“Resonance”, Sound Mixer and Binaural Tone Generator software,
William Stepp, Software Engineer, http://www.resonance-asm.com/, Field Recording. Resonance is an ambient sound mixer designed and programmed by William Stepp. The software is free to all and is available to both Windows and Mac OS X users. The program allows mixing over fifty natural sounds and music together, as well as adding effects to them. The user interface is designed for ease of use. Users can also import their own sounds.
Resonance also includes a binaural tone generator that can create over fifteen hundred unique frequencies. These tones can be hidden within the mix of the natural sounds in music. Stepp says on his website, "It is intuitive and simple to use, even for users who don't understand the science behind it."
The program comes with a host of sounds including sound sets from my earthrecordings.com site. Download this program at Stepp's Resonance website. As of August 1, 2009 there were over 10,000 downloads.
Marcy in the Galaxy, a new musical with book, music, and lyrics by Nancy Shayne, based on a story by Shayne and Michael Patrick King, producer of “Sex in the City”, directed by Jack Cummings III for the Transport Group, New York, New York, Sound Designer.
Marcy is a struggling New York artist who has created a web of enlarged stories to give her family the impression that she is succeeding. By the play's end, she comes to the realization that her family is more important than her success. Vocal reinforcement was the primary challenge for me as sound designer for Marcy in the Galaxy. Director, Jack Cummings III, wanted to avoid using wireless microphones for this production, so boundary and floor microphones were used to amplify the vocals.
I did create some musical ambience for this production. In the audio example below, the opening musical atmospheric chord is actually an element of the sound design and is matched to the key of the song creating the impression of a synthesizer player in the orchestra. This sound serves as a metaphor for the "galaxy" of Marcy's dreams.
"The costumes are faultless, as is Michael Rasbury’s sound design." - Live Design
Work That Thang by Doug Duffey, Compact Disc, Lengnau, Switzerland, Engineering/Mixing/Mastering.
During the Spring of 2008, I traveled to Switzerland to engineer, mix, and master a new compact disc of blues music by artist Doug Duffey. I traveled with portable recording equipment and borrowed microphones from the band in Switzerland. I returned with the audio data and mixed and mastered the music in Charlottesville, Virginia, and at Doug's home in Monroe, Louisiana. Visit http://www.dougduffey.com to learn more, or click here, here, and here to see videos of the session.
Crossing Brooklyn, a new musical with music by Jenny Giering and book and lyrics by Laura Harrington, directed by Jack Cummings III for the Transport Group, New York, New York, Sound Designer.
Crossing Brooklyn is the story of two public school teachers, Des and AJ, who are dealing with the phobias of post 911 in New York City. AJ branches back out into society, but his lover, Des, struggles with leaving the confines of her apartment. The vocal content of this musical was reinforced with boundary and floor microphones. Several soundscapes were invented to provide scene, as the scenic design was anti-realistic. In the first audio example below, one can hear a representation of the sounds of the subway. An accompanying video example is also provided below. In these scenes, Des struggles to leave her apartment. When she finally steps outside, she is bombarded by a cacophony of sirens and vocal quotes from 911. Then, the action transfers to AJ on the subway. For scenes occurring in the park, environmental sounds like those in the second audio and video example are used. Des struggles with traveling by foot to the park for the first time. In the park, she encounters two old women bird watching. The two women refer to birds supplied by the sound design. The jet in the collage threatens the Des character, as it reminds her of the fear of attack.
The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, directed by Scott Gilbert, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and Sierra Shakespeare Festival, California and Nevada, Sound Designer/Composer.
Director Scott Gilbert used sound and properties to present this production as a farce. Costumes and scenery were traditional, but he infused many modern references for comedic effect. In the included examples, I use medieval instruments to create arrangements for Pat Benetar's Love is a Battlefield, Here Comes the Bride, and Cool and the Gang's Celebration. The production also had a DJ, heard scratching in the final example.
"Michael Rasbury's witty score set an appropriately genre-blending mood. Call it funky traditionalism, with the emphasis on funky." - Sacramento Bee
The Obie Award winning The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (the official 50th anniversary production) by William Inge, directed by Jack Cummings III for the Transport Group, New York, New York, Sound Designer.
The Dark at the Top of the Stairs is the story of Rubin Flood, a traveling harness salesman who has just lost his job and is dealing with a wife shunning intimacy, a shy teenage daughter named Reenie, and his timid boy named Sonny. A key element in this play is a player piano, used both for family entertainment and for Reenie to practice. It was necessary for me to find controllable piano music, given our Reenie feigned playing the piano. To accomplish this, I found MIDI performances of Chopin and assigned them to a high-quality sampled piano as heard in the first provided example. This process allowed me to control the key, speed, and acoustic quality of the piano sound. For incidental music, performances of modern piano music performed by Jenny Lin were used. In the second provided example, several pieces are combined to create an evocative piano overture. In the third example, and underscore with a collage of dialogue from other moments in the play is provided, ending with Sonny's poignant take on life.
Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare, directed by Carolyn Howarth, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and Sierra Shakespeare Festival, California and Nevada, Sound Designer/Composer.
Director Carolyn Howarth sets Comedy of Errors in the “Old West.” One of the clown twins uses a toy “stick” horse as a real horse. The town sheriff (Antipholus) is a bit trigger-happy and accidentally shoots his servant's horse causing it die to the effect in the first example. The second example, “Porky-Pine Rag,” is co-written by Caryl Casl and Gary Wright. The town Courtesans sing it as a device for opening the second half of the production. The fiddle and steel guitar tracks in this song are comprised of single phrase, prerecorded loops from efiddler.com. I selected an arrangement of these loops and “fit” them into the greater composition as a way to validate the sound of the electronic instruments. The third example, "The Cowboy Song," is composed using a small part of text within Comedy of Errors. It is sung live to Luciana as a “wooing” song. This recording is the demo I supplied to the actor as a learning tool.