Blog

WWF: Our home, our planet.

WWF: Our home, our planet.

  This was in many ways a dream of a project for us - a beautiful, cinematic piece of film, working closely with a long term collaborator, for a worthy cause.     We were initially approached to supervise the music through researching potential artists to collaborate with on the film, including Max Richter, Nils Frahm and the godfather Hans Zimmer himself! As the picture edit developed and the music brief was formed, Joe and Will were asked to write a piece themselves for the film to see what came of it.   The brief was to create something that had cinematic...

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Mike rides the FireFlies Tour

Mike rides the FireFlies Tour

This year Mike is riding on the 17th annual FireFlies Tour in aid of Bloodwise cancer research. https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/FireFlies-Tour-2017-th A post shared by The F I R E F L I E S T O U R (@the_fireflies_tour) on Jun 15, 2017 at 11:27am PDT Weds 21st June - Day 8: Col de Vence and down to Cannes 84km, 1563 meters height gain Final day. One last push up the Col de Vence, before tracking down to the coast in full sunshine. We rode as a team into Cannes, down la Croisette to the sound of whistles, cheering and a massive cow bell (nice one Rani!). It's...

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Lexus High Performance: Leave a Mark // Ronda Race Track Record.

Lexus High Performance: Leave a Mark // Ronda Race Track Record.

  https://vimeo.com/218645591/e963379770   When we were asked by the guys at Team One USA to get involved in their energetic and cinematic vision for a Lexus ad that would feature not just one, but five of their high-performance range cars, we knew this would be an exciting opportunity to do something really interesting with the sound. Each of the cars has it’s own unique voice - there was no way that building it out of library sounds was going to suffice, we had to record these cars for real.       Pre-production   We started by studying...

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Spatial Audio VR Smog for Rustlers

Spatial Audio VR Smog for Rustlers

Having moved from my hometown of Blackpool in my late teens, I thought I'd left the holy trinity of microwaveable burgers, poor visibility and attention grabbing sounds behind..... How wrong I was. Step forward Droga5 and their bold vision (no pun intended....) for a 360 virtual reality walking tour of London, through the great smog of 1952. Working with the latest audio spatialisation software (thanks Audioease and Noisemakers!) we created an ambisonic mix - optimised for playback on YouTube's new 360 video engine. YouTube uses the gyroscope in your VR headset (or phone) to work...

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Tequila+beer – my house is your house is… Desperados House Party!

Tequila+beer – my house is your house is… Desperados House Party!

Mike and I can safely say this project was a labour of love, working with some of our best friends and getting to collaborate with esteemed house producer Riton - this work was the biggest technical challenge that we have been involved with for a while. It also recently won at the International MASAwards for 'best online re-record / adaptation', so I figured it was time to take note of what was done for the Desperados House Party: The goal was to turn an apartment into a musical instrument – stairs that played a synth part, lights that could be struck as drums, taps that could modulate...

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Film Craft Grand Prix for Under Armour Phelps at Cannes Lions

Film Craft Grand Prix for Under Armour Phelps at Cannes Lions

We were incredibly proud to see Droga5's film for Under Armour, starring Michael Phelps, pick up this year's Film Craft Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions international festival of creativity. We had serious amounts of fun crafting the sound design across 3 x films for their "It's what you do in the dark that puts you in the light" campaign but it was the Phelps film that seems to have struck a chord. The story of the most awarded Olympian of all time's comeback ambition was also singled out as this year's D&AD president's pick. After an initial phase of prep work at String and Tins...

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‘Dreamlands’ Shortlisted for Palme d’Or

‘Dreamlands’ Shortlisted for Palme d’Or

We are extremely proud of the fact that Sara Dunlop's short film 'Dreamlands' has been placed on the 10 film shortlist for the Palme d'Or Short Film award at the Cannes film festival. It was the only UK entry to be shortlisted, from 5008 entries worldwide! Huge congrats to our own Alex Bingham for the sound design and cinema mix. Huge congrats to Darkstar from Warp Records for an amazing soundtrack. Most of all, massive congrats to Sara and Ellie at Rattling Stick for such a big big nomination! Here's Alex and Matej working the red carpet....

