The Brother – Sound Design & Mix

The Brother Mix @ DBC SOUND

The Brother Mix @ DBC SOUND Pictured left to right – Miguel Nunes (supervising sound editor/sound designer/re-recording mixer), Ryan Bonder (director), Marc Bjorknas (composer), Andria Spring (post supervisor).

The Brother is a Canada/UK co-production that I recently completed post audio work on. Directed by Ryan Bonder, the thriller is about a young man, Adam Diamond, who attempts to make a clean break from his arms-dealing family ties.

Shot on location in London, the film offered me a unique sound palette to work with, as the majority of the films I’ve worked on over the years have been set in North America.

Location sound was provided by UK based sound mixer Nigel Albermaniche. The tracks were very well recorded which allowed for a great start to the dialogue edit and mix. Gord Hillier was the dialogue supervising sound editor on the film, and as always, provided an extremely well organized edit which made for a very efficient premix process.

My team was also able to receive several Gigs of custom London Ambiance recordings from Adam D. Boyd for the film. Background FX were edited by Jay Cheetham and I did the Sound Design and EFX.


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The Brother Sound Design


The film offered several interesting sound design challenges. One in particular was that one of the characters, Clair, is deaf. There were several scenes that needed to address her lack of hearing. In one scene, Clair leans into a speaker that is blasting music. I recorded several sounds trying to convey the feel of speaker cone rattles. After several experiments, I recorded a small electric shoulder massager, vibrating against some hollow wood. Then I ran the music through the Waves Morphoder plugin, keying it to the vibrations, while inserting a resonant low pass filter. As she touches the speaker the audience hears the thump of the music track through the vibrating touch, as if from her perspective.

Another scene, had Clair feeling the vibrations of a piano while it was being played, and I did a similar process with some grand piano resonance sounds I had recorded for a previous project.

There were also several intense scenes including one where Adam interrogates and tortures a man to gain information. The sound of the scene goes from ultra realistic and raw intensity to very stylistic and surreal as Adam becomes more violent.

Mixing was done over several days at my home studio and a final screening day with tweaks at DBC Sound. Translation between the 2 rooms is fairly smooth, as I’ve now done 10 films with this work flow. Generally, I like to do a few quick tweaks to the LFE channel before the clients come in to compensate for the room size. Once those adjustments are made, the clients come in for a playback. On The Brother we screened the film in it’s entirety at @ 9:30. Notes were taken, and a few hours were spent with further tweaks. At around 3:30 we screened the film again and spent the last hour polishing things off.

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Mixing “The Brother” @ DBC SOUND

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Post Production Sound Provided by Bionic Audio

Supervising Sound Editor/Sound Designer – Miguel Nunes

Supervising Sound Editor/Dialogue Editor – Gord Hiller

Background Ambiance Editor – Jay Cheetham

Assistant Sound Editors – Aaron Olson & Simon Cho

Re-recording Mixer – Miguel Nunes

Foley Provided by 1010 Audio

Foley Artist – Maureen Murphy

Foley Recordists – David Hibbert & Grady Coolican