Week 12

Chion Principle: 

Added Value

Materialisation vs dematerialisation (what characteristics lead to one over the other)

Materialisation: materialisation sound indices – how much material put into the visual image): an abundance (high MSI)

dematerialisation: the sound is off, metaphorically why it is silent or blurted out, mere over the image): scarci

Synchresis (Sound design principle: as long as we hear is in perfect alignment, gesture of the sound to exaggerate and more weight) meaningful authentic vs decorative

Empathetic (happy) vs unempathetic (disturb) music (what and how the audience’s respond expected to be)

“It is unempathetic because it does not match, it is perfectly aligned with the”

Materialising Sound Indices: 

the “materialise”or “dematerialise” the sound of moving images (by adding materiality to the objects and depth to the diegesis.

can lead to a perception of the characters and story as ethereal, abstract and fluid

e.g a boy will have less sound indices than a man when stepping on wood

it is the weight

the concrete materiality of sound production in film space (sound details that cause us to feel the material conditions of sounds source and refer to the concrete process of sound’s production

the substance causing the sound

the way the sound is produced (by friction?)

According to Chion, MSI are the details in sound that supply information about its concrete materiality and production and which cause us to “feel” the material conditions of the sound’s source.

The number of MSI’s provided by a sound often depends on the quality of the sound recording. For example, a high-quality sound recording carries a higher number of MSI’s compared to dull sound recordings.


a visual to make it feel more authentic

may have more defined or have higher frequencies. This makes the audio-visual relationship feel more real.


in some cases, there may be no sound effects at all

could be a lower quality recording, which sounds muffled or smeared

can result in an ethereal, abstract, fluid or dreamlike scene

Empathetic Sound: 

is sound (music or sound effects) whose mood matches the mood of the present action or scene.

e.g a sad song is played during a depressing scene

this type of sound can enhance the tone of the scene. It spices up the character’s inner feeling, creating more depth and meaning to the scene.

Unempathetic Sound: 

acts the opposite way, sound that contrast and exhibit of the scene

e.g a happy song is played during a depressing scene

usually this type of sound works in horror films, it enhance a sense of tragic apathy and insignificance as when a radio continues to play a happy tune when a character dies as if nothing has happened.

Audiovisual (sound and visual compotent):

using both sight and sound, typically in the form of images and reorded speech or music

sfthe presenter provides the audio by speaking, and supplements it with a series of images projected onto a screen, either from a slide projector or from a computer concted to a projector using presentation software

web streaming, video conferecning, live broadcast

speakers, LED dance flloors,  projector.

Audionarrative inversion: 

method of obscuring the content of a transmission

used in public service radio, cordless telephones

audionarrative inversion:

– method of obscuring the content of a transmission

used in public service radio, cordless telephones


dialogue that are recorded in loops, re-perform each line to match the wording and lip movements. Looping involved recording an actor who spoke lines in sync to “loops” of the image to match.

Emotional Realism: 

over the physical of the scene. The soundtrack reflects the mood of the story and the characters’ feelings

a sense of tension, like almost crushed by the car. The sound of the screeching of the car can influence emotionally.

Internal Logic: out of the situation (feeling sad after someone died, the sound dies by the characters; feelings, perceptions or behaviours)

External logic: discontinuity as non diegetic interventions (sudden changes of tempo, breaks)

Circumflex model of emotion 

put in the quadrant

arousel vs valence

how pitch, rhythm, tempo, timber affect emotion?

Vertical axis – arousal (incremental)

Horizontal axis – valence (binary – negative to positive)


Diegetic vs non diegetic

diegetic: the world of film

non-diegetic: outside the world of film (score)


Difference between Score vs sound design 

score: the musical background sound (score to synchronise group emotions, to act as a narrative guide throughout the journey. Music can change perspective, emotion, perception of time)

Huron’s misattribution: mindful

physical, structural, psychological uses of music

anchorage – meaning :wards off the terror of uncertain signs  – we are terrified that are not that clear (e.g Darth Vader scene) – horror can play messy relationships) – unempathetic (feels like fitting in but cannot)

suture – structure: smooths out – or over – the mechanics of the film’s construction) – more cohesive

The roles of agendas of the score: (score driving emotional perception)

to clarify or express the idea (anchorage)

to describe or generate emotion (anchorage)

to articulate/disguise structure (suture)

accelerate or decelerate pace (structure)

delineate gore /project a tone

confer confident

simply engage/motivate an audience

it feels like it is telling the story (we are being told something)

Local vs Global considerations:

local: what a scene needs)

Global: what the film needs)

Earned Rights considerations:

you need to make the audience feel something first to the situation or problem before putting the score or sound designs

If you put the score or sound designs first, its gonna be any helps.

Sound Design Breakdown: (soundtracks)

Atmosphere (ambience): the sound of restaurant, wind effect (noises of the environment

Foley: post production sound effect and are laid manually

FX: sound like sci fi (lightsaber, can be edited)

dialogue: the speech of the characters (if the audience cannot hear, there will be no content, make sure the communication is good)


Herzfeld: humour through dynamic range, constructive valence, incongruity, spatiotemporal disjunct

Pixar: humour by thwarting pops/dramatic trajectories


The triangle: good fast cheap

Costs and benefits of vocational choices: creative freedom/satisfaction vs money


Week 11

Week 11

4D Cinema

We dwelt into the idea of 4D Cinema. 4D Cinema is an entertainment where combining 3D cinema with physical effects that occur in the theatre. It specialises in synchronisation with what is happening during that scene in the film The effects in 4D cinema include rain, wind, lights and vibration, this is what makes the audience experience – feel like the audience is inside the movie. There are chairs that vibrate and tilt to sync with the onscreen action.