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Mixing Live in Los Angeles

Mixing Live in Los Angeles

We recently collaborated with The Mill, Los Angeles to create a piece of work for Wells Fargo. The film is playing on a unique outdoor multi-screen setup in Microsoft Square, downtown Los Angeles. The square is part of L.A. Live, a multi-million dollar entertainment complex incorporating the Lakers' stadium, Grammy museum, various theatres, restaurants and clubs. It's a pretty impressive development and I was lucky enough to be able to hang out for the afternoon, before supervising the final sound-mix playback. You've got to love a big thing concreted into the floor with the words...

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Dreamlands: Margate to Coney Island via Absynth

Dreamlands: Margate to Coney Island via Absynth

Margate is in vogue for weekend breaking Londoners, but if it’s anything like Dreamlands’ sexually charged vision of the future you may want to take the kids to Southend instead. When director Sara Dunlop of Rattling Stick, asked us to get involved with her passion project Dreamlands, knowing how ace Sara’s work is we were über excited to get involved. Forgotten your costume? You’re not going to need it buddy… Set in Margate in the not too distant future, Dreamlands is a love story in an unsettling new world of aggressive sexual promiscuity. It soon becomes clear that our protagonist...

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Music and Sound Awards 2016

Music and Sound Awards 2016

We are extremely pleased that our work on the Vue Cinemas ident won best sound design in cinema advertising at the Music & Sound Awards 2016. Whilst this is best experienced in a Vue Atmos enabled theatre, here's a stereo version to give you a taster. https://vimeo.com/145650506

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Regret, Anxiety, Guilt, Shame… and Ace of Base!

Regret, Anxiety, Guilt, Shame… and Ace of Base!

Working with Partizan director Tom Beard to create an intense and uncomfortable soundscape for his beautifully moody and provocative short film; Rags, was an extremely rewarding challenge. Set somewhere in the mid-late 1990s; Rags is a story of abuse and adulteration, told through the fleeting repressed memories of a teenage mother. Skipping backwards and forwards through time, we unravel the dark revelations of grooming and sexual abuse in her past at the hands of the very person who was meant to protect her. Our primary objective was to build an oppressive and claustrophobic sonic environment...

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Luke Fowler & Mark Fell exhibition

Luke Fowler & Mark Fell exhibition

On Thursday, we headed to the Whitechapel Gallery to check out the current exhibition, “Computers and Cooperative Music-Making”, curated by film-maker Luke Fowler, and multidisciplinary artist Mark Fell. Luke has been shortlisted for the Turner Prize and is also a musician, whilst Mark is half of the incredible outfit, SND (definitely worth checking out if you are into techno, clicks, cuts and glitches) The exhibition focuses on two early computer music programming languages; namely Composer’s Desktop Project (CDP), developed primarily in Yorkshire, and Hierarchical Music Specification...

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String and Tins at Anfield

String and Tins at Anfield

String and Tins were at Anfield last weekend to record crowd atmos and fan interviews at the Liverpool vs Man Utd game. It is one of the most intense rivalries in British football and the atmosphere was explosive. We were lucky enough to get a goal at the away end, which sounded pretty awesome. We were also lucky enough to make it back to the train station in one piece.

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BTAA Gold

BTAA Gold

We were blown away to get a Gold at the BTAAs last night for Original Music Composition on Audi 'Birth'. Well done Will! Thanks to Davud Karbassioun, Ian Heartfield and Dom Goldman for bringing us in on such a great brief.  

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VUE Cinema: Sizzle

VUE Cinema: Sizzle

Having worked with Andrew Proctor and his talented team of animators at The Mill earlier in the year, Will Cohen and the team were extremely pleased to be asked to work with them on the sound design and music composition for the new Vue Cinema pre-film ident. Written and produced by Joint London, it was an epic undertaking, culminating in a two day Dolby Atmos mix at Twickenham Studios Theatre 1, one of the leading dubbing theatres in the world. The Pro-tools project was considerably larger than anything we had worked on before, so much so that Will convinced us to significantly...

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Audi Birth

Audi Birth

We were extremely happy to work on a BBH project for Audi earlier this year. "Audi Birth" was an introduction to the upcoming launch of the new RS 3 Sportback, featuring the powerful R8 V10 giving birth to the new car. Will Cohen created the sound design while writing the music simultaneously, and talked about the process in a Shots article, which we have edited here. Will: We were asked to create a voice for the R8 and bed it into a landscape of sound effects that help take the viewer out of their comfort zone. We were also involved from the beginning in the music direction...

