Two more question and answers have been added to the AvP Xtreme Desktop this evening. And no, unfortunately, Paul Anderson either wasn’t available to comment or just didn’t want to comment on the film’s certificate. Instead, the first question is about the film’s score while the second is about how the creature sound effects were made for both the alien and the predator:
“All Predator and Alien sounds were gathered especially for AVP using the latest digital recording technology. A specially developed tungsten carbide microphone was built for our sound designers that could deal with the high level of noise each of the species made and ensured a high degree of protection from various acidic fluids they excreted. Most of the Alien recordings were made early in the morning in the open usually from one of the various reinforced compounds they were kept in during filming.”
The questions answered in full are on the next page.
Thanks to TheOutcast for the news.
2004-07-15 – Aliens rule in the end! from Delaware
Q) One of the things that I feel the 3rd and 4th Alien films lacked was some of the original score from both Alien and Aliens. Will this film have the classic tunes from Alien, Aliens, and Predator as well as some new score material?
A) We are not re-using score from Alien, Aliens and Predator but we are heavily influenced by them. The score for AVP will fuse the desolation and sparseness of the original Alien, with the kick ass feel of the action cues from Aliens and Predator 1.
2004-07-15 – breezedude from Rialto, California
Q) The sound effects for the predator and alien are incredible. How were the predator linguistics and sound effects for the alien created?
A) Recording sound for AVP:
All Predator and Alien sounds were gathered especially for AVP using the latest digital recording technology. A specially developed tungsten carbide microphone was built for our sound designers that could deal with the high level of noise each of the species made and ensured a high degree of protection from various acidic fluids they excreted. Most of the Alien recordings were made early in the morning in the open usually from one of the various reinforced compounds they were kept in during filming. Essentially Aliens are more dangerous at night, so recording them in the early morning sun allowed a degree of safety for the sound designers as the Aliens were at their least active period. In order to get the full range of vocal noises Aliens produce, the microphone was hidden inside a turkey and swung from a boom arm 20ft above the compound. Turkeys are the Alien equivalent of our bar snacks, and they become very animated and vocal when one was swung out of reach above their heads. After a couple of weeks enough material was gathered for the film and could be sent back to the sound rooms for further sonic enhancement.
The queen proved to be a tricky customer for additional sound work, as she needed to be kept at low temperatures in an industrial freezer, which unfortunately was too noisy to make any recordings. Fortunately, she took an instant dislike to our German editor who kept running dangerously close to her eggs during rehearsals allowing us to get plenty of new growls and roars.
Predators need to be decloaked for any recordings to take place, which presented one huge problem if anyone came near them with a microphone as they immediately cloak into attack mode making recording futile. Fortunately a Predator spear left on this planet several years ago had a radio microphone hidden inside it and tactfully left near a predator ship. The spear was taken on board by one of the Predators and noises picked up by the spear were burnt onto CD at the satellite receiving station used in the movie.
How to make an Alien cry:
Alien growls and roars are made from a wide selection of sounds. The main element in any alien cry is generally a pig squeal. Depending on what an alien is doing a variety of other sounds can be added to this. The palette of sound used on AVP included snakes, zebras, monkeys, horses, the human voice, and even a rabbit. All these sounds were synthesised together and the pitch and length were altered to fit the picture. Further processing was used to disguise the characteristic of the original sound. Depending on the situation low frequency or sub-bass sounds were added to give power to the sound. These were made mainly from slowed down human noises recorded by the sound team which were combined with pitch shifted animal calls. At any point a choice of three different sounds could be drawn upon to create the necessary power required for the shot.
How to make a predator purr:
Predator sounds were recreated from scratch, but had to retain the recognizable language of purrs and clicks defined by previous films with a more updated feel. The distinctive clicking sound is created when someone vibrates their throat whilst trying to immatate a cat purr, or gargling. To enhance this sound recordings were made with various liquids in the sound teams mouths to give different tonal qualities. After this process, the sounds were changed in pitch and length then enhanced using a sonic resonator, which made them bright enough to cut through in the mix. These calls were then merged with a variety of animal sounds such as Tigers, Lions and Elephant roars which gave them a more bassier warrior type of sound.
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