The purpose of 4D cinema is for the audience to feel that they are inside the movie as the first person perspective. The physical effects is what makes the audience have an emotional factor, for example, having the vibration of the chair makes the audience to feel something not only emotionally but physically. However, what I think 4D cinema should play maximum 10 minutes, or not this could de-experience the audience. This can cause confusion and can be sick. For few minutes enjoying will be exciting but a long time can be boring.


We learnt the idea of kinesis where this involves with moving, with vibration. If we see and hear loud noises, there is an action, then the vibration to the experience, there is some kind of impact. We are extending our senses, not only we use sight and hearing, we are using our sense of touch and can have the sense of smell. We should consider does adding movement makes it more authentic and special? To add in, we should consider does adding movement gives off materialisation??

Shrek 4D

Whenever I go to Universal Studios in Singapore, I always line up to watch the Shrek 4D experience, it always pumps me up as it felt that i am inside the movie. For example, when donkey sneezes, I felt theres a spray coming out from his mouth. There is a sense of panic that comes over me whenever I feel something happened. And by using the 3D glasses, it is as if donkey is coming into you to make it more visually real.

Another example is when shrek is on top of the horse, he is galloping, the chairs moves in vibration so we feel like we are also galloping, we are joining the experience. However since I have watched it several times, I already know what is going on, I am curious as to where the water spray came from, then I would cover the water spray button so I would not get sprayed. Another example would be when there is a tingling affect coming out at the bottom of the seat. I would raise my legs and put in a crossing position to not feel that tingling effect.

However, I admire the experience, we feel that we are part of the movie, we want to know what it feels like in third person.


Transformers is 4D ride, where not to only the chairs moves in vibration. Each car ride has 6 seats, so we are experiencing together with our peers. One thing that is different from Shrek 4D is the sense of touch. There is a scene where there is a fight scene between Optimus Prime and Megatron; there was an explosion. The visual had to match with the sense of touch, so we felt the heat coming out from the area of the 4D ride. I personally admire the Transformers as there are more movements.





Week 10

Week 10

After understanding what the elements of sound design, we dwell into how to make money out of sound design – we look at the business side of sound design. From week 1, we learnt the triangle (good, fast and cheap). We pick only two, so if the sound design is good, creating it should be fast and vice versa. There are costs and benefits of the choices we make. We need to look at is it worth it – does the costs and benefits match up with the creative work that you have done. This reflect to the idea of the good cheap and fast triangle where the sound designer can pick two out of three. If the sound design is good, it has to be cheap. If the sound design is cheap, it has to be fast. It works vice versa.

Mr. Darrin showed us his Foxtel sound design works – what works and what did not work. For example, one sound design video that he showed us was to make an action sound design video – so how does the movement of the logo, how does it fit with the theme of action. There are whimsical movement. Clearly, he mostly uses score and sound design to create the videos. Mostly, it stumbled upon more on the sound design of FX sound effects that can manipulate the idea of whimsical feeling, for instance.
From Music and Emotion by Patrik N. Juslin, it stated that “In music, this may involve sounds that are sudden, loud, dissonant, and feature fast or rapidly changing temporal patterns. Brain stem reflexes are quick, automatic, and unlearned. A response to an auditory event suggesting ‘danger’ can be emitted as early as at the level of the inferior colliculus of the brain stem”. This is a response to the audience to also feel sudden dramatic that the characters also feel.”

DG Logo Sound Design

This logo sequence reminds me of Hunger Games: The Mockingjay with the flames and loud sounds. The sound design gives such an anger and furious feeling which definitely adds to the black and flaming orange colour to be dark and mysterious. The beginning itself with the detailing of the flames has already demonstrated something intricate and dark feeling, the sound of the flames definitely helps to entice the feeling. The sound of the flames itself is not added gradually slowly by slowly, it just pops out to give that sudden dramatic feeling. At 0:08, it then gives a louder impact when showing the logo, it becomes more dramatic. Then they added a loud score to make even bigger dramatic effect and ended off a quick gradual end.

7TS Logo Sound

However with this logo, it gives a more whimsical effect. It has imaginative twinkling star sounds with high pitched piano repeated sounds to show that the company is bright, is whimsical and magical. It starts out with a syncrhresis of the light and high pitched piano sound. Then, the piano sound gives off a more score sound rather than sound design to entice the feeling of magical. The piano sound is even played going back and forth with only two keys. However the score is more loud and dramatic in the beginning of the sequence, and towards the end, it becomes soft. The loud dramatic scenes matched the colour scheme of the logo which is black, then it becomes soft when changing to white, even colour schemes need to match the mood of the whole logo sound design. Although there is no stars and no lights, the foley sounds of stars create more materiality of having the logo to be magical and whimsical, if there is no star sounds, it would be plain and not give any definition.






Week 9

Week 9 

This week, we learnt how does sound affects the meaning and concept of contemporary dance. Contemporary dance is the one thing that is very difficult to understand. This is because it involves so much emotions – can sometimes focus on the emotions too much that could lead the audience to confusion. The movements of the dance can sometimes syncs with the sound and the beat of the sounds.

The Curiosities:

The Curiosities took on story that still difficult to understand. It uses so much body movements as it becomes what materialises the concept of contemporary dance. It also articulate space through foley. The bones scene took on a smoother feeling rather than the rest – this is due to the calming sounds. This interlocks between the rhythms of the music and the dancer’s movements. it is where the sound is used to sew together images into an experience which flows.