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Earworms: Investigating the music in our heads

Earworms: Investigating the music in our heads

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? A melody or lyric, which appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and then refused to leave. Involuntary Musical Imagery or Earworms as they are more commonly referred to, was the subject of a one-day symposium I recently attended at Goldsmiths University of London. The day brought together neuroscientists and cognitive specialists from around the world to discuss the outcome of three years of research and whilst the level of science got pretty intense at times, the Music, Mind and Brain group at Goldsmiths were kind enough to make the day accessible...

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Adidas Haters: Pick Of The Week

Adidas Haters: Pick Of The Week

Adidas Haters. It's hard to hate a Pick Of The Week in Campaign. Considering the personalities involved and the idea behind the campaign, the sound design for this project was always going to get a bit feisty. We were lucky enough to get our hands on the splits for Apashe's banger "Battle Royale" early on so we could cut + treat bits of the track at the same time as building up layers of angry sound design. When Mike realised the track's bpm was a framerate friendly 100bpm we had to lock him in his studio until he calmed down. Watch the results here: https://vimeo.com/117397907 Big...

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Strings and Brass in Bratislava

Strings and Brass in Bratislava

There's nothing quite like handing out 60 sheets of music to an orchestra and hearing them nail it in the first take. Especially when you're one of an audience of four, sat in the sweet spot of a recording hall with jaw-dropping acoustics. We were asked by Fallon to create the scores for Škoda's two-year sponsorship of ITV’s mystery drama programmes. They had developed five, humorous mini-films, directed by Gary Freedman. Each had to feel like scenes that had been cut from classic mystery films. So we set about composing bite-sized orchestral pieces, cramming as much action, suspense and drama...

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Break Out The Cakes

Break Out The Cakes

It's our birthday today! Pop in for a cup of tea and a Hummingbird cupcake if you're in the area. Sam, Will, Mike & Andy x  

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KIX Channel Rebrand

The new look and sound for kids channel KIX has just launched. Consisting of a series of idents, menus, now-next-laters etc. featuring exploding asteroids, neon racers and transformer logos under attack from flying laser-bots. The brief was to create something epic, futuristic and credible that would appeal to a core audience of 7-12 year old boys. We wrote a musical base which would act as the channel's theme and then went through adapting the instrumentation to match the action in each ident. Electro house for the Neon Racer, epic orchestral / synth arpeggios for Asteroids in Space and a more...

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Mobile Phone Butterflies

Mobile Phone Butterflies

I recently had the pleasure of working on a promotional film for a typically ambitious and exciting project by digital arts collective Is This Good?, for O2 Recycle. The BBC have deemed this a newsworthy project and you can see director Chris Cairns chatting to them about it's development here! Their objective was to create a flutter of motorised butterflies using scrapped mobile phone parts that respond interactively to a phone call. Call one of the butterflies from your mobile and it comes to life; flapping it's smartphone wings and flashing it's LED eyes and er... lasers. My mission...

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World Cup Pressure

World Cup Pressure

Will our boys be able to withstand the pressure this summer in Brazil? One thing's for sure... with temperatures of 32C and humidity hitting 76%, they're going to need to keep their electrolytes topped up! In this World Cup spot for Lucozade we were asked: "What does stress, tension and oppressive heat sound like?". Director, Chris Cairns, had a bold vision of using sound, CGI and 3D body scanning technology to make the England captain physically buckle. We were lucky enough to get an early brief on the sound treatment, allowing us to build the sound design and music layers at the same...

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Music and Sound awards win!

Music and Sound awards win!

We're incredibly proud that Will's Audi R8 V10 Sound Design won at last night's Music and Sound awards in the viral category. Massive thanks to BBH and Rogue Films for making this happen. Check the full video out here

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Peace

When Ryan Chong from BBH got in touch with Will early last year and they talked through the storyboards, Will knew it would be epic... helicopters, tanks, armies and fireworks - it reads like a sound designer's christmas list! Our favourite challenges were re-creating the vast crowd chants in the parade scene and Will's commander vocals (we thank ye gods for the Speakerphone, Altiverb and Decapitator plugins). Spending half a week recording foley at Goldcrest, surrounded by tool belts, guns and bits of broken glass was pretty fun too. We built the soundtrack from scratch, starting with recording...

