Interview Hervé Déjardin, Sound engineer / Studio 112, Radio France (Paris) – Part.3

Interview Hervé Déjardin, Sound engineer / Studio 112, Radio France (Paris) – Part.3

October 22, 2019 0 By Kailee Schamberger


I shall respond using precise examples of
production, as there a multitude within each production, today, moreover, that’s why
this tool appears to grow in complexity, which isn’t really true, it simply becomes more
and more rich in response to the ever growing diversity in production. That’s to say, that producing for cinema
is one thing and producing for a radio-fiction another, a rock and roll mix another again,
and a Classical music mix another, etc, etc. So today’s sound engineers must ask themselves,
What is the project, which tool should I employ for this project and it’s specifications? There were 2 aspects to this project, the
first being the technical aspect and the 2nd the aesthetic aspect, in the musical or sound
sense. So, how could we evoke and then use space
and as I like to think of it; use the form to the service essence. Romain is a musician who has a very specific
way to conduct his live set, using Molecule, so it was necessary to take inspiration from
his approach in order to see how I was going to evoke the sensation of space so that it
not only corresponded to his expectations of the space, but also responded to his musicality. Then came the technical aspect, we had to
diffuse in a venue with an immersive system supplied by our partners at L-acoustic, that
allowed us to work on this aspect, then we had to work on an immersive broadcast, live,
through binaural sound, an immersive sound in 3d for headphones, I’m over-simplifying
but you get the point. So we had to achieve the both, and as those
who are familiar with live mixing will know, it’s extremely difficult to mix on a live
speaker system and simultaneously achieve a coherent mix for broadcast without hiring
a 2nd sound engineer specifically. So we were working in what’s known as ‘object-mode’,
here we have all the sounds that arrive at different processors; sending identical commands
to each processor, that’s how we say that the sound will be there and it shall move
in this way and so on. So, we had this technical signal path, giving
orders to the different processors, in this case the L-acoustics processor, then the SPAT
revolution that allowed us to achieve the spatialisation with a binaural configuration. That went out live on the FIP-electro web
radio station, and it was there that I found the SPAT totally complimentary The idea was that we achieved pretty much
the same result, that’s to say, what I heard in my headphones the day after, as I rushed
to listen back, is exactly what I had heard when I was with Romain in the center of this
sound system with the audience all around us. So there you have it, these were the challenges
that we faced but we’re really happy as it went really well and it’s convinced us
that the ‘object-mode’ was the right solution, by adapting our specific calculations and
then applying them to the final rendering. Therefore, the first use was the sound system
that was setup for the people in the club. The 2nd was for a larger audience, as in people
who listen to electro on their smart phones, their tablets or their computers and whatnot,
and in headphones. Here, object-mode gives the best response. We give the orders, we send the same sounds,
and then the calculations are made in function with the result that we wish to obtain. We’d already had a great experience with
SPAT over the last 2 or 3 years as we’ve been using it on productions, both innovative
and unproved. Although we’re only just beginning to deploy
it on select productions here at radio France it’s been 2, 2 and a half years that we’ve
been working with SPAT, in this very studio, particularly on our experimental productions
as they can be listened to on certain stations on the new sound website. When mixing electro for headphones in stereo,
we have the impression that the sound of the bass drum- the rhythmical focal point of electro,
comes from within the head, that it’s inter-cranial. However, thanks to the flexibility of SPAT,
when encoding in binaural, the sound can be made to be extra-cranial, meaning we have
a feeling of externalization. After a fair amount of experimentation on
a series called Sequence, with which we’d produced a number a live performances in 360,
as well as relying on our listening culture in order to anticipate a mix in binaural,
I was convinced that we must hear the bass drum from inside the cranial cavity. We must perceive it like this as for the last
30 years that’s how we’ve been listening to it. On the first Walkman’s, which I experienced
firsthand in the 80s, we loved listening to mixes that were made to be listened to on
speaker-systems, in stereo, with their magnificent timbres and so on, beautiful mixes with the
bass drum and snare inside our heads, we had a hyper-proximity. Aesthetically, it’s very pleasant and what’s
more it enables me to adjust the listener’s perception of the sound, so when I put a bass
drum without reverb into the SPAT, then into a stereo module, I know that if I listen to
it in headphones I’ll have that bass drum in my head and on the contrary, if I place
the sounds binaurally, they will float around my head. Can you imagine the power of that, on a perceptive
and cognitive front? That’s what SPAT enables. So in this sense, SPAT is not only a tool
for spatialisation and mixing but also for creation. It’s here that we’ll find many avenues
for exploration today.