This week we learnt the difference between suture and anchorage. Suture is the structure of the sound, it smooths out – or over – the mechanics of the film’s construction, from one scene to another to create a flow. It is to confer structural confident on a narratively challenging form. This is achieved though macrostructural devices whether it is strong, confident pieces of music and microstructure articulations.

As for anchorage where sounds wards off the terror of uncertain signs. The sounds anchor to the meaning. In both dance works, sound is used to make things feel more important or meaningful than they actually are. Contemporary dance is the one dance that makes the audience looks confused. Even if the music is just a piece of bad music, but if you dance to contemporary, it seemed that it still is very meaningful. Because with contemporary dance, you have enhance the meaning into something deeper. If you put effort professionally in contemporary dance, it makes it clear and meaningful if still don’t understand the meaning. The audience reactions could either feel disturbed or also feel the dancers what the dancers are feeling.

You can de-suture to break the scene to scene. One scene to another can look very chaotic. So sound in dance works as if the sound is used to make things more important than they are actually are.

Not only human bodies, but the movements of animations also reflected the idea of deep meaning. We were shown two examples of the same tree animations. Both tree animations sync up with the music at the background – the score. However, it syncs with different movements but still synchronise with the sound. This shows how the music is played in based on the timeline of the animation.

First animation is when the leaves fall during the sound, this felt simply descriptive. The leaves falling aligned with the sound creating a more subtle and calming feeling – you feel the presence of falling and the sound at the same time. However the second one shows when the leaves fall after the sound, this one felt like it was reflecting on the fall, the after falling feeling. Both animation gives the sense of synchronisation, but which one looks more subtle and created a flow. In my opinion, I like the leaves fall aligned with the sound as it felt like you are falling together, it felt more descriptive. I learnt how suture can create a more structural and flowing from one scene to another – it creates more emotions.

This article further explained “ Thus, Scherer and Zentner (2001, p. 363) proposed the quite conservative criterion that an emotion to music should involve ‘evidence of a synchronized response of all or most organismic subsystems’ (or components). Such synchronization in response to music has recently been demonstrated.” This results in being more expressive and more meaningful.

Sia – Chandelier

We all know Sia’s Chandelier music video where Maddie Ziegler dances and moves around in the rooms. The song itself sounded very emotional – I believe the message behind it is to be free. In my opinion, they did a good job in not using the stereotypical chandelier handing from the ceiling; the contemporary dance creates another dimension. It is a contemporary dance based on aerobics and ballet elements. The music that Sia brought out gives a more materialisation towards the whole story of the music video. When she sings and screams “I’m gonna swing”, at 0:44, her dance movements of circling around matches the song when she screams.

However, the point of contemporary dance is to not be 100% synchronise with the sound and the dance movements. There are points where the dances matches the song but there are points when they are not.

In my opinion, I think the music video’s meaning is about a girl wanting that freedom – and sometimes ballet dancing shows the idea of freedom. She might be bullied by her friends so she wants that freedom. However from this article. “The song is reminiscent of Sia’s own overindulgence in alcohol and drugs. She was a struggling solo artist at the time and though she had always been a drinker, she was never addicted. Then she become an alcohol addict.” The lyrics reminds of her dark phase “like tomorrow never exists”, “1-2-3, 1-2-3 drink, throw ‘em back till I lose count”. It is interesting to look at contemporary dance that the dance might not match with the song, it makes it difficult to understand. I believe they want to set aside the idea of drinking and think of something else.

An example of synchresis is when Sia screams while Maddie jumps and swings around at 0:44 to 0:47. The half-scream vocals in the chorus shows that she is letting go of all inhibitions. Maddie drops when Sia stop singing the “swing” phase. Another one would be at 0:33, the hand and leg movements matched with the beat of “1-2-3, 1-2-3 drink”.

Eva Gutowski – Stranded Thoughts

With Eva, she makes the contemporary dance makes sense due to the title. The title “Stranded Thoughts” sync up with the setting of the video. She did not actually started dancing until the chorus started at 1:51, when the beat drops. Again because it is contemporary dance, some of the dance movements does not occur at the same time, but sometimes it does. At 1:56, there is synchronisation but at 1:58, there is no synchronisation. Again, she is elaborating the idea of emotional response from the music and her facial expression.








Week 8

Week 8

Invader Zimm

We looked at the idea of screen space where the sound is diegetic and adds to fuller soundscape. This results in authenticating value.

Score and Emotion: 

We also looked that the idea of score and emotion. These are some points where non-diegetic music plays in the background for the film to set the mood of the scene. It serves emotional guide to the audience throughout the narrative and can cover up weak cinematography. It results in convincing atmosphere of time and place to identify the environment. There are montage scenes to build a sense of continuity. And this can provide a distraction to the audience to give an edge.

Day After Tomorrow

We watched several takes of “the day after tomorrow” focusing on just the score, just the foley sounds of the winds, just the foley sounds of the helicopter, just the dialogue and all. Here, we learnt the differences of each sound design breakdown. We learnt that all these details is what makes the movie alive. If one is not present, it will not make it alive.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Ending Scene

At the end of the scene at 2:10, there is a score gradually appearing slowly by slowly to show that the movie is going to end and going to the next scene. The song at the background gives such a heroic feel and also gives a good suture to flow to another scene. When Peter is about to read the letter that his mom gives, the score at the background gradually appear slowly by slowly, it gives a sad and soft tune to spice up the mood of the scene which is sad and feeling helpless. Unfortunately, due to the mixtape, the song transitioned to something very happy and exciting. A short sad scene to explain his relationship with his mom, and changed to him being a heroic man. The upbeat songs helps to encourage that heroic feeling.

