Carl Sondrol

Composer and music producer

Filtering by Tag: angeline gragasin

What is a Mullet?

Well, hello again. I had the pleasure of creating music and sound design for this charmingly funny video by my friend Giga Shane.. in which he interviews his parents to gather their theories on the age-old question: “What is a Mullet?”

I brought in some lovely live musicians for this one including:

Bass Clarinet: Eleanor WeigertBassoon: Brittany SeitsCello: Heather McIntoshVocals: Angeline Gragasin

I added some humming, then dusted off the accordion, broken guitar, and even some whole wheat spaghetti to season the music with the right mood for this bizarre conversation.

Special thanks to Richard Howarth for some very detailed work in helping get the dialog levels under control!

Speaking of… this conversation was recorded casually on an iphone, which presented some interesting challenges from a post audio perspective. Who wants to geek out!? Bear with me and I’ll reward you with a few pictures in a moment.

Usually when I’m processing vocals (from a singer tracked in studio for example), they’ve been recorded at a pretty constant distance from the microphone. Microphones will respond differently depending on how far away a sound source is, so this contact distance is helpful because it will yield a relatively consistent balance as far as low, mid, and hi frequencies in the voice. However, in this case Giga and his parents are at different distances from the iPhone which resulted in this scenario:

  • Giga (close to mic): More “harsh” or “bright” frequencies, louder volume
  • Parents (further from mic): More hiss and “muddy” frequencies (more of the “room noise”), softer volume

Since there is music underneath the dialog, it’s important for the speaking to be consistent as possible… from an EQ perspective AND a volume perspective. This will help it be more intelligible, and not as easily covered by the music.

Fortunately there are really cool “dynamic EQ” plugins built for just this type of scenario. I was able to apply a specific EQ setting for Giga (to tame the harshness) and a very different EQ setting to his parents (to reduce the hiss and muddiness).. and automatically transition between these in cases where the phone or the person speaking is moving. That is really really cool, right?

After improving the EQ balance of all the dialog, the overall volume levels could be dealt with using envelopes and compression.

Hmmm, as I seem to have gone on and on about the sound design / mix side, I will summarize the music side quickly: super fun! As promised, a few session photos:

Brittany Seits, Bassoonist Extraordinaire:

O, the delicate timbre of whole wheat thin spaghetti:

Back from NYC

I’m back home after an 8-day adventure in NYC! I attended the Vimeo Festival, made some new talented friends, and planned out a future music video. A few pictures below, Add me on facebook for more!

An amazing performance by Miwa Matreyek involving double-projection, her own shadow, and some beautiful animation.

Camera parade

Early Cogitat Ergo Sum sketch

Two of my most favorite collaborators/friends Angeline Gragasin and David Fishel finally meet!

The illustrious Dr. Reggie Watts kicks off Vimeofest with a talk about… something.

Longtime collaborators / CollegeHumor buddies Vince Peone and Josh Ruben gave a talk!


Starting the year off with a bang! I scored & sound-designed this spastic promo for frequent/fantastic collaborators Rebecca Rerdel (motion gfx) and Angeline Gragasin (director). This was my first time working on a project with DP Jeff Katz (his work is awesome, check it out!)

Thank you, moment’s-notice live musicians for breathing so much energy into this music:Max Crowe - guitarBrian Mantz - trumpetAndrew Conrad - bari & tenor sax

All the guys IN this video (Mystery Guitar Man, Mike Diva, DeStorm Power, Corridor Digital) are monstrously creative, hard-working badasses who I have a lot of respect for. Hopefully we did them proud.

And last but not least, special thanks to my pal Steph Belsky for throwing such a fun project our way!

Scribble design

A glimpse of a quick foley session featuring talented collaborator/intern/professional scribbler Richard Howarth. While sound-designing a bumper at the end of my pal Angeline Gragasin’s video we began searching for the perfect scribble sound. We tried highlighters, sharpies, but finally settled on a plain old ballpoint pen.

Angeline’s vid is below, which documents (and nicely captures the spirit of) last weekend’s “Occupy LA”. Rebecca Berdel, another recent Chicago-to-LA transplant, made the awesome scribble motion graphics. Thus, a mini-reunion for team Man v Candy Machine!

Man v. Candy Machine screen test

Here’s a sneak peak at something I’m sound-designing right now. I didn’t do any of the sound in this screen test, but it will give you a preview of some of the very cool motion graphics work it features.

It’s directed by my new friends at NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS, who describe it as an interactive “Internet Tele-Play”.

Definitely the most futuristic project I’ve worked on (robot voices and sound effects!) Stay tuned and I’ll let you know when it’s all wrapped up.