Foley (Eng)

A videogame company contacted to do Foley, although I have always been aligned with the
following phrase "music for hire" in videogames and short films, I accepted the challenge.

For this, I decided to work with one of my students, who works with the Foley team of a
respected film company in Latin America.

After accepting the budget, they sent us their requirements and I began to organize the
work. It is very important for me to keep everything in order considering Gantt chart, plans
that consider unexpected cases, management schedules, execution, edition and revision (to
do something again if the client needs it). I will write the following part of the story
numerically, as a log.

April 1st: The budget is approved, they send me a sound proposal, I convert it into an excel
mentioning every doubt regarding the spatiality, material and other details that are
important to know about what kind of sound they really want. Finally, they send me a video
with a sample of the program, a series of images, and also the same excel with notes on
each question. Approximately 2 working hours

April 2: I meet twice (one in person and another by Zoom) with my partner to create a
Gantt chart. I decided to organize the time first because having many freelance jobs, at the
same time, require a clear schedule which is a priority to maintain the daily happiness
regarding things you do, as well as, maintaining the momentum with the people with whom
you work in other areas. Once the dates are set, we determine materials, microphones,
interfaces, even recording studios, an engineer and a list of logistics tasks with specific
dates are managed. We also set dates to record corrections after reviews. Approximately 2
working hours

April 7: I learned that there are two types of Foley, Foley Recorder and also Foley Artist. It
is official, we are creating Foley, we use plastic boxes, cardboard, tools, and what is more,
we drill part of my house, it was worth everything. One of the most interesting things was
the analogous synthesis that we used through the technique that I knew about
instrumentation, and also Daniel from the Foley knowledge. 2 tones together renounce to
be each one and become a new one; this is how we create the sound of the hammer, mixing
the sound of a blow on my piano case, knife on a metal key, a real hammer hitting in
different areas, superimposed, it sounded like the required hammer. The superposition of
elements was a very useful tool to create the sounds, as well as, the pitch transposition to be
able to reach high samples and lower the pitch a little (and thus, to give volume to the
objects). 4 working hours

April 12: We managed to gather several composition students and friends to help us in the
recording of the "Wala wala", (the company required it) in other words, the people who talk
in the background of a movie scene and nobody knows what they say. So, we had to make
it real. However, they should not say "wala wala" but talk and after that, we process the
sound in order that it seems they do not say anything in particular. We tested with pairs
talking with their hand over their mouths and also other shots but with people without the
hand over their mouths. Finally, we shot a long meeting of 4 characters who were
improvising in real time using key words taken from the concept sent by the client. It was a
wonderful, entertaining and very educational experience. I have 3 different shots with 3
variations each (Clean, EQ (muted), and all that I already mentioned with -30dB). It is
needed to review the other editions of the first part and then, it will be sent. 4 working

April 13: One of my students did not attend the class and I could not wait to check the
material. I was preparing the editions and improving the sound. I uploaded the material to
the cloud to send it on Monday. 1 working hour

April 15: I contacted the director of the company because we need certain answers to
determine what strategies we will use for the next sounds. We also send the material. We
will be waiting the feedback.

April 16: Possible sounds were investigated to record a specific alarm sound; a planning is
generated for my partner could record it.

On the other hand, we recorded almost everything that it was missing; we made from 3 to 5
extra sounds (in some cases), to make sure that the client was satisfied. This is not required
but when it is possible I like to do it (as far as possible) to exceed the expectations of the
client. 4 working hours

April 19: My dear student found - captured and sent the sound material to my recording
studio, I edited 5 versions of the sound and updated the folder (in the cloud) that is ready
for the client. We will wait for feedback. 2 working hours

April 22: We have received some corrections regarding some misunderstandings (in spite
of the fact that we were meticulous this is something expected, the human error is
practically inevitable in my experience). We have one week in advance (as planned) there
is time to check and accomplish with everything that the client requires. I start working on
the corrections and some missing editions to update the report and the documents in the
folder. 4 working hours

April 26: We were contacted, everything is OK. The client is happy; we have finished a
couple of days before the deadline. The work took 21 hours between implementation and
edition, not to mention that we had 3 unofficial meetings (team and client) which last one
hour approximately and obviously, the investment in hardware and the necessary studies to
achieve the sounds and the proper recording for them. There were officially 16 sounds and
we delivered 46 sounds (generating many versions for each one with different objects and
technologies) plus one extra sound called roomtone (to generate the sensation of space).

Note: Regarding our assignment, what this company wanted did not exactly “Foley” (what
I knew about it was that Foley implies movement and sound) the sounds request has the
same function within a unity system designated for a virtual reality.

Note 2: I hope this information could be useful for someone who has never faced these
assignments, or who wants to know about these recordings.

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