Author Archives: Amina

Home Alone Final Project

For my Final project I choose to Take two of my favorite parts of one of my favorite christmas movies of all time, the 1990 blockbuster hit “Home Alone” starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, and Daniel Stern. Below is the original trailer of the movie.

As i was watching a directors note guide to the movie of AMC, I found out alot of very interesting details about the movie. What i found most interesting is that the movie is supposed to act as a human cartoon. Finding this out changed my perspective of the movie seeing it more as a cartoon movie instead of real life. I decided to take my favorite parts of the movie strip out the sound and use my own idea of how the sound effects would go.

Using the video of the best moments from the movie,i found two of my favorite parts in the clip. imported it into imovie, cut them out, exported it onto my desktop and created a new project that would allow me to work with those two clips alone. Below is the video of the best moments from the movie.

I googled some sound effects and used some sound effects built into imovie. I imported them into itunes and exported them into imovie. Using some pitch correction and eq’s i was able to create the exact sounds i wanted to hear and how i wanted to hear them. I organized and lined up the sound according to the video than i exported the video out of imovie onto my desktop. I than googled the Home Alone soundtrack and found a piece titled “The Home”. I downloaded the piece from youtube and exported it into imovie adding it as the background music to the clip. I than exported the whole clip into vimeo. Below you will find a list of sound effects used in the clip, the song “The Home” from the Home Alone soundtrack and the link to my final project.

Slip and Crash and Fall

Gun shot

Falling down the stairs

Sizzle noise

Falling body




Plane Crazy 9 and 17

Here is a list of sound effects I choose to use for the clips I was assigned. I was assigned numbers 9 And 17 from the collection of sounds in for the Plane Crazy Flim. In number 9 i was assigned to construct a sound design decribing the 3:08-3:19 time frame of Minnie’s POV as plane bears down on cow. Using the sounds from i downloaded i was able to import them into protools and mix and order them into a sequence representing the action in the film.

Cow Noise

Plane Propeller

Horse Gallop

Stretch Noise

I had to cut some of the clip out in order to use what i wanted. I slowed down the timeon the horse gallop use the time shift edit tool.

In number 17 i was assigned to construct a sound design decribing the 4:47-4:55 time frame of Mickey having terrified Minnie tries to force himself on her and than She slaps him in the face.Using the sounds from i downloaded i was able to import them into protools and mix and order them into a sequence representing the action in the film.

Big Kiss

slap in face

Goofy laugh

Teeth Chattering

Kiss noise



Woman Running in Italy

Using what I learned in protools i decided to create a project using a video i found on youtube of a woman running. I imported that video into protools and also added the following sound effects i found online.

Sound effect of People Talking –

Sound effect of motorcycle driving by

Sound effect of jogging –

I imported all these tracks into protools and started editing. I started adjusting the volume on the jogging sound effect first increasing the volume from the beginning to the end of the track to create the effect that footsteps were getting louder the closer she got to the camera. Than started adjusting the volume in the motorcycle track panning it from left to right to create the zoom by effect. Than i adjusted the volume of the people talking in the hall. I added a hint of reverb to the track.

I bounced the tracks to a quicktime movie and imported it into the post.

woman running

Transforming Avatar Sounds

Below is a video describing some of the ways sound certain sound was recorded for the making of “Transformers”. In the video, sound engineers show the way they mic up the car in order to get the sound from the camero aka bumble bee. They also show the voice recordings of the troops in order to get the sound for the military officers. Those were the two things that I found interesting because as a viewer of the movie I didn’t think some of the sound effects were actually not what it seemed to be. Also i liked that It refers back to the voices and creating sound points of the “Class notes on Sound Design” post from class.

In reference to the what i learned in the video above i decided to research sound design for one of my favorite movies Avatar. Supervising Sound editor, Sound designer and re- recording mixer Christopher Boyes states ” Working with Jim, he always focused on telling story and all aspects of the film come to play there and sound is a big component of that”. One thing that i thought was interesting is a quote by Jim. He states “Creating sounds building a library fo the editors to cut the picture with, recording raw sounds and with those sound creating new sounds so while that the sound we created may have originated from an animal or a helicopter or a jet Flighter plane we manipulate it in such a way that it becomes something unique to Avatar”. I think these two quotes simply define the point of sound design and how it impacts movies.


Christopher Boyes states “an audience could close there eyes at any given moment when we’re flying around with the banchies or when we’re walking through the forest and they could close their eyes and say yes I know im on pandora”.  This quote for me is the defination of what sound design is. Once a person can just listen to the move and still be able to feel the action just by listening, a sound designer has done their job.

Safe And Sound

I wanted to do a recording of someone playing the keyboard and singing. I decided to focus on the keyboard part since i wanted to focus on using a Direct box. I chose to play a song called “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities and titled my blog ‘Safe and Sound” because I know the recording would be safe and sound with the use of the DI box due to the isolation of the keyboard with my background noises.

