More theme park sound on SADiECambridge, UK: SADiE equipment is helping to make life easier for theme park sound designer Adam Slevin, who used to be Audio Production Manager for the Tussauds Studios before setting up as a freelance and offering his services to many of the UK's top theme parks and leisure attractions such as Thorpe Park and The London Bridge Experience.
London's 'newest and scariest attraction'
Slevin is a devotee of the SADiE PCM2 and recently acquired his own unit to record sound effects and soundscapes on location. He has recently used the equipment on Over The Hill, a new dark ride project he has undertaken for a theme park in Essex.
New dark ride at Adventure Island, Essex, UK
"Although I usually work from my home office, I often have to work on site where the project is based," he says. "I have acquired a SADiE PCM2 because I've used the unit in the past and have always found it to be a fantastic tool for production. The fact that it is so portable makes it ideally suited to what I do because I'm not always working in the same place."
Slevin's job involves delivering audio that informs and entertains guests, as well as helping to emphasizing a story or theme. This could be anything from a new rollercoaster, a story-based dark ride or an interactive children's attraction.
"I deliver initial concepts in partnership with the attraction, then develop them into ideas that fit feasibly within their budgets and timescales. Depending on the type of project (for example new build), I design a suitable and durable system to replay the content as required and oversee its installation. In other projects it might be a case of retrofitting some new kit into an existing system - or just providing new content."
Slevin says that producing the audio content is one of the most critical parts of theme park audio production and the one area where he can really indulge his creative flair.
"I write scripts and work with voice-over artists to record them in the best way - from a creepy Undertaker to a Sheriff or straight-laced voices for emergency address safety speeches," he explains. "From there, I combine voice-overs with music and sound effects and build the actual tracks and soundscapes that will be installed into the attractions. Usually I record my own sound effects and I also work with composers to create original orchestrations.
"Most voice-overs are recorded in a studio, but it is always useful to plug a microphone directly into the PCM2 to record incidental noises and effects. It is also useful when I need to edit 'live' on site. The unit's portability means that I can take it with me, open up the entire project with ease and edit 'live' before making any amount of adjustments and committing the final mix to the system. It really is very simple and I love SADiE's functionality and desktop environment. It makes finite editing and production a total joy."
Designing audio for the theme park environment is understandably very different from any other kind of audio production because the guests are not in a static position and the sound designer can't control the space they are in.
"Theme park sound is more often than not outdoors, which is more demanding in terms of production as certain sounds, particularly subtle ones can be lost," Slevin says. "You also have to factor in sounds such as loud rollercoasters, screaming guests and other mechanics and environmental factors in the surrounding area. There isn't always scope to use a lot of different sounds as they can get lost, so you have to work quite carefully and craft together the most powerful sounds - and they all have to be of outstanding quality."
By having control over the whole creative audio process, Slevin can ensure that he always delivers the best possible results.
"Being in a theme park is about being immersed in an environment - suspended reality," he says. "You almost have to imagine you are watching a film or program and somehow end up within it. The best job satisfaction is watching guests enjoy the ride or attraction and become immersed, entertained or engaged. Having said that, you can install the greatest sound system in the world, but without the right quality of production it will sound anything but great."
|Prism Sound and SADiE Help Capture Gregorian Introits in Latin and English
A Lyra audio interface and SADiE 6 software delivered the perfect solution for a complex location recording project at Buckfast Abbey in Devon. . . . (10th June 2018)
|Prism Sound Appoints Sonic Lab as Its Distributor in Taiwan
Based in Taipei, Sonic Lab has an extensive customer base that encompasses local pro audio, broadcast and film scoring facilities. . . . (6th June 2018)
|Prism Sound Boosts Its US Sales Force With Two Key Appointments
Eric Klein and Scott D Ray join the company to promote its world-renowned audio recording products. . . . (19th April 2018)
|Prism Sound's Lyra 2 Brings 'Off The Scale' Sound Quality to US Band UNA
American band UNA are delighted with their new Prism Sound Lyra 2 Audio Interface, which they won at NAMM after entering our prize draw competition. . . . (10th April 2018)
|Prism Sound Sponsors AES Archiving, Preservation & Restoration Conference
The company's audio interfaces and converters are ideally suited to the quality demands of this important market. . . . (28th March 2018)
|SADiE, part of Prism Sound, Embraces ASIO Direct Monitoring (ADM) For Key Interface Products
SADiE workstation software and Prism Sound's Award-winning Atlas, Titan and Lyra audio interfaces can now deliver a more convenient, automated workflow. . . . (17th December 2017)
|William Rowe Joins Prism Sound's Sales Team
A recent graduate from De Montfort University, Rowe is delighted to be part of this highly respected pro audio company. . . . (28th September 2017)
|Airshow Mastering Installs Its Fourth Prism Sound SADiE System
The company pays tribute to Prism Sound's decades of customer support and dedication to quality audio. . . . (18th October 2015)
|SADiE 6.1 is now released
We are pleased to announce the release of SADiE Version 6.1, an update to the acclaimed SADiE6 recording and editing software which is now available for download. . . . (29th August 2014)
|SADiE's new mastering toolkit saves Eric Boulanger "hours and hours"
The new mastering features that SADiE has incorporated into its popular SADiE 6 editing and production software have been hailed as a major improvement by internationally acclaimed mastering engineer Eric Boulanger - not least because they are saving him an enormous amount of time. . . . (27th June 2014)
|SADiE's WAV Master
Announcing a brand new toolset, which is specifically designed for today's 'digital download' age . . . (27th June 2014)
|Peerless Mastering upgrades to SADiE 6 Software
Reflecting an increasingly common pattern throughout the industry, Peerless Mastering's Jeff Lipton has recently upgraded his SADiE software to V6 and bought a Prism Sound Lyra 2 to use with it. . . . (26th March 2014)
See Also: News Archive