quick chance to shine before falling into the background again.
The end result, I hope, will be an almost dizzying auditory experience that listeners will be taken off-guard by, and that begs for repeated listening.
Of course, with a scene this complex, even this close to completion, there is still plenty of work to do. So I better get back to it!
But if you'd like to hear how it turns out, consider supporting Spirit Blade Productions by becoming a Spirit Blade Insider! The next bundle of goodies I send out will include the "state of the mix" on The Infamous Scene 4 and I think it will be a fun treat!