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Breton - 15 Minutes: Sound Design | SFX Mix

This is an older project I worked on in early 2014. I'd never worked on a music video like this at the time. The music was already mixed and the brief was to add sound design to the beginning, middle and end dipping in and out as the video progresses. The location audio was supplied to me already with some dialogue, grunts, screaming etc.

For the opening shots I wanted to capture the desolateness so added subtle eerie wind sounds and outdoor ambience that didn't have birds on it. A lot of 'country' or 'outside' ambience, believe it or not, has birds on it. I had a fair amount of on-set ambience and mud dragging Foley to play with (not synced) but the location must've been extremely windy and had the almost irreversible 'wind-thumping' on the mic. From the parts that were clean, the next issue was syncing the dragging sounds. Not such an easy task without making it sound like a squelch fest. I kept these sounds very low in the mix and made the sonic focus (no music at this point in the video) on the acting and 'dialogue'. 

After the opening sequence I was directed to drop the sounds out so the music can (quite rightly) be focused on. There's a part in the middle and certain moments that the client wanted accented but this was more a see-what-works type of process. Of course the ending focuses back on the sound design again.

One note I might add is that because the music was already mixed and presumably there were weeks/months of mix decisions and mastering gone into that creative process, you don't really want to then send the music back through all the session master processing. My template is set up with several different bus limiters and compressors but the master limiter starts off bypassed. It's an easy mistake to make and one I wasn't informed to avoid but thanks to last minute intuition,  I sent the music bus so it bypassed my master bus compression. This meant that my sound design was still being processed (albeit not extreme sound design and barely hitting the threshold anyway) but the music unaffected by my signal processing. I don't think it would've made a huge difference given in this mix there was reduced overall limiting but something to definitely be aware of. All round a fun project to work on though!