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Dan & Dave’s Chocolate Coin Machine

Dan & Dave’s Chocolate Coin Machine

Ahhh Christmas. A time for family, tinsel, parties, last minute shopping and steampunk chocolate coin machines. Wieden and Kennedy have created an amazing Willy-Wonka-like installation in the window of their Hanbury Street offices. Made out of "a pinch of magic and a lot of copper" the machine physically and sonically comes to life when you insert a pound coin. The coin first travels down a custom made Xylophone, tuned to play the first 3 bars of Jingle Bells before disappearing into the smelting furnace. To create the sound design for the rest of the installation, we first made a series...

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Two Promax UK Golds

Two Promax UK Golds

Ok we didn't win anything for sound, in fact we didn't enter anything... but two films we worked on won golds in best factual and best long form. Will did the sound design and mix on BBC Africa's launch trailer - directed by Claire Norowzian from Red Bee and edited by Thomas Ioannou, it's a beautiful bit of work and was a pleasure to work on. Have a look:

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Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Trailer

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Trailer

The original Doctor Who theme is close to our hearts. From childhood memories of it's haunting synth solo coming out of the tv at Christmas, to numerous Orbital festival performances of their cover version - we love it. Basically, it's the geekiest piece of music from the last 50 years of broadcasting.  So when Red Bee asked us to have a go at writing the music for the 50th anniversary trailer it was a no brainer. We incorporated elements of Ron Grainer and Murray Gold's memorable compositions within our own work, lacing them within a more cinematic style in keeping with the trailer...

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String and Tins arrives in Soho

String and Tins arrives in Soho

Woohoo! Our new sound design & music studios in Lexington St, Soho are open for business. Drop in for a cup of tea with Sam, a play on Will's modular synths or a tweak on Mike's TB-303. Sam Brock, Will Cohen, Mike Bamford The Directors, String and Tins

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Audi R8 V10 Plus

Audi R8 V10 Plus

‘Evolution on the Outside, Revolution on the Inside’ Well I am sure that is the case… anyway I was asked by BBH / Rogue Films to record this car, going at 205mph on a rolling road somewhere near Manchester in a freezing garage.  I went on to mix the multitrack iso recordings and add some sound design. Check out the finished result on our work page. I recorded the car with 6 different mics to capture different flavours of the engine: a dpa 4061 close to each exhaust on the chassis, a contact mic on the gearbox, an EV re20 under the floor (good for bass), and a mid-side pair of schoeps...

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Scrapheap Symphony

Scrapheap Symphony

I spent some time this summer working on a film for Brother Printers with Chris Cairns, Neil Mendoza, Marek Bereza to name a few, and at last it is out! Firstly, all the sound in the film is real, nothing is faked, re-pitched or re-timed in post production.  Ok there are a couple of fake bits, one being the deep pulsing hum at the very beginning, and the other being the paper feeding up in the breakdown shot.  It’s not the usual focused, foleyed and tweaked sound that I get involved in, in fact it’s completely the opposite to my normal processes – everything was captured at source...

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Silver Arrow for Three Little Pigs

Silver Arrow for Three Little Pigs

Sam Brock and I picked up an arrow at the BTAAs last night for The Guadian’s ‘Three Little Pigs’.  Was a great night and was nice to have our work recognised as I thought some of the other work nominated was fantastic. Check it out on our work page if you haven't seen it. Will Cohen, Director, String and Tins

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Aphex Twin at The Barbican

Aphex Twin at The Barbican

The last time I saw Richard D James play live was in a dingy Preston club in 1993. The gig lasted all of 30 seconds, with his assembled mass of analogue gear spewing out an unimaginable noise before overloading & blowing up. Nineteen years on & the Aphex Twin was planning to remote control the Heritage Orchestra & Choir at the Barbican Centre. In the absence of any recent releases, the speed at which tickets sold out showed the level of interest in any new AFX experimentations. The assembled musicians responded to instructions displayed on a large screen at the back of the stage....

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Sound and Design in Trafalgar Square

Sound and Design in Trafalgar Square

  If you noticed a small black rubberized building appear in Trafalgar Square last week and wondered what it was all about, then read on. We went down to find the ‘design you can’t see’ at this year’s London Design Festival. Installed courtesy of the creative think tank BE OPEN, designed by ARUP and part of the London Design Festival – the Sound Portal has played host to 5 contemporary artists’ unique soundscapes played back using Ambisonic technologies. The listener sits on a central platform, surrounded by a 360 degree array of vertical speaker stacks, which delivers...

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