Yann Coppier : le sound design au service d'œuvres visuelles plébiscitées, avec Pro Tools 9

Uploaded by avid on 31.03.2011

Let me start by introducing myself:
my name is Yann Coppier,
I am a musician and sound engineer
- I actually do lots of very different things -
I live in Denmark and have been working quite a lot in Scandinavia.
What you just saw was a showreel, a kind of demo
from a company I've been working a lot for, called Thank You Production,
and I have made most of the musics for the clips you could see in there
plus of course the music for the showreel itself.
So let's say I do very varied things in my domain,
from pure acoustic to very much electronic stuff,
sometimes electroacoustic as I work a lot with microphones and stuff,
and it goes up to some extreme projects,
such as this death metal/breakcore/electronica band I am part of
in which I sing in underwear...
and this is serious!
All of this to say my work goes into a wide array of directions
as what I mostly like in music is what's a bit surprising and different.
So that's often the reason why I get jobs
- I usually don't get asked to work for Walt Disney or this kind of things.
You might think MTV and Walt Disney are relatively close though,
but when people call me it is usually for something special,
some kind of complex projects
or maybe not necessarily complex but original,
for which there is a research for something unusual
so nothing like a classic sound designer who will use a bank of cds
and who will simply try all of the door sounds he has, one by one
until he finds the right one and puts it at the right place.
I, for one, am used to create all of my own sounds - as you will see.
Well I am not going to recreate all of the Swatch sounds.
I will later play a Swatch movie on which I'll try and show you how I work
but I'll make you listen to the sounds I recorded on my own and those I created for it
so sometimes it's only about synthesis,
sometimes it's only audio files
or at least only recordings made with microphones,
sometimes it's only made with vocals - as I did for MTV for instance.
Let's now watch one or two extracts
so far you've seen the typical example of a video already edited to the tempo
here the tempo is actually quite obvious
and the music I made on top of the video fits quite easily.
There are very different types of possible sound design,
but in my case I always do sound design AND music at the same time.
So we'll be watching this one but first I'll explain what it's all about:
this is a show broadcasted on a Danish TV channel for kids
which is called DR Ramasjang - I know it sounds weird -
and it's a show called "TV from when Dad was a kid".
So here we have a man walking in and putting a TV on,
and then some old-school things happen on the screen.
I created some rather rough sound effects at that time because I was in Berlin
at some friends', and I only had one microphone and my MBox
and so I did it very fast, with a bit of FM synthesis,
and the result is quite nice.
So here there's actually no tempo at all, it is only sound creation
with a few sweet elements, mostly in the end.
So that was it, with a bit of humour
Luckily there was a very old TV in the apartment I was in at the time,
so that was great. The TV wasn't working by the way
but I only needed the sound of the on/off button, with its spring in the background
as TVs don't have that sound anymore, so I was very happy about it.
Unfortunately I didn't have the right shoes, so the shoe sound doesn't really fit
but it was fun to walk around with a microphone placed like this.
The following example - we'll do some practice afterwards -
so the following one is called Resound
it's a company that produce hearing aids.
Here everything is slow and very soft
some water drops are falling down with some zooming filmed in HD, very nice.
And here it was about making some soundtrack based on one single sync point
as one single water drop will give the sync to the whole track.
I usually work a LOT with the timeline, if you know what it's about
(French litteral translation of "timeline")
sounds a bit weird, don't know if I can translate it in another way.
Anyway a timeline can be musical, in which case I'll use a grid made of bars and beats,
sixteenth notes and so on.
It can also be based on time and I'll use minutes and seconds,
and then it can of course be based on the images, with here 25 frames per second
as is the case most of the time in my work, except when I work for Americans
- then it's 29.97 frames per second in general -
and finally it can be based on samples, with 48000 samples per second
if I work with a 48 kHz sampling frequency.
That's about it, so after all these explanations
let's watch this Resound movie.
That was the one!
So that was a rather different example, and - I'll stop for a while after that -
the 4th example is again different. This time it's for a Boston-based company,
who contacted me saying "we've seen the stuff you did for Swatch and all",
well different things I had previously done,
"and we'd like you to customize a presentation of our new motion graphics company"
- so this is about animation, synthesis and so on.
