We believe our business offers something new and different in the audio drama field. A production quality that brings radio based programming in-line with the audio quality of mainstream film. Realistic, immersive and cinematic. Our signature sound!
Cinema For Your Mind
Sherwood Sound Studios has a history of providing realistic and immersive post-production for clients in the past. Our work has often been called cinematic, or film-like, because of how the final results sound to the listener. Reviewers of Big Finish‘s Doctor Who – UNIT: Dominion, for example, have commented on the feeling of listening to a big budget Hollywood film just for your ears. Those who have heard our work with Hammer Films Hammer Chillers mention the impact our unsettling and creepy sound design had on them. With our first in-house audio drama Osiris we took our cinematic orchestral music composition skills to the next level with an adventurous score worthy of a blockbuster film soundscape.
Sherwood Sound Studios producer Martin Johnson has always been keen on quality over quantity. “The problem with most modern audio drama is not good storytelling or the effort that goes into the production, although sometimes I am put off by industry standard sound library effects and over-use of music. To me, it is the unnatural feel of the end product due to today’s mastering techniques for loudness. It is a disease of sound that good quality recordings are destroyed by.”
To demonstrate what Martin is talking about, something called The Loudness War, take a look at the following image…
On the left is the CD master of The Battle from Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator music score. You can see the waveform consistently hitting the decibel limit because of modern producers obsession with loudness. The soundwave is compressed and amplified thereby destroying a lot of detail in the recording. On the right is the original waveform with all of the detail within the recording intact. “It is a technique widely used in the music industry today and these techniques have transferred over to television and audio drama production. As a audiophile I hear the effects everywhere and it drives me nuts! It’s also fatiguing for the ears.”
Martin wants to produce audio that is free from these overused techniques so that listeners hear the original quality sound as it was intended.
Martin is a huge fan of director Tim Burton and his composer Danny Elfman. “I adore their early collaborations. The dark tone and feel of their work is what got me into this career in the first place and it often comes through in my work.” Tim Burton also directed the film Sleepy Hollow with music from Danny Elfman. “Ah yes. Sleepy Hollow‘s dark horror is exactly the tone I’m aiming for with our adaptation of The War of the Worlds, only with giant martian fighting machines and far more serious than Johnny Depp’s wonderful Ichabod Crane.”
Evolving from his inspiration, Martin strives to produce great quality audio drama that sounds indistinguishable from the real world through Sherwood Sound Studios. Creating worlds that you can immerse yourself within and forget that your listening to something that was pieced together and edited over time using many different sounds. “I think the reason clients ask me to work with them is because of this specific tone and feel I bring to productions that perhaps isn’t available elsewhere.” Martin has even rejected work at times. “I admit, I have turned down work because it isn’t in-line with our signature sound. I was once offered a slapstick comedy series but my distaste for over-the-top sound library effects wouldn’t have been helpful.”