Hunger Games

The score used in this dramatic scene is very loud, full of beats, and loud drum sounds and trumpets, and high pitched violins. If there is no score used, the foley sounds of the characters would be less dramatic and can give less emotions. In the beginning, when the alien appeared, the song started at the same time, giving the idea of syncrhresis, it also shocked the audience, suddenly appeared out of nowhere, the score helps to outweigh that sudden dramatic feel giving to the audience. The score itself gives such a rushing sound that helps to illustrate the idea of the characters being in a rushed. The use of score also helps to flow the scene to scene as there is no dialogues involved – probably there are some screaming but there are no conversation involving. Like what David Sonnenschein stated, “The choices made should be based on an analysis of the arcs and dramatic turning points of the characters and plot, consciously emphasizing, suggesting, or even contradicting what is occurring in the subtext of the script.”

At some parts of the scene, the score changes from scary then to heroic, for example at 1:58,  Finnick sacrifice himself to kill the alien and help out his friends, the score changes to something heroic. Afterwards when Peeta is about to get killed, the score gives a tingling and very fast paced sound to show something really close is about to happen – this gives the anticipation to the audience. The score that the scene  definitely helps create the overall scene to be dramatic and giving it a memorable death scene, it is worth watching for. When Finnick is about to die, the score became high pitched, then suddenly died down and comes to an end, the score becomes really slow. They want to emphasise on Finnick’s scream.  Overall the idea of score helps to entice the dramatic scene of Hunger Games.





Week 7

Week 7

This week we focus on materialisation and dematerialization, Michel Chion’s MSI. Materialisation makes the sound more material, to be decorative and authentic. There is depth and materiality of sound production in film space. While dematerialisation is an image without sound to make it less authentic. In some cases, there may be no sound effects at all, where it could be a lower quality recording which sounds are muffled or smeared. This can result in an ethereal, abstract or dreamlike scene.

The Green Line 

We watched this abstract video art of a green line that can be shown two ways, either disturbing or pleasing. Without sound, it can be irritating as it does not have any rhythm, visually is not pleasing, it does not tell any story, just bright lights that are in seizure. However, it can look decorative.

On the other hand, with sound it can be more meaningful. It gradually step by step become loud. It started with rhythm that sets up anticipation. With sound, it has more language, there is material and depth. The choices of sounds sounded sci-fi, with the high-pitched sounds. It creates more materialisation with the sound, focus and purpose. The beats in the music matches the mood of the scene. China elaborates that materialisation in sound makes it more material to be more authentic, make it decorative and make it more meaningful. While dematerialisation is an image without sound to make it less authentic or dreamlike.

Dead Set – Zombies Agents and Sound Design 

We watched a short film called the dead set of zombie set ups where the short film uses materialisation and dematerialisation. For example, when there are scenes where the zombies are screaming, there are no foley sounds instead it uses music at the background, it uses dematerialisation makes the image more raw, more whimsical and can be good when it is when slow motion. This describes the juxtaposition and contrary with the happy background sound with the zombie screaming sound effects. This short film also describes the understanding of both empathetic and unempathetic sound. While the zombies are screaming; instead of using haunted and scary sounds, it uses upbeat songs. This shows where the soundtrack doesn’t seemed to match the mood of the scene, doesn’t match the whole story of the short film. It doesn’t care what is going on creating a dark yet humorous feel. Through misattribution, the audience will either share in Brooke’s glee in zombie carnage. The unempathetic sound is what makes the short film look more creepy rather than scary – the upbeat songs created a chaos feel.

Also, it uses structure meaning that this creates a flow from one scene to another scene. One example is the violence that comes from the zombies by using foley sounds, this materialised the concept of the short film, When the door opens, the beat of the sound dropped – meaning that loud sound is existent at the exact time when the door opens, where the chorus kicks in. When one of the characters were eaten by the zombies, and lay against the wall – the music at the background becomes a blunt definition, making it umempathetic sound. It supposes to be screaming of the people but it uses soft music at the background. There is high MSI appearing in this short film. Overall, we learnt the idea of balance between sound design and soundtrack where this creates materialisation, emotion and attention which tracks the sound’s perceptual effects in the short film.

Terminator 3

We watched the car racing scenes where it uses more sound effects rather than score. It emphasises on having as much foley sounds of explosions, gun sounds, car dragging sounds and all that. Their idea of dramatic is to put as much foley sounds as possible, the more, the merrier. The explosions need to be really loud so it can match the physical sense of a big explosion scene. If there are no sounds, there will be no purpose of being dramatic. If we put score, it doesn’t match the idea of chaotic, it can feel dramatic but does not feel chaotic. In this sense, their goal is chaotic. If we want it to be brutal, no score orchestral music, it does not need any music. It needs many foley sounds.

James Bond – Quantum of Solace

We looked at the beginning sequence of James Bond Quantum of Solace where it uses score as the background music – we can even see the score as they showcase and James Bond took action in a theatre where it involves orchestra. The score starts out with a slow ballad and when the action becomes hectic, the score gradually becomes dramatic. They took on an a mastic risks where it uses incremental and piecemeal extension of the idea to be huge and dramatic. The use of score is an opportunity to explore more stylised /theatrical and surreal frames for actin sequences. They have materialised the orchestral sound in order to give that dramatic feel for James Bond as well as for the audience. Orchestral sounds with heavy symbol sounds. For example, they put emphasis, they put diegetic sounds on orchestral sounds. There is actions where there are gun shooting, however they did not put any foley sounds of guns. The score is diegetic while the gun sounds is non-diegetic.