And so they made a kind of carte blanche and they let me experiment as well,
saying "we asked one of our animators to make a video
and he made something with a samurai,
so we got a samurai in false 2D, like 2D on different plans
so it is 2 dimensions with superimposed plans.
The colours are rather soft and then there is a story
about a cube which appears magically in the samurai's house
so as he sees a cube with moving things inside and he's got a hammer
he tries to crush it, as anybody would of course with a hammer and a cube
with something moving inside of it.
And then something happens, there is a kind of life inside of the cube
and then well, in the end the company's logo appears, it is a bit cryptic
But this time I thought I'd do it in a totally different way:
ONLY with synthesis from the beginning to the end,
so I used two different types of synthesis, but basically only one synthesizer.
Here a lot of things are synced to the pictures, therefore I had to do a lot of tempo changes
but I made it so you wouldn't notice them. This is a very important thing to do
as the people who made the movie didn't think of the music while doing it...
Anyway it's all about finding a working process:
in order to make the whole thing alive you shouldn't feel accelerations too much for instance,
or at least you should think it sounds natural, so there are ways to hide it
and also ways to make it evolve, such as using smooth accelerations,
and then it'll slow down again and something new will happen.
Let's watch it now, the company is called TOIL and the movie is called "Samurai".
Here for the falling bamboo pieces I used FM synthesis
so I went as far as that, let's say I tried to have fun although it wasn't that easy in the end.
Anyway I enjoy a little challenge from time to time and I like giving myself constraints,
it's my own way to keep some fun in the working process.
So now I'll go ahead towards the interesting part.
This was mostly to show you different approaches in my work,
but what kind of made me get into this business,
as I work mostly as a musician, composer and sound engineer
but not so much as a sound designer,
was a day I met some people from a Danish company.
I made them listen to what I had previously done
and they offered me a small job for an Icelandic company
a TV channel for which they were doing a whole new channel branding
Does anybody know how to say that in French? Damn I'm stating to speak like Vandamme!
I tend to forget words... Yes, the sound identity, sorry for that!
So I had to do this TV channel's sound branding, and it was something very abstract
- some TV channel broadcasting classical series,
yet they ordered some classy design for their visuals and sound
something made with cubes: one cube in the center with a circle and a line
and then pastel colors, basically four different colors
the cube turns around, something happens and so on.
So I found some sort of general timing and then I made several versions of it,
Some with vocals, some with a flute, then some with a jaw's harp,
then I had fun doing it with synthesizers, and they ordered some more,
and some more, and then more again
until they eventually got fed up with it.
That is how it stopped, but meanwhile
this way of working made it so that it brought some attention on me
and I was offered to work on the MTV branding afterwards.
You might notice that one of the idents is about Easter
as I was asked to do a special ident for Easter
I had a special one for Christmas, one for Valentine's Day
but the one for Easter, just a funny story
I thought "no problem I can do it", and then I put some bell sounds.
They looked at me and said "your music is so spooky man,
why do this? People are not supposed to die at Easter you know!"
... and I then realized that bells don't bring eggs in Iceland (as they do in France)
and it actually is logical...
they have chicken do the job!
Obvious, right? So they asked me to put some chicken in there. No problem...
and then they say it's wrong again, completely wrong
simply because it's not about chicken but about chicks!
Well you do learn a lot of things with this job...
Anyway you'll hear some "piu piu piu", as I had to find some chick sounds.
I didn't do them myself, for I didn't even really know what kind of sound chicks do
but I did find some chick sounds somewhere and adapted them to the clip.
You'll see different versions here: the first ones come from the first seasons
whereas the very last ones are a bit more "electronic"
and were done with instruments from the Digidesign "Air" Series.
The first ones are somehow more artisanal,
and then they asked me for something more "modern".
Special Valentine's Day...
How sweet...
As you can see the graphic design evolved with time and became "nicer" in the end
or at least a little less simple than it was in the beginning.
There are now some color gradients and so on,
therefore I also had to adapt my sounds to it.
So this whole thing for Skjar Einn - that channel - had a little impact
as Thank You got nominated for some European Awards with it
in the Channel Branding category,
and afterwards the same company - Thank You -
I wasn't in contact with the final customer, just with this motion graphics company,
so they tell me they have another project.
