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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: JMS: Production Q - Sound FX
    Date: 8/3/1995 5:22:00 PM  

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Yes, insofar as I know, all the sounds we use in B5 for items we
created (PPGs, hyperspace, starfuries, shadow ships, on and on) are
original creations. Hyperspace was a real toughie. One thing I wanted
was a kind of hollow sound, like when you cup your hands over your ears.
So the sound designer put together a LOT of different sounds, including
putting a condom over a microphone and putting it deep into his swimming
pool. (How he explained the open condom wrappers to his wife later is
anyone's guess. "No, really, I needed them to do some sound design.")

I kept a fairly tight rein on sound stuff in the beginning, until
the sound designers caught what we were after, and now mainly what
happens is that when we do the audio spotting for the episode, we stop
at a point where a new sound is needed, or we introduce a new locale in
the station and have to discuss the audio mapping. We talk about it in
general terms, unless I have something terribly specific in mind, and
the sound folks go off and do it, and I don't think I've had much of a
problem with anything they've done.

Sometimes, a sound will consist of various pieces, and when we get
in to do the final audio mix, I/we may go through the pieces and if
there's a conflict between a sound effect and a music cue (if both are
taking up the same space in the low end), we may adjust the sound effect
or omit one of the pieces to carve out room in the audio and make sure
they don't just mush together. This is particularly true given that
often Chris Franke incorporates lots of natural (and unnatural) sounds in
his music, and we have to make sure to give emphasis to the right one for
the dramatic moment.


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