I’ve spent entire days just cranking out new sounds. When I go back and listen through them, they’re always interesting and fresh.

If you’ve seen Lord of The Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit Trilogy, Avengers – Infinity War, Cowboys & Aliens, Antman etc etc. You’ve also heard David Farmers amazing sound design. David has been a great contributor to the development of Transformizer. Therefore we find it natural and a great pleasure to bring an interview we recently did with him. We talk about his way in to sound designing films and how he uses Transformizer.

Hi David and thank you for taking time doing this interview. Please start by introducing yourself and tell us how you started working with film sound?

Hi my name is David Farmer and I’ve been in the design business since 1992.

Having a life-long fascination with sounds, including music, I’d say I was magnetically pulled towards sound effect design as a career. Being a musician as a youngster, and then being completely awestruck by the sound work in Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, it was a natural interest. I went the typical college route (ignoring my natural interest in sound), and was not surprisingly miserable with the jobs I found myself in. That pointed me to sound engineering in general, and after some research I decided to attend Full Sail center for the Recording Arts. After that I did an internship at EFX Systems in Burbank, which was the right place and right time, and right people to start learning the craft.

What is your main area of working with sound?

I’m focused primarily on the creation of sound effects. For most of my career that has meant designing and editing that design in sessions that go all the way through the mix. In the past handful of years I’ve mixed in just library creation (show specific) and leaving a lot of editing up to the sound effect editing team. I find both methods very gratifying, but admit that I get a lot of satisfaction by working the design in an edited session and worked to picture. That was how I did all my work on the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.

Tell us about recent projects have you been working on?

I’ve been working with Shannon Mills’ team quite a bit since 2015, which means a number of Marvel films. The most recent have been Avengers – Infinity War, and Ant Man and the Wasp.

What do you think is the most important aspect in creating the sound for film?

While the sci-fi fan inside me is always trying to make things that just simply sound “cool”, the primary focus has to be to support the story. I try to make things sound cool, but at the same time be believable and live on screen. It simply has to stick to the screen or else its the wrong sound. Our goal is to help the audience in whatever way we can, engage in the story that the directors and producers are trying to tell.

Do you also record your own sounds when you are preparing for the project?

Sure, surprisingly enough, sometimes we find ourselves missing the must mundane of things, like even doors! So for sure, I’m always looking for new sources to twist and turn into new things. I also find new recordings inspiring. There’s something about having something you know is fresh, that adds a certain uniqueness to the result.

How do you fit Transformizer software into your workflow?

Transformizer is one of the freshest new ideas to hit the market. It took a few uses to make me realize what is possible with it. There are certain procedures that we’ve used so much we just intuitively go for those things, like EQ, compression, flanging, or reverb. But along comes Transformizer and it did something so new, it wasn’t part of the picture in the brain. Now however, I can hear Transformizer in my head so its become part of my plugin toolkit, especially when I’m in library creation mode.

What do you like the most about Transformizer software?

I was lucky to be part of the beta team, and I’m so happy that so many of the suggestions were implemented. So its really a plugin that behaves the way I want it to in so many ways.

I’d say the most surprising feature is how well the pitching algorithm sounds. Unlike music mixing, in sound design (speaking for myself) I find I’m really pushing into plugins really hard. So Transformizer pushed to extreme settings yields very interesting and usable results.

I should add in the stretching algorithm too. I’m still amazed at how hard and extreme I can push Transformizer and still get sounds I like.

I can start with 2 or 3 sounds and just get a treasure trove of various output from Transformizer. I’ve spent entire days just cranking out new sounds. When I go back and listen through them, they’re always interesting and fresh.

Have you got one particular sound that you’re really fond of, that you’ve created with/with the help of Transformizer?

Yes, but I’m not allowed to say. 🙂

What I can say though is that it has become my go-to process when tones and drones, of pretty much any type , are needed.

How do you see software tools for sound design developing in the future?

Every time I think everything has been invented, someone comes out with something new and interesting. While nothing will ever replace the human element of imagination and making choices (just because a sound is new doesn’t mean is a good one), the advent of these new tools will continue to add more types of sounds to the pool. One of the simplest approaches I’m seeing is randomizing parameters. This is a quick way of guaranteeing a fresh result.

Thank you David!!

This conclude this interview. We’d like to thank David Farmer, Skysound/folks at Skywalker Ranch and Disney for all the help and support.