Interviews, Interviews, Interviews

There is a lot to be said for the old adage "Variety Is The Spice Of Life" and it's something that personally I crave.  At any given time I can be working simultaneously on a music project, an indie film, a documentary, or a marketing piece...but one thing that seems to remain constant are the weekly corporate video shoots...interviews, testimonials...or as many call them...talking head videos. 

Hands On Sound gets the call from national agencies and production firms to provide solid and reliable audio recording/ mixing on their shoots.  Apart from quality work, what separates Hands On Sound from other service providers is the delivery of cleaned up, named, organized and Post-Ready files for all clients.  This means that noisy corporate environments with intrusive background sounds,  HVAC hum & noise and other less than desirable distractions during the interview shoot are removed before file delivery...making the Editor's job so much easier than what they get from most Sound Mixers.

Here are a couple of recent jobs that both had a great deal of audio issues with location specific noise during the tapings.  While irritating in the moment for the production crew, I knew that the eventual piece that would go out to the world would have clean sound...and Post-Ready files delivered by the next day.



Sound Design For Fun & Learning

I never tire of learning, trying new things and taking on new adventures.  In the learning department, I've been taking a number of classes...most recently at College Of San Mateo and City College Of SF.  Both schools have great Digital Media and Music programs where I've enjoyed their offerings in Sound for Games & Interactive Media and Sound For Picture.

Last week as CSM we wrapped up the semester with an Electronic Music Concert that put on display student works in the sound and visual arts.  I participated by recording the concert and presenting a sound design piece that I did for the MUS293 class Audio For Visual Media. Click below to watch and listen.

Mastering The Mix- 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs


The San Jose Sharks and SJ Sharks Productions are known for the high production values in their In Arena video packages and their offering for this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs raised the bar just a bit higher.  The 2018 version included an interactive LED bracelets on all the fan's wrists, projections on the ice surface and a heart pumping video presentation on the center scoreboard.

SJ Sharks Productions came to me with the soundtrack for the show and asked for it to be mastered/ sweetened with the goal being making the audio every bit as dynamic and moving as the visuals.  Knowing the bowl of SAP Center quite well, I sculpted and crafted the 3 movements of the show to be big, wide and deep.  As an added bonus, I was in attendance for the world premier of the show and go to experience the overwhelming reception by the sell out crowd.

The Sharks swept Anaheim in the 1st round and eventually got ousted by Las Vegas in the 2nd round, but in the meantime hockey fans got to experience one of the best NHL Pre-Game Spectaculars around.

March Madness With Capital One

It's always a joy to record sound with talent who is easy to work with and has a great voice.  This was the case a couple of weeks ago when I provided location sound for DDB Chicago & MWAC on a shoot for a series of Capital One spots. Our subject was legendary sportscaster Jim Nantz, who brings some humor to the NCAA Final Four tournament along with his cohorts Charles Barkley, Spike Lee and Samuel L. Jackson. Enjoy one of the completed pieces here and watch some others over on the Gallery Page.

Sound Design For Animation

In December, Hands on Sound had the pleasure and fun to once again work with the San Jose Sharks on their annual Holiday Video.  For this year, SJ Sharks Productions decided to do an animated cartoon featuring some of the team's favorites.

To capture the player's lines, I put together a portable version of "The Cone Of Silence" recording booth for a morning at the Shark's practice facility and cycled the players thru, as their schedules permitted.  From the session, cleaned up/ production ready files were delivered along with a bin of SFX, ambiences etc to spot to picture.

Once picture was locked, the project came back to me for mix and a quick turnaround to meet the holiday driven deadline.  Later after the piece had been up for a few days, SJS Productions put out to social media our usual outtake/behind the scene clip that the fans always love. 


The Town Kitchen- Entrepreneur/Staples

The San Francisco/Oakland/ Silicon Valley is known for innovation and it's entrepreneurial spirit.  Hands on Sound had the opportunity to be part of this piece created for and Staples recently.  Watch and learn how some young ex-Google employees joined together to make a unique and thriving food delivery company in Oakland. In the audio department, it was a fun challenge to capture and deliver clean sound in this busy and noisy commercial kitchen environment.

Looking Back- The Bridge School Benefit Concerts

October is traditionally the time when the Bridge School Benefit concerts are held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mt View, CA.  This annual star studded acoustic concert series raises money for the The Bridge School, an innovative organization educating children with severe speech and physical impairments.  2017 marks the first time after a run of 30 years of shows that the concert is not being held.

In that void, music fans and supporters of the school can still enjoy past performances (and raise funds for the school) by purchasing Music Collections that are available on iTunes, and on CD and DVD sets.

Two of these collections, the 2 CD set and 3 DVD set of the Bridge School 25th Anniversary Edition are very near and dear to me.  I co-produced both and was involved in recording many of the tracks and documentary portions.  The CD set and DVD have different songs and performances on get 'em both!

Please do the the time to check out these fantastic packages of concert memories and search on iTunes for The Bridge School Collection to find another 5 collections of acoustic performances from throughout the 30 year history of the event. 

A portion of  the proceeds from the sales of all of the above go to the Bridge School.

Making The Prius Challenge

Working on projects in The Bay Area's Silicon Valley brings me into an increasing number of projects involving robotics, autonomous vehicles, AI and other advanced tech.  

One such booking was at the Toyota Research Institute, where their mission is "To use artificial intelligence to improve the quality of human life. We are dedicated to making automobiles safer, more affordable, and more accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability, and to expanding the benefit of mobility technology beyond automobiles."

Hands on Sound provided location sound recording for a piece that MKTG was doing on the Prius Challenge, a team-based, tech-centric driving competition that was hosted at Sonoma Raceway. The competition made use of proprietary data, strategy development, and simulation tools to assist participants in achieving the highest MPG over 9 laps in 42 minutes.

Mayday! Mayday! A US Coast Guard Rescue Story

Recently Hands on Sound got the call to provide location sound for an interview segment on a piece for Al Roker Entertainment and The Coast Guard Foundation, as part of the 2017 Pacific Northwest Awards. Teamed with John McConaghy from Advance Creative , I went to a local Bay Area marina and spent the afternoon with a seasoned mariner who recounted his harrowing adventure in a fierce storm off the Northwest coast and the bravery of the USCG, who came to his rescue.  


Hands On Sound is currently working with the Nat Geo on a project that is involved with the SPHERES program, put on by NASA and MIT.  Since we are still in production, there isn't much to share, but please read below to learn more:

SPHERES-Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites-Zero-Robotics

The Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites-Zero-Robotics (SPHERES-Zero-Robotics) investigation establishes an opportunity for high school students to design research for the International Space Station (ISS). As part of a competition, students write algorithms for the SPHERES satellites to accomplish tasks relevant to future space missions. The algorithms are tested by the SPHERES team and the best designs are selected for the competition to operate the SPHERES satellites on board the ISS.