Sound Design for Podcasts

This week, the PleasureTown Historical Society brings you a behind-the-scenes look at the mysterious meeting between Cyrus and Kate from our sixth episode of Season 2.

In any audio work, especially podcasts, sound design is absolutely essential to creating dimensional spaces that places the listener in an environment. Erin Kahoa, co-creator of PleasureTown, doubles as our sound designer (and resident superhero movie expert). Below are actual blueprints and scoring notes that Erin created for the Cyrus and Kate scene.

So how exactly does he do it? Disclaimer: We’re inviting you to step inside Erin’s mind, so use caution…he’s got a lot going on up there.

First, Erin creates a basic digital blueprint.

Space

It’s always helpful to know what the environment looks like. Is the room perfectly square or long? Does it have an echo, or do the walls absorb the sounds? Wood floors or dirt? Every detail matters, and Erin doesn’t miss a thing.

Next, Erin scores the movement. In theatre, sometimes we refer to this as “blocking,” or where and when the actors move. Erin uses symbols to indicate the scoring.

Scoring

Scoring 2

After all of that, the studio work begins. Through trial and error (and input from the rest of the PleasureTown team) Erin puts it all together – the blueprint, the movement and the dialogue. Multiple edits later, an episode is born. (Some may call Erin neurotically diligent, but we prefer to call him a genius.)

Go forth now with your newfound appreciation for sound design, and listen to more PleasureTown episodes, old and new. Try closing your eyes and letting the sounds inform your imagination. You’ll be surprised how clearly you can see with your eyes closed.

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