They actually got used to call me "the Crazy Frenchman";
I don't think I do really crazy things, but let's say it is a bit uncommon
at least compared to the other people they had previously worked with...
So they offered me to work on this MTV project.
They first asked if I was interested in MTV but well basically, as far as I am concerned
it's not really my thing. It would almost be my intimate enemy if you prefer,
especially when I think of the music I try to produce on my own,
but then they said "actually we would like something dadaist".
Well ok, Dadaist... I like Dadaism but well
it is still a bit vague,
"then it should only be done with vocals, and the crazier the better"
(French translation)
So then I said OK, how much time do you need for each: 6, 10, 12 seconds?
ok, and how many of each? Then they answered:
"Maybe you can do 30 times 6 seconds to start with,
and 10 to 15 times 10 seconds, and then we'll see what's next".
So I immediately took a microphone and my Pro Tools
I launched a session and asked myself "what would I like to work with?
First I'll try to make things only with vocals, trying to create special effects that way."
Stuff like this...
So I got various results which I then edited a bit, time-stretched and so on.
But after 4 days of this I was already done with the 40 versions
simply because it was fun to do! Each time I tried to change,
the toughest thing being to have ideas all the way.
After a while it feels like you've tried it all,
of course you've never tried it ALL but you can do quite a lot.
So I thought "I'll make one totally saturated and then cut in small bits
the same way I do when I make music with my band WHOURKR,
then I'll make a totally stupid one that says "hmm I love zucchini !" (in French)
I don't know why I did that, but I did it...
Still, to make it in a different way than anybody else
I went as far as re-synthesizing it, by using an additive synthesizer
so I could recreate my "hmm j'aime les courgettes" and work on it a little afterwards
it doesn't even sound like there has been much work on it but at least I had fun.
By the way and to be really frank, at that time they asked me what it meant
so I was honest and answered "it means I like zucchinis"...
- "this is genius!"
Fair enough, so it worked pretty well - you'll hear it in a minute!
There's another one made in fake finlandish - I mean finnish
I'm saying Finlandish so you know I'm talking about Finland, otherwise you might get lost
but one should say Finnish. Anyway I had this idea,
it was for MTV Scandinavia, which consists of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland
and I was told it would be broadcasted in these 4 countries every 6 minutes
So I thought of a cool idea: "I will ask people to come and record them
while they speak to me in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish,
then I'll just imitate them and do some fake Finnish for instance.
But the idea is that if I do fake finnish, the people in Finland will think "what the fuck?"
whereas the Danes, Swedes and Norwegians will think it is real Finnish
so it's fun, at least for me - well actually maybe only for me.
Still, when I'll do some fake Norwegian the Finnish will think "ok this is Norwegian"
but the Norwegians might get pissed and think someone is making fun of them."
To do this fake Finnish part, which you'll hear afterwards, I asked someone
who can't speak good Finnish to talk, I then imitated him and cut it all into bits
in order to make it sound even worse.
Anyway, after 4 days I called them and asked "Well I have done quite a few rough ones,
do you like them? And what should I re-work from now on?"
and they answered "nah it's fine, we're done."
The thing is they made the animatics on top of my sounds - it's a particular case -
I would gladly have made a brief demonstration of how I did it
but I don't have any video to show you while doing it,
I could always make noises in microphones and move things but it's a little too abstract
so I'll show some work on Swatch instead.
Anyway they said it was over and then asked me 3 days later if I could make 10 more,
so I made 10 more and they just said that was fine.
One week later it was broadcasted for 2 years in a row.
During 2 years some people had to listen to my "mmh j'aime les courgettes"!
So let's watch it now, you'll see it is quite funny...
"mmh I like zucchinis"
Fake Finnish...
So that was it, definitely the easiest job I ever got to do within that area,
and in the end the one that brought the biggest focus on my work.
They received a prize for this and let's say it opened some doors.
What happened afterwards was that this company felt like giving me some more projects,
plus there was some buzz coming from the people who had seen that MTV thing
and so we got contacted by Swatch - there we are.
For Swatch I was given something almost worse, some kind of extreme customization.
They said: "how much would you ask for (talking about money)
... to make 4 pieces of art?"
This is of course commercial language, as you instantaneously decoded it:
a piece of art, a commercial, that can be discussed...
