As Chris Mayall always says, “The sound is more important than the picture.” And ain’t that the truth? It’s also a hell of a lot of fun. Not when you have to record it at the same time as the picture – that sucks – but when you can stick it all on afterwards, it’s like composing music, but without tone-deafness being an obstacle (fortunately). So I started the sound design today, having done a final cut of the pictures, which are now fixed, unless the test screening, when it eventually happens, necessitates changes. Wow, that was a really poorly structured sentence. Anyway, the first, and coolest thing I did today was to create a custom sound effect for the pistols. Having journeyed to Hereford library to hire out some SFX CDs (last two due-back dates: August 2000 and December 2000 – strangely concurrent with the editing of Soul Searcher and Cow Trek…), I had the raw materials ready. Of course it would be illegal to simply use the sounds as they stand, but copyright law states that no violation has occurred if the sounds are unrecognisable, so to create the basic pistol effect I combined three different tracks from the CDs – a rifle gun salute, speeded up 300%, some random gun with a nice bass attack and echo, and a firing range pistol. I soon realised that this wasn’t going to be meaty enough for all occasions, so I created an extra effect for the gunshots fired on the hills, with a fourth track containing the echo from the original gun salute, and a fifth track holding an echo from an explosion. This gives a nice thundery, rolling echo as the sound supposedly bounces off the hills, town, etc.