Sound Designer Richard KingSound designer and supervising sound editor Richard King is known for his incredibly detailed soundscapes and the lengths to which he goes to achieve authenticity.His credits include M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable and Signs; Peter Weir’s Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World, for which he won the sound editing Oscar and BAFTA award; and Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, which last year was nominated for a sound editing Academy Award.King is based at Warner Bros., in the studio’s new postproduction building.Below the Line: Tell us about your current tools.Richard King: The new building is designed for greater connectivity and integration between the editing rooms and dub stages. The rooms are also incredibly quiet and make for a wonderful work environment. My primary tools remain essentially the same. I find I can do almost anything I need to do within [Digidesign’s] Pro Tools using plug-ins. We’re currently on version 6.9.3, but planning a switch to version 7 when we get a break between films.I’ve basically abandoned the hardware sampler I was using in favor of [Native Instruments’] Kontakt 2, which runs on the Apple G5 and will open as an RTAS plug-in within Pro Tools, allowing for fast integration of sounds I perform on the MIDI keyboard into the Pro Tools session I’m working on.The new studio is quiet enough for sound recording, so I keep a Schoeps mic and Focusrite mic-pre at the ready, to record sounds directly into Pro Tools, and subsequently into Kontakt if needed.As for sound and picture file management, the sound efx library is on an Apple X-serve, which we access and search using NetMix version 3.3. Picture and sound files for the shows we’re working on are stored here as well.BTL: Tell us about what you were using five years ago.King: In the last five years, our file-management has become much more efficient due to the faster server and workflow procedures we’ve adopted. But there really haven’t been any radical changes in the gear we use—just refinements. As far as software, I like the [Waves] Convolution reverbs a lot, which sound a lot better then the reverb plug-ins I was using five years ago.BTL: Tell us about what you’re looking forward to using in the next 18 months.King: Making the switch to Pro Tools 7.2. As I seem to be doing more mixing and pre-mixing in my studio, I’m looking forward to the advantages version 7.2 will provide. I’m also looking forward to replacing my aging Pro Control, probably to a D-Command, although there are some refinements I’d like to see in the control surface first.BTL: What are you working on right now?King: I recently worked with Chris Nolan on The Prestige. Next up is The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
Written by Sam Molineaux