Guardians of the Galaxy 

It started out with a slow ballad of score at the background. Once Peter Quill becomes powerful in a way, as he gain power, then it gradually his friends join in one by point, the score in the background becomes dramatic – showing the idea of them being powerful and become bigger and larger in energy. And the score started with a loud and dramatic thum once Peter Quill touched the thing – it dramatically added the score. Although there are screams, the score is louder and more diegetic than the foley sounds. They want to emphasise that even foley sounds cannot be heard – so they added in the score to be dramatic. It has hums and symbols at the score. From “Creating the sound design step by step”, it stated the idea of physical and dramatic transition, “the flow of drama leads us to turning points in the story that evoke shifts in physical space, intent, emotion and in general a new direction for the characters and plot. The most obvious shifts of physical space occur at the change from one scene location to another. Certainly this is motivation to change the ambient sounds to help orient the audience to the new space, but rarely is this change a dramatic turning point in itself.” They needed to use score because there is more action involve rather than dialogue, so with the score creating it more dramatic and creates a suture to flow one scene to another. If there is no score, the movie will probably be not be good at all and it will not show any emotions.

Finnick and Annie’s Wedding Scene – The Hunger Games

Although this scene is short, the score of the music gives such a happy and joyful feeling although the whole movie is depressing. The score in this scene clearly shows a country music with a high pitched banjo and violins. The clapping hands also gives the anthem of a country and folk music. The country music has demonstrates a happy illustration of both Finnick and Annie. It helps to match the happy mood for these characters although they are depressed. For a little while, there is still happiness shown. The way the characters smile with the song at the background creates a synchronisation, meaning that the score is diegetic, as well as giving an empathetic feeling. You can see it from the smiles and dancing that these characters have – they are dancing to the tune of the country music playing. The score is diegetic as the characters dances and claps along. In addition, there is a violin image showing it is diegetic. Overall, the idea of using country music is giving a happy tune. And most country music matched with people who doesn’t dress well or are even poor. Here the characters’ outfits matched the whole idea of unprivileged people. With country music, the idea of just having a violin and people, it will change up the mood. The use of score helps to spice up the mood of the scene to be happy and joyful at some point.





Week 6

Week 6 

We watched “Rejected”, “Wisdom Teeth” and “Billy’s Balloon” by Don Herzfeldt. Don Herzfeld is an animator, artist, writer and filmmaker where he won over 250 awards. For most people who first see his works, most of them did not struck the audience and were not that interested with his works. In their opinions, his works can be very disturbing and unnecessary to watch and understand. His technique features hand-drawn stick figures with the story of humour, and the concept of surrealism and tragic comedy. Aside from the concept of his films, the way he interpret his simple two-dimensional works with the use of clear and concise sounds are heavily understandable to listen. Through him, we learnt the use of subtle sound. It uses deep and thick sound, forming a three-dimensional sounds to a two-dimensional image. We can see that the idea of materialisation is being used in his animation, which bring out the disturbing factor even more than the moving image itself. This however creates a contrast because the image is simple and the sound weighs too much for stick figures.

To add what Mr. Darrin said, Don Hertzfeld uses the sense of humour in his works. The humour is represented through dynamic range, constructive valence, incongruity and spatiotemporal disjunct to spice up the unnatural and grotesque illustrations.

“To say it another way, otherwise abstract notions of identity or value are materialised through image and sound, then presented to audience members associated with commodities that come to symbolise those identities or values.”  This article is explaining how the sound has value and act as an emotional response from the audience, which is “they are disturbed and distracted”.

In these short films, it creates a waiting tension for the audience to react as most of the actions keeps on repeating. For example, in Billy’s Balloons, Billy shakes his rattle three times but as a repetition. After the third time it rattles, the balloon suddenly knocks Billy. There is a slight action between Billy’s-after-rattle and the balloons-before-the-knock, makes the audience’s reaction to be shock. The sound of the rattle shake and balloon knock helps to give the shocking effect to the audience. In addition, since there is no background music, the foley sounds include the rattle shaking. The foley sound of the balloon sounded like a pillow smacking on the bed instead of a rubbery balloon sound.


In every beginning scenes of the Rejected, these title card bits are scored from Beethoven’s 9th symphony, it uses pompous classical music in every scenes. We discussed that the soundings and dialogues of the cartoons creates a constructive humour. After each scene ended, they ended up with something highly odd moments and the concept that is very surreal. For example, at 1:30, a head pops out from a head, this definitely makes it unreal and disturbing. Afterwards, the cartoon that looks like a creature improvised it like an aeroplane sound. To add, I think some of the sounds used in Rejected has the same sounds that they used in Billy’s Balloons. For example, the ambient sounds of birds and things in 1:58 in Rejected, are the same in the sound of the garden in Billy’s Balloons. This shows they have collected and save the same foley sounds, probably they do not need to record it again since the interpretation of sounds are the same.

When the camera zooms into one character at a time then moves to another character, meaning the closeups between individuals, it creates the rupture of space. Also in 2:40, the character has finished talking, but the moving of the mouth did not, showing the issue of cutting out. So there was a cut after sound is finished. They should have appropriately stop the sound when the mouth close, they should have use the idea of synchresis, to match the action of the character and the sound.