Anyway they explained their concept to me in that way:
"We have - well Swatch has hired some artists, actually 4 of them,
and has given each one of them the possibility to create the graphic design of a watch
- they were allowed to do whatever they wanted.
Then the concept should be launched through a huge show in Venice
and they would like to make some commercials for it:
some should be 30 seconds long and some 15 seconds,
actually four times 30 seconds plus some shorter 15 seconds versions."
The people from Thank You then thought of a new idea to push things further,
as they said "we will make a machine that creates art!"
Everything inside the watch will explode in all directions.
So they filmed paint, golf balls falling into big cans of paint, watches falling into paint,
they sprayed some paint around, then made some rather simple 3D elements,
they took some 2D elements, took separate parts of the watch that they recomposed,
they mixed all of this and then duplicated it all in a totally anarchic way.
Almost random, but with a certain inner rhythm, still totally deconstructed,
really, REALLY a big mess.
They then said "here it is, tadaaa, go ahead and do your magic!"
I got a little afraid, because I only had 2 weeks to do the task and that wasn't much
so I'll try and show you how I did it.
I won't show you all the movies right away, only one and without sound
so you can get an idea of how struck I felt when I received that thing.
My only condition then was "ok... ok". Well that was my condition... "ok",
well that wasn't my only condition but I asked if I could REALLY be free in there
and they answered "sure, go ahead: THE CRAZIER THE BETTER".
So I thought fine, I'll do like them haha but I'll sync some elements to the frames,
not everything because there is so much, it is so chaotic that it wouldn't work.
So I took a few, then made a whole rhythmical section based on sounds I created myself
- I created all the sounds on my own, so I went first in the company's basement
with some microphones, they had loads of gear there so I took a few spray cans
you know, the ones to clean camera lenses.
When you use them long enough you might have noticed they freeze
and then they make noise such as...
I should drink a little water if I wanted to do it better
but.... that's better.
I also took one liter of yoghurt, which I poured into big glass bowls
all of this recorded with nice microphones.
I used diverse ones, including Schoeps mikes among others
I also used the Sputnik by the way - a cool M-Audio tube microphone.
Anyway I used lots of different things depending on the context
so I made stuff roll on the floor, I smashed a christmas ball
because I needed some explosions or some "cling" sounds,
then I assembled my drum kit, mixed with FM synthesis and similar stuff
to get weird sounds, a rather simple kit with 16 elements,
and then I finally started... but let's watch the movie first.
Cmd + 9... great.
And I'll play it double size, or even full screen.
Here is my splendid video!
So each time the watch closes in the end
The drawing appears with kind of childish drawings - and that's it.
So as I said it is pretty tough to start with...
Do you want to see it again to get an idea of what YOU would do?
I can play it once again, it is only 30 seconds
but let's cover it in details so we get a better idea of what's coming next:
here's an introduction with falling paint.
It opens, now maybe a rhythm could start,
lots of elements appear, it now gets extremely chaotic,
it swells a lot, we have moving elements - actually watches,
there's this spring kind of thing, a falling watch, small things that go "boing boing"
so I made boing boing sounds of course,
these kind of things and suddenly whoop, it all goes back inside - that way.
And now we're here, it's over.
The first question to ask in this kind of exercise is "what about the tempo?"
Right, what's my tempo here? I got some totally anarchic thing going on
which tells about a watch, whereas nothing is more precise and square than a watch
- it's really this thing that goes "tac tac tac tac"
60 times per second - per minute, sorry
that would otherwise be funny.
So here is my session.
So I thought, "to make it different - I like to change as you have now understood -
this time I'll take a fixed tempo"... well it wasn't necessarily the best idea
but I thought "here I can really play with time
so I'll take a fixed tempo and it'll be 120 beats per minute
which is logical as I'm talking about a watch: 120 bpm means 2 times 60
so that every second we get two beats.
Not sure my tempo is correct but you get the idea.
So that was decided, but still when precisely should the rhythm come in?
Should it be on the first frame or later? We'll see about that right now
but then I thought I'd take lots of diverse sounds, as I said before,
edit them to make it a bit anarchic, follow a few specific elements
and in the end I won't really follow the tempo,
or I will but only at certain times:
when you are in the end following this "tic tac" thing placed on each second
you shouldn't get the feeling that this tempo has nothing to do with the rest.
