Archive for July, 2012

AC/DC – Shoot To Thrill

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The Lion King soundtrack – Hakuna Matata

The Lion King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the original motion picture soundtrack for Walt Disney’s 1994, 32nd animated feature The Lion King. It contains songs from the film written by Elton John and Tim Rice, and a score composed by Hans Zimmer. Elton John has a dual role of performer for several tracks. Additional performers include Carmen Twillie, Jason Weaver, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, and Sally Dworsky. The album was released on May 31, 1994 on CD and audio cassette. The soundtrack was recorded in three different countries: the USA, the UK and South Africa. There is also an unreleased complete score CD, entitled The Lion King 2005 Expanded Score.

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Top Apps For Reading Voice Over Copy On iPhone, iPad & Android

Tablet computers are showing up in voice over studios everywhere.

I’ve blogged extensively about the use of an iPad or Android-powered
tablet as a mobile recording device, but perhaps its most useful role
is that of a reader – replacing sheets of paper or a book.

Paper is centuries-old tradition, so not everyone will be
an overnight fan, but a tablet can be held in just about any position
that a piece of paper can, and you can do away with the printer in your


Other advantages of the tablet computers for voice over:

  • Silence: no shuffling of papers
  • Green: no trees sacrificed
  • Immediately adjustable font-size with the flip of two fingers
  • Downloads and displays docs and PDFs from “the cloud” effortlessly
  • Allows annotations, mark-ups, underscores, arrows, etc. to highlight the copy
  • Replenishable: use over and over
  • It has a certain “cool” factor (not that that matters, right?) Continue reading →

Jordan Rudess, keyboard player for Dream Theater, and the Haken Continuum

The Continuum Fingerboard or Haken Continuum is a music performance controller developed by Lippold Haken, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, and sold by Haken Audio, located in Champaign, Illinois.

The Continuum Fingerboard was initially developed over the period of 1990 to 2000 at the CERL Sound Group at the University of Illinois to control sound-producing algorithms on the Platypus audio signal processorand the Kyma/Capybara workstation.

In 2002, the first commercial version of the Continuum Fingerboard used IEEE-1394 (FireWire) or MIDI connections to control a Kyma sound design workstation or a MIDI synthesizer module. Later versions added a control voltage option to permit control of analog modular synthesizers.

The most recent model can generate audio directly, but it is still primarily designed to be a MIDI controller (the IEEE-1394 connection that was present on earlier models has been removed).

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Randy Thom has always been a man of many hats. After being nominated for two Academy Awards as production mixer for Return of the Jedi and Never Cry Wolf in 1983, he aced himself out for the trophy with his third nod as effects mixer on The Right Stuff. In addition to his current status as sound designer and re-recording mixer at Skywalker Sound, Thom is also known internationally for compositions like Ear Circus, which employs sound to create a sense of locale and narrative.

But when Robert Zemeckis, a director with whom he has collaborated with on five films, approached Thom with his idea for the new Tom Hanks film, Cast Away, even Thom was taken aback. His brief was to create a track without birds, insects or animals, and only wind and waves for ambience during the hour-long sequence that covers Hanks’ struggle to survive on a desert island. “It’s certainly the biggest challenge of this kind that I’ve ever had. For roughly half of the film’s running time,” Thom calculates, “there’s virtually no dialog and no music at all.”

“It’s a sound designer’s dream,” says Zemeckis, “and Randy has risen to the occasion with more elegance than I could have imagined. He is a true sound artist who is able to evoke the audience’s emotion using sound effects.”

Sound designers and supervising sound editors often lament the secondary status accorded the effects track, and Thom is no exception. But like the kid who gets the keys to his Dad’s car after years of begging and moaning, it’s a bit of a shock to finally get behind the wheel and realize there’s no one else in there. “It’s a great opportunity,” he concludes. “We, the sound effects people, don’t have anywhere to hide.” Continue reading →

Video Clip Mexico, HBO – Original music by

Design for listening

Pro Sound News investigates the cut-and-paste digital art of sound design in the studio, and meets a new breed of audio professionals equally at home with music, SFX and dialogue.


Charles Maynes, Mark Meuwese, Scott Gershin and Randy Thom.

Sound art: Charles Maynes, Scott Gershin, Mark Meuwese and Randy Thom.

Pro Tools would be the system of choice of many sound design professionals with a background in sound editing and dubbing – people like Charles Maynes, a respected sound designer.

“I use a Pro Tools 24 system. They are the dominant workstation for sound design and editing in Los Angeles and offer a vast collection of terrific sound treatments. Third-party developers are producing plug-ins which allow us almost unrestricted creative freedom in crafting the modern sonic landscapes that film audiences have come to expect”.

As useful as such tools may be, Maynes acknowledges that few, if any, have been developed specifically for use in sound design. “Most of us tend to use relatively common studio and music synthesis tools, especially when creating more ‘fantasy’ effects. The majority of sound processing tends to be in treating acoustic sounds and combining sounds for a more emotional impact.” It sounds almost as if the sound designer allies himself more closely with the musician than the studio engineer or sound mixer. Continue reading →

The Orchestrion.

An orchestrion is a generic name for a machine that plays music and is designed to sound like an orchestra or band. Orchestrions may be operated by means of a large pinned cylinder or by a music roll and less commonly book music. The sound is usually produced by pipes, though they will be voiced differently to those found in a pipe organ, as well as percussion instruments. Many orchestrions contain a piano as well.

1918 Seeburg Orchestrion, “Style G” located at Clark’s Trading Post in Lincoln,New Hampshire. Uses a 10-song music rolland plays multiple wind, string, and percussion instruments.

