AUS220 - Bonus Blog 3 - Designing Drones

During our post-production intensive I had a lot of fun creating the drones we used in the project.   For this bonus blog I'll go over the creative thinking and techniques I applied to some of them.

Paul Stretch.

Paul Stretch.

This Windows 95-looking software you see above is called Paul Stretch. I was introduced to it a few years ago in a course and it has been one of my best friends since then. I don't know what goes on with its algorithm, but you can stretch a 44,100 kHz up to 10,000x without getting any artefacts at all. What I wanted to do with our project was to create a few drones and make them evolve in intensity related to the mood changes of the trailer. In addition, whenever the trailer would build up to its most frightful moment, I wanted to design a drone that was derived from a scream. In fact, all of the drones were created from my teammates' screams as well as picked from random words we've recorded to the trailer. 

Paul Stretch processing tools.

Paul Stretch processing tools.

In order to create the drones I had in mind, stretching them wasn't enough--some specific processing techniques needed to be applied. In Paul Stretch you have the flexibility to separate the tonal texture from noise, as well as control its bandwidth. That way, I managed to create some weird drones derived from screams, as well as build the tension as it progressed throughout the trailer. In addition to having control over the tonal and noise information, you're also able to mix your stretch octave-wise and filter it, as seen above. That gave me the flexibility to make it smooth and rather peaceful in the beginning, and as scratchy and annoying as possible in the end. 

Here are some examples. I'll play the original file first, and then the stretched version of it. The first scream is Nick's, and the following drone was intended to the tension build up; the second scream is Peter's and his drone was intended to the tension climax; Jake's created a heartbeat from a random word from our ADR session, and its drone was made for the beginning of the trailer; lastly, that's my scream and I decided to create a low-end drone out of it to support the other ones. 

****The second one is very high pitched. Be careful with your volume!****

That's it for this brief tutorial and extra blog. I hope you have enjoyed it.