Above is a recording I did using the Tascam Dr100 mkii linear PCM recorder. I must say it was very very time consuming because while I was trying to do this recording i was still trying to learn the recorder. First I decided to  use  direct box (DI box) in order to create a cleaner sound because due to experience i know that keyboards is a digital instrument and it can create a lot of blurry sounds and digital noise. In order to gather all the equipment i needed i went across the street to the performing arts center and borrowed a passive DI, a quarter inch cable, and an XLR from the production engineer.

Below is a description of the internal use of a passive DI box. It explains what exactly is going on when you use a DI box with electric instruments.


I went home to start my recording. I got my keyboard and connected power. I put in AA batteries to the recorder and put in my SD card. I connected the XLR into the recorder and than connected it into the DI BOX. I than used the quarter inch cable and connected it into the output of the DI box and than connected the other end to the quarter inch cable into the headphone jack of the keyboard. After it was all connected I put the recorder on and made sure set the recorder was set to XLR uni.

I ran into some problems when listening to my recording. Everything I recorded sounded very distorted and cloudy and delayed. I traced all my steps going over the checklist i from class about what to look for when using a recorder and everything was set. I than decided after spending three hours trying to figure out what I was doing wrong I turned my attention to the Tascam DR 100 mkii user manual. I went to section 11 the troubleshooting section and found information about distortion when playing back recordings.  I realized than I didn’t adjust the speed of the playback to normal.

Overall it was a satisfying experience because my idea of using the DI box worked and worked well. And I was happy that after spending hours trying to figure out why the playback wasn’t working i finally figured it out.


How I am going to record…

My goal is to record a keyboard and voice.

I think what will work best for me in when recording a keyboard is to use a 1/4 inch cable, go out of the electric keyboard and into a passive direct box (which is a box that is used when recording or in live sound for an electric instrument. It sends a balanced signal threw long cable runs and balances the high frequency and low frequency) and than using a xlr cable out of the passive direct box into the tascam dr 100 mkii recorder. Using this link i was able to find out this information about how to use DI boxes. Below is a picture from this article explaining the internal use of a passive DI box.


I was going to use a shure dynamic 58 hand held mic to record a singer.
philosophy essay topics reliable essay writing service format of an essay

I would like too…

I spend alot of time listening and analyzing instruments in songs And trying to figure out how certain instruments are being recorded. I would like to record a live band. I think it would be cool to see how these mics that are predominately used for interviews will be sound when recording live music.

Tascam Tutorial

Here is a tutorial I made on my experience using the Tascam DR 100 mkII. I used the manual linked below to help me understand some thing while using the recorder.



Me and my partner Richard  used the Tascam DR-07 recorder. We didn’t really have trouble using it because it was kind of simple. Anything we needed we had to find out we googled it. First we googled the manual in order to get us through the basic process just in case we had any handling issues. We didn’t seem to have any. Richard recorded his clip first in class and I recorded my clip outside and walking thought out the school and with my sister. I noticed that the quality of the sound is great when the recorder is close to the subject but anything farther than 5 inches from the subject the sound quality loses focus and becomes  omnidirectional where it starts to pick up information from all around. Once i started pointing little details out such as the cars driving by i heard the noise from the cars go by. It was also interesting that when recording in the corridor by the exit by the bursars office it was hardest to hear even though that was the quietest place. Probably because i still stood far away from the mic. The recorder is great for close interviews or sounds that are close to the recorder. After getting back to class i uploaded the file onto the computer from the SD and uploaded it to sound cloud.



Avatar Transformation Chant

The clip above is the scene from James Cameron’s Avatar. This happens to be one of my favorite movies and also one of my favorite clips from the movies. In the scene, the scientist named Grace dies from a gunshot and the Navis make an attempt to transfer her soul from her human body to her Avatar body. The Navis take part in a chant calling their god Eywa.

In the clip, I heard a group of people chanting, a foreign dialect, and symphonic music in the background. The chant is very full and brings a form of unity. It’s a very bold scene.

When I closed my eyes and listened to the clip I was blown away by how much sound I missed when Iwatched it with my eyes open. I missed the the sound of their Navis bodies moving on the grass. The sound of the the tree of souls taking over Grace’s body. Also, the I missed the sound of the transformation cutting off when she realizes the transformation didn’t work. The sound for this scene is compelling. It sort of made me feel as if i was apart of the chant. I missed the visuals, color and movement of the Navis during the transformation. Also, the most important thing that is missed is the subtitles for the translation of the chant.

When I watched the clip with no sound, I missed the sound of the group chant and all the other special sounds. But what I found interesting is that even without the sound, the Navis still looked as if they were chanting because of the unison movement and the colors and the way Grace’s body was set up on the ground with the tree roots forming into a heart with her body was beautiful.