The first known automatic playing orchestrion was the panharmonicon, invented in 1805 by Johann Nepomuk Mälzel. Friedrich Wilhelm Kaufmann copied this automatic playing machine in 1808 and his family produced orchestrions from that time on. One of Mälzel’s panharmonicons was sent to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1811 and was exhibited there and then in New York and other cities. Mälzel also was on tour (with interruptions) with this instrument in the United States from 7 February 1826 until he died in 1838. In 1817 Flight & Robson in London built a similar automatic instrument called Apollonicon and in 1823 William M. Goodrich copied Mälzel’s panharmonicon in Boston, USA.

The name “orchestrion” has also been applied to three specific musical instruments:

  1. A chamber organ, designed by Abt Vogler in 1785, which in a space of 9 cubic feet (250 dm3) contained no less than 900 pipes, 3 manuals of 63 keys each and 39 pedals.
  2. A pianoforte with organ pipes attached, invented by Thomas Anton Kunz (1756–1830) of Prague in 1791. This orchestrion comprised two manuals of 65 keys and 25 pedals, all of which could be used either independently or coupled. There were 21 stops, 230 strings and 360 pipes which produced 105 different combinations. The bellows were worked either by hand or by machinery.
  3. A mechanical musical instrument, automatically played by means of revolving cylinders, invented in 1851 by F. T. Kaufmann of Dresden. It comprises a complete wind orchestra, with the addition of kettle-drums, side drums, cymbals, tambourine and triangle.

Pat Metheny’s Orchestrion CD refers to a 19th century hybrid musical instrument of the same name that contained (usually) a wind orchestra, various percussion instruments, and sometimes a piano played by a pinned cylinder or a music roll — like a player piano. Metheny designed and plays one here thanks to a commissioned group of inventors, advanced solenoid switch technology, and pneumatics. This invention includes pianos, marimbas, bells, basses, “guitarbots,” percussion, cymbals, drums, loads of tuned bottles, and synth and fabricated acoustic instruments, played by Metheny triggering everything with his guitar. While it may have been simpler using a laptop with the latest sampling and MIDI technology, he explains in the booklet that the “acoustoelectric” sound and the “human element” he sought would have been impossible to achieve. Here, his extensively written compositions are a complete engagement with his trademark harmonic and lyric investigations and improvisations. Despite mechanics, everything here sounds and feels organic. Drums and percussion instruments swing, basslines flow in concert with and counterpoint to his guitar and piano lines. These five cuts showcase different sides of Metheny’s compositional acumen and poetic sense of detail without losing his euphoric, spacious sense of complex harmonic engagement or songlike melodic sensibilities.

Does it work musically? Check the title track and “Expansion”; their knotty changes hint at Steve Reich’s work for mallet instruments, but their deep, warm guitar grooves, intricate melodies, and Metheny’s love of rhythmic invention set them worlds apart. These tunes flow seamlessly even though they are compositionally ambitious, even by Metheny’s exacting standards. In places one can hear traces of Frank Zappa’s playful compositions in the keyboards and percussion instruments, too, but Metheny’s sense of swing is so pronounced it reflects pure modern jazz. “Entry Point” begins as a spacy ballad before evolving into a vehicle for rich solo guitar work and an engaging contrapuntal workout between mallet instruments, drums one side, and pianos and guitars on the other; the cymbals groove like mad throughout. “Spirit in the Air” closes the set. A bassline, cymbals, and hand percussion introduce it with a pulse; guitars and bells underscore it creating a foundation for its euphoric, songlike melody. It may be the most beautiful integration of this experiment’s particular parts. As an album, Orchestrion is as ambitious as Secret Story and The Way Up, but it is no less brilliant. Here Metheny exceeds our expectations, and perhaps even his own.

From:, and

Nobuyuki Tsujii, Blind from birth. Pianist and composer.

Nobuyuki Tsujii was born blind but was gifted with a talent for music. At the age of two, he began to play “Jingle Bells” on a toy piano after his mother had been humming the tune. He began his formal study of piano at the age of four. In 1995, at the age of seven, Tsujii won the first prize at the All Japan Music of Blind Students by the Tokyo Helen Keller Association. In 1998, at age ten, he debuted with the Century Orchestra, Osaka. He gave his first piano recital in the small hall of Tokyo’s Suntory Hall at age 12. Subsequently, he made his overseas debut with performances in the United States, France, and Russia. In October 2005, he reached the semifinal and received the Critics’ Award at the 15th International Frederik Chopin Piano Competition held in Warsaw, Poland.

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Paul McCartney – My Valentine feat. Natalie Portman & Johnny Depp

Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM (born 18 June 1942), is an English musician, singer, songwriter and composer. With John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles, and his collaboration with Lennon is one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century. After the band’s break-up he pursued a solo career, forming the band Wings, with his first wife and singer-songwriter Denny Laine.

McCartney has been described by Guinness World Records as the “most successful composer and recording artist of all time”, with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million albums and 100 million singles, and as the “most successful songwriter” in United Kingdom chart history.[1] His Beatles song “Yesterday” has been covered by over 2,200 artists, more than any other song in history. Wings’ 1977 release “Mull of Kintyre”, is one of the all-time best-selling singles in the UK. McCartney has written or co-written 32 songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2012 he has sold over 15.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States.

McCartney has released a large catalogue of songs as a solo artist, and has composed classical and electronic music, as well as several movie soundtracks. He has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, landmines, vegetarianism, poverty and music education. He has been married three times and is the father of five children.


Academy Awards

Year Category Film Outcome
2002 Best Song Vanilla Sky Nominee
1973 Best Song Live and Let Die Nominee
1970 Best Original Soundtrack Let it Be Winner

Golden Globe Awards

Year Category Film Outcome
2009 Best Song Everybody’s Fine Nominee
2002 Best Song Vanilla Sky Nominee
1985 Best Song Give My Regards to Broad Street Nominee