At 5:54, there are adorable cloudy characters with the contrast of a bloody cloudy character. It start out with very happy and joyful but then due to the blood scene, it creates such a distracting view. The animator intentionally use the idea of unempathetic sound to showcase the act of opposite. It then became more disturbing and disturbing, the cloudy characters did not help the bloody cloudy character. However, the sound of the blood dripping shows an exact interpretation of sounds. At 7:30, the sounds of the stars and clouds fall. It is definite that we all do not know what they sound, but we may think their sounds are soft but unfortunately, they create sounds of paper sounds with industrial noises, electrical currents, animals growls. Here, they use foley sound to depict the sounds they make like the falling objects dropped were like a box full of rocks and broken glasses, creating such dramatic sounds.

The Simpsons “Travel into the Future Couch Gag Season 26 Ep. 1”

Don Hertzfeld created this Simpsons short clip into something terrifying, disturbing and grotesque. Starting out with the story of the short clip where Homer accidentally pressed the wrong button on the remote control. He got sucked into the television where the setting laid out in the future, where the time is still very far that can seemed unreal. Afterwards, the illustration transitioned from the original The Simpsons bright and colourful drawings into a sketchy black and white characters. As an exaggeration to the futuristic and grotesque idea, the characters are drawn like monsters that is surrealistic.

It is clear that there is a huge amount of dialogue between the Simpsons family as well as the futuristic techno FX sound effects. Although the illustration seemed disturbing and freaky, the good thing that Don Hertzfeld did was making the dialogue in-sync with the movements of the mouth. At 0:46, the voice of the character was added with an FX sound effects, making it more sci-fi and robotic. I believe they pitched the voice higher and blurted out, creating it more husky and smeared.

Same like the “Rejected”, the illustrations seemed light due to the sketchy 2D, the sounds and score has represented the idea of materialisation. The illustration is simple but the sound effects sounded difficult and heavy.

At 1:19, the score of the piano song is added gradually louder and louder, it is clear that is uses suture to smooth it out to be more cohesive. However, the soft piano sound does not match with the meaning of the short clip, it uses unempathetic sound to make it more disturbing than it already is. And at 1:28, you can hear the piano song louder, they have make the piano song more diegetic. Another example of unempathetic sound is the baby at 1:11, where you hope the character will have a high pitched baby voice; however, without expectation as the character changes to something else, the sound became a low pitched voice.

Overall, the short clip played with the idea of materialisation where the illustration was given more depth and concrete material sounds to a simple and light illustration – by using the tight interplay between score and dialogue.  Although the illustration seemed grotesque, the futuristic sounds and a soft piano song lead to a perception of the Simpsons characters as well as the story to be ethereal, abstract and fluid where it flows to one scene to another. The futuristic FX sound effects and its synchresis makes the illustration have the concrete materiality of sounds causing a heavy substance. According to Chion, “Materialising Sound Indices creates the concrete materiality and production which cause us to “feel” the material conditions of the sound’s source.” The tight interplay between the score, dialogue and FX sound effects makes the 2D sketch illustration too be more authentic.

“The Present” Short Film by Jacob Frey

This animated short film impressed me not only the message behind the story, but the combination of foley sounds and the score background music at the end. The film started out with loud and hard diegetic sounds of gun shooting with minimal sounds of the boy playing pressing the buttons. They intentionally did not show the image of the video game because it is unnecessary, and emphasises on the boy’s facial expression while playing the video game. This uses undiegetic sound where the gun shooting sounds are heard but the moving image is not shown. It uses suture to smoothly lower down the gun shooting to make emphasise on the relationship of the boy and the mom, as the mom is trying to say something to the boy. It did not just transitioned from one scene to scene with immediately muted out the gun sound, but actually uses suture to give a smooth effect. In addition, when the mom calls, her voice becomes undiegetic, slowly moving away from the screen.

Other than suture, there is foley sounds where the dog scratches and pats on the rug. And when the boy throws the box away, there are several loud thums. This creates materiality where the way there is friction sound between the dog’s skin and the wooden floor. Afterwards, they immediately put a happy tune to indicate how happy the puppy is, how happy he found a ball to play. It is clearly shown that it uses empathetic sound to match the happy tone to the dog being happy. It uses suture to flow the scene to another scene from the boy and the dog, as the volume goes louder or softer.

Once the boy revealed that he has the same condition like the puppy, the tune started to play again, but with a soft and mellow sound. This uses empathetic sound creating a loving, smooth and overwhelming feeling that the boy has towards the puppy. I admire this film because it gives off a heart-warming feeling that the boy and puppy has. It succeeded Earned Rights” to the audience to feel something whether or not have sounds or not. Although they both have conditions, they both feel and share their condition, making them feel they are not alone.

Martin Garrix – Oops

This song might not be as popular as other Martin Garrix’s songs but he was able to create an 8-bit sound effect to an electronic dance music. He was able to try something different than those typical EDM sounds that have their techno and futuristic sounds that can be high pitched, but this song is clearly a reference of the old Super Mario video game. He successfully was able to create a plain, old, boring 8-bit sound into something that we can dance to.

Not only creating the music, the Martin Garrix team management brought out something fun and exciting. They created this track “Oops” to match up with a classic side-scrolling video game like super mario, where the style is like Flappy Bird. The theme of the song is to reflect back when video games have minimal buttons, and have sloppy, static sound effects. There are sounds of synchresis when we press the space button on the keyboard, to make the character jump so the audience will know that there is a movement occurring. It uses the technique of “Interactive” non-linear sound where the responds to the player is the same sound every time. If you press the buttons in a row, there is a sound loop where generates continuos loops. 

