Virtual Hobart Town

Virtual Hobart Town

Virtual Hobart Town

VR APP SOUND DESIGN

 

This VR app uses spectacular immersive visuals to transport the user back to 1820s Hobart Town. The producers approached us to provide detailed soundscapes to help complete the illusion 

Being based near Hobart, we had perfect access to the locations, but two hundred years of progress had changed the soundscape quite a bit! Hobart in the 1820s sounded very different to Hobart in the 2020s, so the first step was to map out what sort of sounds we were going to need to be hearing to create an authentic experience. The team behind the app were able to give us a lot of great information from their own research, and VSM added to that with our own.

We read a lot more about native Tasmanian birds than we ever expected to!

Tasmania is one of the few settled parts of the world where it’s still relatively feasible to get away from traffic noise, so we were able to capture a lot of the natural ambiences as original recordings. In some instances we were recording only a few kilometres away from the historic locations being depicted.

This was a perfect excuse to go for a “working holiday” bushwalk with the family too!

Bringing everything together and creating seamless loops for delivery to the VR producers was the final step. A whole bunch of time with headphones on debating the relative merits of horse-hoof volume.

This is the life’s work we’ve chosen, and we have no regrets 😉

Little J & Big Cuz – Palawa Kani Voice Dub

Little J & Big Cuz – Palawa Kani Voice Dub

Little J & Big Cuz

PALAWA KANI VOICE DUB

 

The producers of this Logie-award winning TV series asked VSM to handle the dubbing of two episodes into Palawa Kani – a reconstructed language based on those once spoken by Aboriginal Tasmanians.

The first thing we had to figure out was how we were going to record and edit dialogue in a language that we didn’t speak!

The solution was a dual-language script, with each line numbered, and written in both English and Palawa Kani. This gave us a roadmap which we would be able to follow throughout the dialogue editorial process.

The performers were all selected from the local indigenous community, many of them were kids, and none of them were professional actors.

In order to keep everyone as comfortable and relaxed as possible (and thus get the best performances), we recorded the whole group in the same room – no soundproof booths, no headphones, just a nice comfortable room with plenty of natural light.

Copious notes and project markers were kept throughout the recording session, which came in super handy when it came time to create the final voice track.

Back in the edit room we assembled the Palawa Kani takes into the episodes using the original English tracks as a timing-guide. We had to work with the existing edit and animation, so we had to select our voice takes based not just on the best performance, but also on timing and lip-sync. REAPER’s fantastic Elastique time-stretching algorithm proved invaluable here, allowing us to massage the Palawa Kani performances to fit the original dialogue timing while still sounding natural.

The final step was to combine the Palawa Kani dialogue back together with the supplied Music, SFX, Atmos and Foley stems to create a new mix, and supply it back to the production to create the final master.

 

Both episodes turned out great, were well received by both the producers, and the public, while also garnering a good deal of media attention.

This was a really interesting project to have been involved in, and presented a unique set of technical and creative challenges to be overcome, but it was an absolute privilege to have been involved.

We look forward to season 3!

Dumbotz

Dumbotz

Dumbotz

ANIMATED TV SERIES – FULL AUDIO & MUSIC PRODUCTION

 

The latest full-length TV series in VSM’s long collaboration with Blue Rocket Productions. We handled sound and music from start to finish, from voice recordings to final audio mix and deliverables.

First job is to get the scripts recorded – all fifty-two of them!

In a series of recording sessions spread out across several weeks, we recorded a talented cast of actors and edited “radio play” versions of each episode so the animatic team at Blue Rocket could get to work on building the episodes.

With all but one of the actors being based locally, we were able to get them into the studio to record together. This presents some audio complications, but we’ve found it generally makes for better performances, so it’s worth the extra effort!

Once the first animated episode was delivered back to us, we got to work on the sound design. Using a combination of library sound effects and custom-recordings, we built the template for the sonic world of the Dumbotz, which would then be carried through to the remaining fifty-one shows.

The characters and world of the Dumbotz are all made of metal, which presented an intriguing challenge from a sound-design perspective. We had great fun incorporating recordings of a circuit-bent Speak’n’Spell toy.

We also created a full original musical score for the series, as well as the mandatory super-catchy 30-second theme tune.

One of our favourite parts of working on a Blue Rocket series is how stylistically diverse they are, and Dumbotz was no exception. With episodes playing on various tropes, including musicals, westerns, horror, and action, we were able to really dig into some creative composition.

 

The series was broadcast on 9Go! in 2019, and was one of two series nominated for “Animated Series Production of the Year” at the Screen Producer Australia Awards.

Unfortunately the other series nominated was Bluey – perhaps the most beloved Australian kids’ show of the 21st century.

So we didn’t win, but we’re kind of OK with it.

MACq 01 Video

MACq 01 Video

MACq 01 Video

ORIGINAL MUSIC & SOUND DESIGN

 

Creative Agency Red Jelly approached us to bring this short video to life with original sound and music.

The agency had created an absolutely stunning thirty-second video for a website landing page, but the client had requested that it be embellished with an original soundscape by a Tasmanian composer. As luck would have it, we have one of those! 

VSM founder & chief music-maker mapped out the key notes of the piece to align to the text as it appeared on screen, and then built out the musical elements of the soundscape around those “pillars”. 

We then went back and filled out the sound design, walking a careful line between realistic sounds and impressionistic elements such as the light bulb explosion and thunderclaps.

Finally we mixed the sound design and music, married it back together with the video, and sent it back to the client, who were thrilled with the results.

 

“The creative team here have given it the big tick/thumbs up – Everyone loved it!”

Vanessa Lee – Producer