So I built the accelerations right inside the grid
and then I worked on some elements precisely on the frame,
not necessarily synced to the tempo, which means I am sometimes in between the two.
I then edited things according to my ears, which makes it artisanal, truly artisanal
and I made the best out of it - or at least I hope so.
Let's go - I'll just put some order into my notes...
There we are. The video was imported
and I will now try and place my elements on the grid,
so for the timeline here I'll use timecode - meaning I'm working on a frame basis.
I am now zooming in, and I can move that way and see what's happening in the video
Forth and back, now going forth
and I will choose the moment when the rhythm should start.
It'll actually start at that point
which is the moment when the video - I'll put the timecodes here as well,
the moment when this big blue thing goes down and does"shbam"
and then it'll go like...
something like that.
To achieve this I am first going to put my video at the right place
by placing a marker, called Sync Point
the shortcut is Command + coma
and then I'm going to make it fit with the grid.
So here I'm placing it on the 3rd bar - the bars appear on top of my screen.
By placing it directly on the 3rd bar I know that music-wise I'll be starting on the beat,
otherwise I wouldn't. It actually wasn't so important in the end,
as I put such a mess inside that you couldn't count the bars anymore
- but still.
So I'm moving it all, and at the same time I'm going to place a few markers
hop, 2 steps closer... one more... there we are,
which means my starting point... is going to be here.
Next I'll be putting a few more markers,
for instance I now know my drums will start precisely at the 3rd bar,
so let's write "drums"
for it has less letters than the French word and is therefore faster to write.
I'm not going to put there all the markers I should put anyway,
but if I move forward in the movie - here it's a mess... here too...
I will just take the part where the watch explodes... there we are,
and... here I will place a "schbling"...
so I have used a lot of names like that, a bit... a bit...
a bit super.
Next I should just do a little more, so I'll take the closing for instance
... I'll keep this the way it is...
The closing will begin... so where should I take its very start?
Maybe... maybe here...
yeah that should be fine.
So this will be called "closing - start"
- no big deal -
then I'll make the drums come in at a certain point
...something like this, it shouldn't come from the start anyway.
Well to be honest I tried to make it come from the start
but it didn't work out really because it was too long,
so I thought I'd use a completely anarchic sound, like...
and then suddenly...
creating a slowdown to make everything that's outside
get inside this very little watch.
So I'd really try to do this thing...
Like this.
So my drums will start for instance here
- "closing - drums" -
and I will also have an ending to this closing
which will be important as I'll have to put something precisely on top of it:
nothing complicated, that's the moment when
"clac!" it gets locked.
"closing - stop", and that should be it.
I can add a final end marker, here I'll get my "tic tac tic tac"
and then "tac!" I«m arriving here... "stop".
There. So let's zoom out and see what I have there
with those few markers: now I can start working.
To do that I will first take a look at my sounds,
which I put here - this is the small stock containing those I used.
The first one, which is rather strange, was at first the sound of a mechanism
on which, as it came after MTV, I used kind of the same technique
as in "hmm I like zucchinis" but in a much worse way
- you do remember my "I like zucchinis", don't you? The one we heard before.
Way worse meaning I made this mechanical system literally explode
It sounded like this at first...
and then it became like that...
It basically is the same sound.
It will then go on and on...
Ok. So this was a very specific example
as I thought "this I'll be using when the whole thing is a mess.
It is practical, I can also isolate a few elements in there and sync them on one specific frame
so that it'll look like it's been synced although I didn't do it on the pictures"
- between us.
Next there is a rolling bead
this one is inside a paint spraycan
rolling on the floor, here is another one, shaken this time
- can you hear it up there ?
And it goes on, here I have a boom, here some screechings
- those aren't bad at all,
so they will be used.
Next there's a jug, you know, for water
which I moved on a surface,
here the opening of the same paint spray can,
here the famous one doing "pshhht" with a freezing part,
which can sometimes be a little annoying to listen to,
some more of it, and now some balls falling into yoghurt.
Real ones!
Some of them are nice and some are a bit disgusting
- well I sure had fun!
This is my christmas ball
and finally the liquid yoghurt, which I'll be using right away!
There are some tough ones, right,
this one for instance is a bit woow
I don't think the people from Swatch would have been so happy with me using those
so I thought I'd do some more and I finally kept mostly this one
which is indeed much nicer.