There are several FX sound effects, meaning that the sound effects have been altered to create a scientific sound. When the character jumps, there is the “boing” sound. When he catches the burger, there is a “twink” sound. When he landed, there is also a “twink” sound to show that the player receive one point. There is a scattered “szszszsz” sound to show he landed on the “+” grass. The point of video games with the sound effects when pressing the button or gaining a point is to show that the character is in motion, so the audience would already know that they are achieving something. As well as they do not need to see the score board when playing. The players uses their hearing senses while they play they use their sight sense to know the motion of the character. This score Martin Garrix’s “Oops” accompanies the excitement of the game to the audience, as well as showing what an old 8 bit sound effect can be expanded, in order to hear more lively.

There is still the use of synchresis when we press the button to make the character jump so the audience will know that there is a movement occurring. There are several FX sound effects, meaning that the sound effects have been altered to create a scientific sound. When the character jumps, there is the “boing” sound. When he catches the burger, there is a “twink” sound. When he landed, there is also a “twink” sound to show that the player receive one point. Then there is a scattered “szszsz” sound to show he landed on the + grass. It is very interesting how the sound designers kept the classic 8 bit sound effects and the classic sound effects video game. They just added the song by Martin Garrix to be more popularised as well as showing the audience what a boring 8 bit sound effect can do.









Week 5

Week 5

In Week 5, we differentiate sound designs of Pixar’s A Bug’s Life movie; its foley and score sound design. We were then supposed to list out all the sounds that we heard watching the movie, you can see the list below:

•the sound of the wind, sound of the ant’s wind

•the background song like using trumpets

•when the grasshopper walks, the sound with the horn goes to the beat

•an echo sound of the grasshopper

Next, we were supposed to only hear the foley sounds which creates the sound effects to match up with the actions of the characters that are diegetic. These are listed below:

•the thumbing of the steps

•the nature creek sound

•the sound of the grasshopper is like the sound of a chopper

Next, we also described the score sounds which is the background music or orchestra music. These are the things:

•when the leaf falls down, the sound changes to dramatic

•the sound in the beginning is loud

•then sound quirky

•the sound of expectation is quick and loud

•the sound is screeching at the background

•grasshopper has oppressive sounds


Feast is such a good example of foley sounds that they have created. The sounds of the actual dog purrs, smells, bark. They have indulged the details of dog sounds. Sounds of plates putting on the table. Those details sounds that creates the film more authentic. Then there are some other sounds of plates clanging, the atmospheric sounds from the restaurant. This atmospheric sound is one example of sound design breakdown which spices up the atmosphere – the background sound making the film alive. If there is only foley sound – it can sound very static – so by having the sound at the background, it spices up where the setting is at. At 1:43, it shown where there the image moves in slow motion – and the sound blurs out creating a whimsical feel to show that the dog feels like in heaven. And eat 2:30, it slowly uses a background sound to give an empathetic feel, to give an emotional feeling that is coming from what the story is trying to tell us about. The beginning of the clip shows that the dog is very happy – but then it changes the mood – so it puts more emphasis by using a score background music to entice what is sad going to happen. Overall “feast” shows a great way of not using any dialogues but only uses foley sounds and score background music to explain the story of the clip.

This short clip is also a pixar film where it uses only foley sounds and score sounds. They were able to indulge the details of how birds chirp – there are various sounds of birds chirping. There is also a background music creating a soft and happy tune to entice the adorable and how cute the clip is. It gives such empathetic sounds to spice up the mood of the scene. The music in film gives such a narrative continuity where giving a suture – giving a flow from one scene to another. David Sonnenschein further explained that Continuity is “when a gap occurs in either the image or sound, music serves to fill in this hole. By smoothing over these rough areas, music hides the technological basis of the medium and prevents this from being a distraction for the audience. A sense of continuity is maintained when music is played over spatially discontinuous shots.




Week 4

Week 4

We learnt about linear and non linear sounds. Linear is sounds in the setting of film which is connected to the timeline of the events, so the sounds occur at the same time. It is used in films while screen is occuring. It allows interaction between the audience and the scene, it is to strengthen the story visually and emotionally. For example, background sounds in a trailer. The other one is non-linear sounds which are much more open. The sounds can be contrasted when you need to hear them. For example, the cheering cows, wind blowing by microphones – which is usually associated with the movements of the sounds, to be in-sync.

Next, we watch and analyse the sound concept of Wagner. His Flying Dutchman Overture is an idea like telling the story, it is dramatic, it tells about the environment. Wagner expresses more abstract in sound – the appreciation of music. It is a form and emotive content that suggests a sentience and focus to make it seemed alive. It is adhering to a strong sense of form or internal logic that both confers confidence and sentience. The genre is presented and defined through the abstract music. It delivers a sense of emotional and expressive agendas. So, the more confident the abstract sound is, the more people are accepting.

Afterwards, we learnt about Leitmotif, which is a musical theme that recess in the course of a work to evoke a particular character or situation. This is done through proximity and association that one can anchor motifs to character and characteristics. It generates theme that is suitable, the binding is effected through early proximity or placement of sound to image. For example, a haunted and creepy song is played during the devil scene in Insidious – this relates to empathetic sound which matches the mood of the scene – empathetic sound helps to enhance what kind of music theme that evokes a particular situation. For example, a dramatic slow sound to match the slow scene. How does this communicate with us? This can be done through the loud musical instruments like a bass drum when theres a dramatic scene. This can appear contextual and associated to materialisation.

We are reminded about the roles of score which is to cliffy and expresses an idea. It is to describe and generate emotion. It is to articulate structure. It is to accelerate or decelerate peace.. It is to delineate tone and project a tone. it saves time by folding the delivery of information more economically. It is to confer confidence. It is simple and engages and motivates the audience.

