The purpose of this blog is to present my Rocket Dog REDESIGNED Project and briefly discuss some of the ways I approached this project in regards to Workflow, Dialogue, Music Composition and Sound Design.
Rocket Dog REDESIGNED
The focus of this project was primarily aimed at recreating all of the audible aspects of this short animation, this included all the Dialogue, Music Composition and Sound Design. A large part of successfully completing this project came back to my initial stages of planning and workflow.
Coming from an Ableton Live background I relied on Ableton’s creative features to compose all of the music whilst making minor changes in song structures and arrangements (mainly to suit the video) in Pro Tools. It was important to keep my assets organized so I used separate Live sessions for each of the individual songs but made sure to save all of my custom instruments and drum racks so that I could import them into other sessions as well, obviously organization and efficiency were the greatest advantages to this approach but not the only, I also managed to keep my CPU usage rather low having such a smaller Track/Instrument/Effects count.
It was important to limit myself to a specific selection of tools in order to keep consistency in the aesthetic across all of the songs in this project. For the most part I worked internally using FM and Subtractive forms of synthesis from Ableton’s Operator, Native Instrument’s Massive and FabFilter’s Twin 2. These tools gave me great flexibility in what I was able to create whilst allowing me to retain that zany-cartoon like aspect in my productions. Ableton’s Sampler was also used to add natural organic content to my music to push it beyond the 2 dimensional realm of traditional 8 bit arcade music. In my referencing Rocket Dog blog, you can read about how I’ve analyzed the Rocket Dog theme song in regards to Gannon’s approach to pitch shifting the Surrey Children’s Choir and as a result I thought it would be a great idea to create my own comical rendition of this. By simply sampling a small excerpt of the choir, I applied some basic envelope filters and an Arpeggiated MIDI Effect to create the lead part of my Rocket Dog Theme.
The ADR sessions took place on two separate days/bookings, for this project I aimed to use the Raven live room to set up my own custom studio as I found that it was acoustically treated well and I would be able to capture a series of great vocal performances without the spoil of external noise.
In setting up my ADR session there were a few main factors I felt were of utmost importance;
- Close contact – I found it highly valuable being close to the actors so that way we were able to easily discuss the expressions and meanings behind certain phrases in the episode.
- Close Monitor – I knew one of the greatest challenges in the ADR portion of this project would be lip-sync, as the animation has already hard set and there wasn’t anyway of changing it, it was important that the voice actors were able to really see the lip movements of the characters in Rocket Dog.
The design of movement, actions and sound effects was really important in the overall production because I had already invested so much digital synthetic elements into the music I felt that was it was necessary to incorporate more organic raw sounds into the design aspect to add some balance to the overall sonic aesthetic. In doing this I set out with a giant list of required sfx and a Zoom f8, NTG4 and a blimp and visited a few local stores and tried to capture as much of it as I could. This was a really fun challenge and although I wasn’t able to get all of the sounds, I ended up with a few little extra ear candies.
Special thanks to Mel Roach (animator) and Frederator Studios for allowing me to embark on this project and uploading my own original version of Rocket Dog strictly for educational purposes. I hope you enjoy it 🙂
If you enjoyed this feel free to check out the original version
Also thanks to my wonderful voice actors
Bob – Adam Stiles
Rocket Dog – Mikhael Papasavas
Derek – Thomas Rickaby
Gertrude & Claire – Josie