Music and Sound Design


Printed music library online

If you are ever in an urgent need to take a glance on some classical piece – I highly recommend you this online printed music library. It’s in Russian (use Google Translate), but it has tons of scanned music, like, for example, all the most popular pieces for piano. As well as full orchestra score, jazz songs, choir etc. Maybe if you play a piece it will be better to get proper score (printed stuff doesn’t look so good and can be hard to read), but as a “take a quick look at that Chopin prelude” resource it is simply irreplaceable!


Sound Design for King Kong

Incredible how they run around with a whole team of people for every possible small sound to record. Hollywood budget. But it is a fun challenge when you have to do all this with 2-3 helpers maximum, or even totally on your own.

There are 7 parts of this, each on different phase of sound design, dialogue and soundtrack recording. Not much to learn, but nice to see the scale of production.

Jon Hopkins Monsters soundtrack

Jon Hopkins is, to my mind, one of the most interesting artists in electronic music today. His album “Insides” is very special, personal and doesn’t try to please anyone – best release of 2009, probably.

Now, unexpectedly, he is scoring a Hollywood movie… Not that a movie with such plot would ever be suspected to be original in any way, but because Hopkins is on board the soundtrack is something to listen to.

Action movie sound design

There’s a great moment when they show how a particular gun shot was made: layers of different SFX and none of them is an actual gun shot sound.

Preparing tracks for live performance

That’s very basic, but good technique for making your track ready for live performances – allowing to tweak and play around with different layers without much risk.

Helsinki, September

Samplitude for DAW

There are certain stereotypes in the audio industry and, to my mind, they are really just stereotypes. When you hear about best multitrack software the list will feature Cubase/Nuendo, Logic, ProTools first. Some years ago I felt somewhat pressured to learn Cubase, so that I meet “the standard” and can write this magic name in my CV. Yet, the only magic I found was from Magix. Samplitude is what I started with back in the end of 90s, and that’s still my choice today.

I just don’t get it how people can wait for so long to just load the fricking Cubase!? What is it loading there? Samplitude opens in a couple of seconds. I always loved that. Maybe it’s irrational, since you need to load your DAW just once to start the work, but once you are used to see a window with proposal to load the most recent projects in a couple of seconds – why would you wait for eternity?

Anyway, that’s not the main reason to like Samplitude. I think its object-based editing is just incredible. It really gives me a feeling of flow. You can split audio into different segments, manipulate their length, duplicate, apply different insert effects to each segment…

On YouTube kraznet is regularly publishing tutorials, some of them are very useful.

Nowadays you can achieve necessary results with so many competing applications – approach is going to be slightly different, but result – the same. I think the time of “industry standards” in software is practically gone. Just find your most inspiring tools that let you work effectively and fit you best.

August Lion: pianist, composer, sound designer

August Lion music. Game soundtrack, electronic music, modern classics, sound design.