We talked about local and global considerations. Local explains what a scene needs and needs to do. While Global explains how does the scene fit with the overall structure of the work.

We also talked about the history of the 19th century western romantic classical model in film. The instrumentation is old school It has moved from pure music to being something old. The use of emotions of actions are portrayed or orchestrated score makes it more timeless and meaningful. It makes it more narrative. The use of classical creates a musical language making it seemed more emotional.

Then we learnt the idea of anchorage which means that it wards off the terror, it changes the perception of the image due to music. With suture, it what makes one scene to another scene make it a flow. It involves music warding off the potential recognition of the technological basic of articulation. It attempts to anaesthetise the audience into compliant subjects.

David Sonnenschein stated that “Theatrical Speech where characters in the scene are generating the voices, serving to inform and affect one another on dramatic and psychological levels”.

The sound of music is an excellent example of using score as their musical dialogues. They singing in their dialogues makes the scenes more exciting and entertaining. For example, this scene where two couples singing “sixteen going on seventeen” where it demonstrates their teenage love with each other. The way they talk is based on their singing, creating it more emotions from these two people. I believe the tone of the singing from the characters makes it more emotional. Here, the score is the diegetic sound through the conversations of both people.

Another example is Simpsons, Treehouse of Terror where it showcases various clips. They uses a score as a background music where parts of the songs have upbeat and can be slow at times. This matches the tone of the scene. For example, there is a part where Lisa plays a trumpet during a haunted mood where there are vampires, it matches the mood of the scene.

Week 3

Week 3

In week 3, we learnt the difference between score and sound design. To begin with, score is the musical background sound. The purpose is to synchronise group emotions, to act as a narrative journey whether in films, short clips, music videos. Soundtracks can be classified as score, like broadways and musicals – the songs are scripted with dialogue and songs – that defiantly have an impact through the characters singing and the message of the movie. With soundtracks, they are able to sing – as music drives emotional impact as well as presenting the score to drive emotional perception.

As for sound design, there are four elements: atmosphere, foley, FX and dialogue. Atmosphere acts like the ambient, for example, the sound of a restaurant, the wind effect which are the noises of the environment. Foley is the post production sound effect and are laid manually. For example, Steamboat Willie is a great example of foley sound effects where for example, the sound of lightning is hard aluminium moving side to side. This is the creative process of the sound designer can creatively create any sounds dwelt from things around us. The FX sound effects are sounds that have been manipulated and edited, examples like EDM music where most of the sounds can be changed from voices to a rhythm. For example, the sound of lightsaber, where Ben Burtt, the sound designer uses a microphone to sway here and there. Afterwards, he manipulated and edited to a high-pitched sound. Lastly, the dialogue which is the speech of the characters. This can be crucial if there needs a conversation between two people – if the audience cannot hear, there will be no content, and make sure the communication is good.

One of the difference is anchorage – where meaning wards off the terror of uncertain signs. Another is the suture which corresponds to the idea of structure where the sound smooths out – or over  the mechanics of the film’s construction.

Sound Design in Pixar

We learnt that most short films at the beginning of each Pixar movie has minimal dialogue, and uses sound design more to demonstrate the sound of the film. For example, the short clip, “Lifted”, who also made Monsters Inc, it is clearly shown that there are many beeps sounds from objects. This is an introduction to foley sounds, where the sound is created after post production. I believed that they made the visual first, afterwards, they think of ideas to create sounds that matches the science fiction and technology sounds in order to match the overall concept of the short film. The sound does not come from the voices of the characters but comes from the sound from the object around the character. The sound can be heard from the movements of the characters to adhering to the objects.

For example, the sound from the controller of the clicks. The expression of the characters comes from the breathing sounds from their mouth to show their agressiveness of being angry, for instance. Then, the sound of the chair makes when the monster distances away from the other monsters. From the “Sound design: The expressive power of music voice and sound effects in cinema by David Sonnenschein, it says “different parallel levels of what qualities the sound transmitting to the audience, physical – the mechanical, electronic, technical aspects interacting with our bodily, biological functions.” From our body movements and adhering to objects can demonstrate the behaviour of the characters and telling the audience what we are doing. The movements of the body syncing with the sound design also creates the understanding of mechanics of comedy – thwarting musical trajectories.

Monsters Inc, for example, there is the understanding of character design decisions to accentuate the main character. For example, Randall – the bad guy’s number of limbs leading to skitters – having the skittle sounds to show that he is walking. When he runs, the skitttling sounds becomes fast giving his attitude of having anxiety. This provides opportunities to extend outside the box rather than just dialogue to demonstrate the behaviour of the characters.

Not only that, it also has atmospheric sounds like the wind, the rocking chair and so forth to demonstrate the creepiness of the story in the beginning of the short clip,

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy is also an excellent example of using sound design instead of dialogue to demonstrate what is happening inside the film. Different from Pixar, it started out with a loud score background music – that is happy and playful. Afterwards, when the grey cloud appear – the sound becomes dramatic and scary giving the impression that the cloud is dangerous and scary. The sound changes throughout the plot of the story – like a fast upbeat sounds to show something bad is going to happen. When the clouds rain and cry, the sound tones down and changes into something like a slow ballad. There is conversation between the pelican and the clouds but without dialogue but with their screaming and hums. The score and the foley sounds helps to navigate the story of the characters’ behaviours.


The foley sounds are really loud and diegetic in this short film. When walking, the sounds of fiction comes on from the shoes to the ground. There is no background music but there is atmospheric sounds from the conversations of the women. The sounds of the machines is another example of explaining what is the point of the whole story.