July 16, 2018

IED attack simulator: Trying to capture/design the most realistic sounds.

Mix Magazine has written an amazing article on veteran Sound Designer / Mixer Ezra Dweck, who has recently been contracted to help design an IED attack simulator for the training of US Troops. He was enlisted to capture and recreate, as acurately as possible, what it sounds like to a soldier inside a humvee to get hit by and IED. That sounds like a difficult, but incredible fun task! “Wait, you mean I get to blow stuff up, AND record it? Then you want me to play it back as loud as possible?” Sounds like a sweet gig to me :-)


The Audio Challenge
For the sound design, Dweck was tasked with coming up with as realistic a presentation of the sound inside a Humvee in patrol and combat situations as possible. The training Humvee will have five soldiers in it — four in the cramped main part of the vehicle, and one turret gunner on top partially exposed through the roof. “My initial idea was to investigate some 360-degree surround speaker systems, but they just weren’t feasible for the space inside the Humvee,” says Dweck. “I went through a lot of negotiations with the guys who are building the thing — a company called Technifex that does a lot of theme park stuff — and what I wound up with basically is 6.1, but not in a traditional layout inside the vehicle. So it’s five speakers in a normal L/C/R, Ls/Rs position, and then there’s a full-range, full-sized speaker mounted in the dash in the middle and a subwoofer in the engine bay where the engine would be. I did a bunch of research to find a full-performance, relatively small driver speaker I thought would work, and I wound up with a Meyer MM4XP for the five. It’s about the size of a 4-inch tile, but about six inches deep. They run on a 48-volt distribution system, but they’re self-powered. They’re good down to about 300 Hz, so I need the full-sized midrange speaker in the middle to kind of balance it out.

“Then on the exterior, mounted on this giant truss that the projectors are mounted on, I also have three speakers [JBL EONs] arranged left-center-right.”

Read the rest over at Mix Online

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