The Derby Man Approach.
The audio process:
When I found out about the project I was instantly inspired about the subject matter. I knew there would be plenty of great sounds.
PRODUCTION - I wanted a nice wide stereo image for the demo derby. Thankfully, we were able to get down on the track so I was able to get very close to the cars. It was very very loud (probably averaged 150db SPL) Thankfully my headphones acted as earplugs as well! I've been experiencing with recording SFX in stereo. Big huge loud engines in stereo! Just awesome. The only tricky thing is keeping your sound source on axis. You want the stereo image to be balanced in your left and your right ear. I always make sure of that since its a fixed image. There's no changing it in post! I used an ORTF stereo mic which worked well. Ideally, I think, an M/S stereo mic would be the best option in this case.
POST - Entering post, I had a great library of stereo and mono SFX. Auditioning took awhile but I chose all the great engine moments. I quickly noticed alot of the engines washed together which created a less than desirable "wall" of sound. Just too much happening. My first challenge was keeping the design spacial. I started dropping in quite a few engines and the design became muddy and loud. I decided less is more and to choose the moments rather than over power the entire design with all out engines. The SFX also had to have a relationship with music.
MUSIC - Dirty. Trashy. Industrial. Those are the words that inspire the score. I had a good idea on what I wanted the music to sound like. I traveled to a local store called Ax-Man. They have anything you can imagine, in bulk, usually. Even an iron lung. Someday.... I tried to find metal, tonal objects. I already had an idea on how i would used the objects so that helped. Recording the sounds was simple. Mapping to Logic's EXS24 was quick. I was rocking in no time. After the rhythm was figured out, it was progression. It took me a fair amount of time to dial in the guitar and bass tones and progressions. Mapping out the sync points and the flow of the music took a bit of time as well.
THE MIX - Mixing took on a huge roll. In hind site I might have been to aggressive with the music fading in and out of the mix but I think the subject matter cut me some slack. I wanted the SFX to take over when it needed and the Music to be right behind it. Of course both needing to stay out of the way of the Dialogue. It was a very cautious mix on the subject of dialogue. I'm pretty happy with the pocket of were that lives.
I could elaborate but I'm drunk and tired. Awesome project with an awesome team. Love working with these guys.