Then I also have some flowing yoghurt
oh yeah
and that shows the overall array of the sounds I used.
Now about the Ableton Live part
I made a drum set with nice sounds such as "Zdonk",
"Pchhh" - no sorry "Pohrh",
"Tic Tuc",
and "Duuun".
That's what I worked with,
rather far from the usual bass, drum and snare drum system:
here it's a bit different although the principle remains the same.
Here we go, back to my Pro Tools
and I will start straight away by putting up some yoghurts in there.
I will use the liquid yoghurt first - this one was the one I kept -
all right.
I will use this for the very beginning,
therefore I will place it in there... come here little sound!
First thing is I won't let my liquid yoghurt come in that way,
I want it to be precisely on the frame
and therefore I will use this great "Tab to Transient" function:
I just use tab once to get directly there before placing a sync point,
and then I'll be looking for the moment when it reaches the ground
... which is here.
Now I'll put this one there... that's it,
I'll cut the beginning to make it clean, and here's what I get
- that was for the first one, right.
Of course I'll pan it on the right because it's on the right.
Not bad, and as it's a bit long I'll shorten it a little:
Here it's opened as elastic audio, and I'll chose polyphonic
as I noticed it sounded better on this type of sound,
and now I'll shorten it a bit, let's say like this.
There we go.
I will then take the same sound to make my second liquid yoghurt,
therefore duplicating it
right, I'm copying everything.
I will now call this one "yoghurt 1"
And the other one "yoghurt 2" - superb name.
Of course I am not going to do them all, or else it'll take quite some time
but I'll put my "yoghurt 2" afterwards
and likewise I'll put it precisely on that frame.
So where is my starting point? It is...
... there. That's the one.
So I should put it a bit in advance, like that,
this one a little bit on the left,
and we'll see for now what we get.
Ok it kind of works, but we can definitely hear two times the same sound,
which I am not so happy with.
Therefore - Elastic Properties -
I'm going to put it down, let's say 10 semitones
in your face,
and then I'll stretch it until my drums come
- let's see how it works now.
Aaah much better!
Good enough for me.
So this is my starting point,
ok I'll just clean the space a bit,
and then I'll take other yoghurt sounds,
namely the liquid yoghurts, or better the flowing ones.
Here are my flowing yoghurts...
This one isn't bad at all,
neither is this one,
Then this one isn't working at all...
So I am now importing this one
and the second one will follow.
I will place it on the part that goes down,
see this part which is going down.
Its sound is too weak, very small actually
- if I play it now...
I won't even hear it although it's definitely here.
Notice it already almost works perfectly!
it is a cool sound,
and in fact it's a pleasure to use sounds that work very well from the start!
Believe me it is not always the case.
Then I'll be moving this on the frame where it starts to go down...
Clac! Around here, and this one on the moment when it goes up again,
a little later but let's listen to it now.
Aah better. Small details make a big difference there,
here I'll do some panning the same way I did before
- what do I get then?
Ah, let's remove the solo...
Not bad, not bad
right? I think it's ok,
it's working on its own...
Then of course at this pace I'll never get to the end of it,
but I'll just try to finish this part before going for a rhythmic one.
I had chosen this one to go with it
- here we go, this is going to be fine -
next I'll be accelerating the tempo, you 'll see.
Now I want this one to be placed when that is starting, so here
- not bad, not bad - I'll stretch it a bit, like that,
a little panning on the left, there,
plus I will add, when those elements here are falling,
see this one falling?
there's this kind of big blue plate coming down from the sky on the right,
and then another big blue plate will come down from he sky on the left.
I ignored the one in the middle, no need to do it all,
Anyway I will give those two plates a mechanical sound,
plus I'll add a "plotch" sound or something when this thing will show up:
the little flower there - actually a golf ball going up reverse.
Let's do it now.
Window - getting back to my Workspace,
I'll take the sound called "wind up"
and I'll take, well what else do I need?
I need a sound for the golf ball, right,
plus a last element to come afterwards.
This one is easy, so easy:
I just have to place it right, and then I'll cut it to the right length.
So this first one starts directly here...
You might have noticed that I am only working on one specific timeline for the moment,
which is basically the one corresponding to the pictures.
