One of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on in months, the Google Infographic by Rob Norman.
This time, it’s all about the synths! I’ve been meaning to put my Novation through its paces in some sound design ever since I got it. Once I saw the highly stylised visuals of Rob’s work, I knew this would be my chance!
To begin with I thought I best not to risk it and cover myself, so I made an entire FX tracklay for the video, this way if I couldn’t make all the synth patches in time, I’d have something to show for my hard work. I remembered from working on Rob’s last piece that it’s all about the material of the foley objects used that make motion graphics sound good. Plastic was the material I was after (PVC if you’re a massive nerd like I apparently am) so I had a little rummage around my stuff and ended up recording the lid of an aerosol can, my Ravensbourne ID card with its plastic case and one of those Olbasoil nostril sticks that are handy when you have a blocked nose. I also ended up recording the metal lid of a biscuit tin which makes an interesting wobbly sound when flipped up in the air, and the classic water-in-a-saucepan which made the sound of the two heads forming at the beginning.
Then it got interesting! The idea behind using a synth for this project was because of the tenuous link that synths are modern technology and that this is about a very technical subject, it also helps that the visuals have a hint of retro arcade about them. I won’t go in to too much detail on how I made the patches but you can have a listen to them here if you like.
I tried to be as creative as I could, for the languages section, I decided that each language should have its own character, the English one is the popular one and the French one is the groovy laid-back one for example.
One of the key things about this project was the collaboration between me and @SimonAllinson. Before we started I went through with him my plans for the style I wanted to take, which led him to take a more synthy approach. He told me what key he was playing and the tempo too so that the transition between sound and music was a little more blurry and really ties us together. We frequently gave each other our latest versions so that we knew what frequencies we would be using and tried to compensate for that accordingly. It also helped that the visual was beat matched rather well too!
P.S. The narration was also performed by Simon, he’s looking to get a portfolio of voiceover work up and running so if you need a voiceover you know who to call!