Sunday, February 16, 2014

Linnycakes Audio Branding

Bespoke sound design for animation promoting Linnycakes, a line of confections by cupcake maven Lindsey Wanek. Here's the finished spot:

We got to play around with a lot of different ideas for this piece. I'll share some of them here. The original creative brief was a fairly blank slate, just general encouragement to integrate music and sound design to reflect the dynamic visuals. The audience is, of course, home baking enthusiasts, so I thought in terms of family-friendly whimsy for starters.

Initially I leaned pretty heavily on the musical aspect, using melodic and rhythmic elements to represent movement events and sneaking in some firecracker sfx in the background. I assembled this intricate piece as a first draft:

I also produced a couple more minimal options, exclusively musical but much more restrained. The first employed tremolo and delay effects to build some mystery and tension:

The next iteration retains the tremolo but incorporates a glockenspiel-type voice to offer a more friendly palette:

Another version went in a more laid-back direction with a Rhodes keyboard line:

These early drafts came across as too musically focused; sound effects became a more desirable communication element. I retooled the Rhodes piece with some audio I hoped would be familiar to bakers (a cracking egg, the ticking of an oven timer and the ding of its bell) to assemble this proof:

The next steps were to dial the music back even further-- removing it from the top of the piece-- and to introduce some tinkling bells to accompany the suspension of the star and its attendant particles, expanding on the "bellish" sensibility with the final ding. An abstract, rising warble heralds the star's launch into the air. The egg crack at the start became a smoother motion cue.

Ultimately we removed the final musical element and retained only sound effects. Here's the finished piece again, just to bring things full circle:

Hope this provides some insight into process. Thanks for your time!

Mike Hallenbeck home page

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