I am not at all working on the other one, and I talked a lot about working with different timelines...
Well I'll get there soon.
There, more or less. I'll put the level down otherwise it'll probably be too loud,
and then I can make an automation, maybe here actually,
hop, panning: so here the different panning systems - left / right.
The first one is on the right so I'll take the left pan here,
let's put it like that, then bring it back there
and then the left pan...?
damn it's the contrary, sorry about that!
Cancel, now I'm taking the left one and puting it that way,
and afterwards it'll be slightly on the right so I'll place it on the right around here.
What do I get?
Not bad.
It is slowly evolving,
I'll soon add a little "plotch" or something
before starting to bring in some rhyhmic elements.
I will now go towards the next step or else it'll last way too long,
so let's do some drums.
So... woooow, nice!
Here I know it'll start this way,
but before that I'll take one or two more sounds
like this... which I'll put around here...
not bad... Another one here for the moment when it explodes a bit,
and then a third one, let's say like that, just to try.
There you go.
Ok, and now I have arrived to the drum parts
I can start a new part of the work, changing timeline from pictures to rhythm...
and of course, it's going to be a mess!
I got an intermediary version, which I'll be using right away:
this one.
Here I have been a little further into the process:
I have added a few elements, there is a little reverb
and the elements I placed before are still here.
Hey you, come back here!
Ok, so I'll start again from that point.
Notice there are a few new elements here, such as this sweet effect I added,
that one...
This element has nothing to do with what you see,
for the first time we have an element which is not linked to what we see,
as it is a NARRATIVE element.
This to say "aah tension tension tension"
- not "attention", but "ah there is tension",
before - hop - it changes.
Once we are there I am changing system as well,
which means I am going to work with bars,
but not just bars: at least 32nd, 64th notes, even sometimes 64th triplets,
and much shorter notes than this.
So to start with let's have a little fun
and let's not be afraid
- here my work with WHOURKR obviously helped.
There... not bad,
this for instance here,
and then accelerations - tac tac tac.
Here the notes are going to change each time, then slow down.
So as you can see I am working in a rather spontaneous way here...
This should be fine here,
now let's see what we got here...
Well it's not such a bad start!
I'm going to construct my drums that way,
based on slowdowns, accelerations,
sometimes I'll just be working with triplets to create something super fast,
and then stop precisely on one frame
or even better on a change, a cut in the video editing
and there I'll go "blaang"!
A short stop and there it'll start again.
I am trying to follow the energy in there, and I have a few targets
- let's call them "key elements" -
on which I'll be working just the way I did in the beginning of my session.
The interesting part here being that if I give you a few of those keys,
saying "look, there the image changed and the sound went Bliing",
maybe then you'll get the impression that everything has been in sync from the beginning.
Then the work on the drums was done in a rather intuitive way,
as I didn't really get to think too much about it - didn't have much time for it though -
just to record the various sounds, make decisions, test them and all,
for instance about the sounds you heard before, I literally had kilometers of yoghurt,
not sure you can say that though, interesting concept...
that would make a nice title for a song!
Anyway I had tons of those sounds,
so I had to edit them, chose the ones that could work,
and you've seen that among those left quite a few just don't.
That's why you only saw a small selection.
I'll now jump to the next version
so we get to see somehow what's happening in the end.
This next version starts in the same way,
except that here I have a whole recorded drumset
until a certain point - I'll put that one a bit down...
So here you have some parts with accelerations, slowdowns etc.
On the whole it is rather unorthodox,
but you might notice that in most cases we still are on the grid.
The basic element here lasts about a 32nd note,
although in some cases it's not, like here, so let's say it varies.
Let's listen to it the way it is now, and see where we are...
I could zoom a bit, but I'd rather put this on the side so we see the session a little better.
This one for exaxmple...
Here I am, and I stopped there on purpose
so I could do the "pouet pouet" live, as they come at the coolest moment,
one of those you wished you could do at least once in your lifetime.
Anyway it looks like it's more or less working,
or at least I think so, so let's move on!
I'm just adding one stereo track
in which I'll put my "schbling"
- you remember my "schbling", right?
It should be around here,
precisely there actually...
All right?
Before that I could maybe have used some of the elements from the beginning,
the winding up ones - did I miss them or what?
