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Sound Designer Dave Whitehead Talks Plug-Ins, Filmmaking, Immersive Audio and Pro Tools

Written by on July 15th, 2016.      0 comments

What exactly is a sound designer? It’s a complicated filmmaking position to define. Saying that one just designs sounds is way too basic. The simplest way to put it is an individual who shapes the sound in a film and brings the director’s world and vision to life. This feat is also done while balancing madness, psychological warfare, drive data, plug-ins, Pro Tools, personalities of the crew and overall total sanity every day. In an ever-evolving and -changing audio landscape, it’s crazy to see what happens, from some of the biggest-budget blockbuster films to the simple drama or comedy. But at the end of the day, without sound, it’s nothing more than a moving picture.

Sound designers truly are amazing artists with unbelievable landscapes in front of them who use a palette of colors to create a world that allows us to be immersed into something else for that one-and-a-half to two hours of our lives and have us walking out saying, “WOW! Did you see that? DID YOU HEAR THAT?”

Sound designers, composers, sound editors, music editors and re-recording mixers all lend a hand in that creative process that ultimately sculpts this landscape and causes that WOW factor.

At the end of May, Dave Whitehead joined us in Singapore for BroadcastAsia 2016. He was invited to speak on behalf of Avid at the BCA Post Production Hub about his innovative workflow and techniques in the many films he’s worked on and his continuing innovation in new films.

Cicadas, Bees, Pumpkins, Guitars, Synthesizers, Plug-ins and Pro Tools are among the color palette used to paint these immense worlds and were among the massive things we touched on over five days. Not only has Dave done some innovative designs on many films, he also sound designed the first 10 minutes of a little indie movie from New Zealand called The Lord Of The Rings that started some crazy times for that small island on the other end of the world. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and becoming friends with Dave since The Lord of the Rings — Return of the King. Dave not only is a sound designer but also a composer, mixer, business owner, sound wrangler and sound mangler. His company,, has released its first sound FX Library, with many more to come.

Read the full interview at Avid Blogs
Topics: Avid, Sound


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