Ah here they are!
Well I could use these - you'll see, it's an interesting moment -
Schbling, there, right before that one!
So here I have these rotating elements,
and as they are very mechanical I'll put a rotating sound:
Cruiik Cruiik.
I could place it precisely but won't really do it,
I'll just put one to see.
Did you hear it?
Then the second one afterwards, as it's almost immediately starting over...
That's about it.
See? This kind of things.
Now I'm going to place my "pouet pouet" sounds,
but they need to be synced to the frames so I'll have to switch again.
Get back here, and then...
Ah here is my "pouet" !
In the beginning of course I thought I'd create a sound for every single of these yellow worms,
the yellow and purple worms which jump like this,
but in the end it can sometimes be way less efficient than to use one or two elements just at the right place...
So I took the biggest ones, very simply.
Now the rule is such:
once the worm is totally out it is entitled to a "pouet".
Here's the first one,
then a second one, blue this time, is also getting a "pouet" once it's fully out,
and once they start getting in the ground again they get a "bing"...
That sound, here.
Warning, the yellow one is getting in the ground,
and the blue one... is doing the same - perfect.
Very well,
next I'll be making more "pouets" as some more will get out,
see this fat yellow one just went out
- it thought I hadn't seen it, well too bad!
Hop, second "pouet" for the blue one,
and same thing, "bim" and "bim",
naah you go there,
and I think there are more to come,
damn I missed this one, it was... there.
Actually there is a rhythmical pattern but it is synchronized to the frames,
and 25 frames per second is definitely not the same thing as 120 BPM.
Anyway here, as this corresponds to a break... I don't care.
And this is what I get...
That's how I am progressing in the project,
but you should know about this thing which concerns timeline, tempo and all,
that precisely in the middle of this movie
the graphic agency called me and said:
- "Oh Yann by the way, we should send you the new version..."
- "The new version of what?"
And I was just as advanced as this, I was almost done...
"Yes the new version, well we almost didn't change anything...
we only added seven frames in the middle!"
SEVEN frames???
Have you ever tried to divide 25 by seven?
For my tempo seven wasn't good at all,
and it wasn't good for anything at all anyway.
So I complained a bit and they said "ok if you prefer we can make it five..."
which is just not working either, but then they argued it was better that way,
so that was it...
Of course it took me a whole night to get back on track,
but what you can see here is the final result.
Still, in the beginning some of the elements were better synced
but after a while I was so tired I thought ok, this is working,
anyway after looking at it I don't think anyone will comment on me messing it up!
So I really went for it.
Now let's go for the next version,
getting close to the end!
This time I have my "pouet pouet" and all
and I am getting to the final acceleration,
which I'm just going to show you...
for I now have two elements entering the game:
this element - but you may see the drums part first,
as it starts on 64th triplet notes
before slowing down little by little in a total arbitrary way,
except it ends here, precisely when the closing is complete.
Then I put this sound I made you hear before,
mechanical yet transformed, and I added plenty of Warp markers to it
before placing it directly at the same exact place than the drums.
Hoping it works, as...
it does.
All right, we only miss the end
which you'll discover now as we're going to watch the final video.
There was no mastering here either so I did one as well
but for the end, just as I did for each element so far,
there is a sound, a "tic tac"
- actually it's just a "tic", there is no "tac" but we don't really notice it...
By the way is there really a "tac" inside of watches?
I often asked myself that question: for me there are only "tics",
so here it is a "tic" and I actually made vocals on top of it,
kind of MTV-style so this one does...
then I added a little filter automation on it
to make it more alive, "et voila" !
So now you'll be shown the four videos, this one being the last of all,
so as you've seen some of its making-of you'll have a better idea of what's inside.
And you'll see they all are different, yet very close at the same time.
You might have noticed that this one accelerates instead of slowing down,
but the result is the same.
... and now our video!
You could hear I really was the one doing the vocals.
Well that's about it,
all I can say is that for both MTV and Swatch my work was accepted immediately,
which means the board of Directors said "ok, great!"
and I really didn't expect it so I was quite happy about it.
And after that the company, Thank You,
got worldwide communication on all supports for Swatch,
partly thanks to this
but now they do way calmer things...
Thanks for your attention!
(the videos are available in high quality on www.studio-ovale.com)