John McClain knows a thing or two about sound. For one thing, he’s the owner and lead sound designer/mixer at The Dog and Pony Show in Las Vegas, Nevada (https://www.dogandponystudios.net/). For another, he won a Grammy for his work with the late, great George Carlin, and an Emmy for his work with HBO on the series 24/7, his work with PBS on the show Outdoor Nevada and his mix of the documentary African Americans: The Las Vegas Experience. If that’s not enough, he teaches a class in Tech for voice talent through the Voice Actors Studio – https://www.thevoiceactorstudio.com/ – owned by Melissa Moats (https://www.ladyluckvoiceovers.com/ – another fantastic voice talent in Vegas) and another course on Sound for Film at UNLV.
The first part of our discussion was a fascinating trip through a bunch of topics, such as:
- What he teaches students who take his Sound for Film course
- How music can completely change the tone of a piece of film
- Why sound needs to be paid attention to
- How evolution has shaped our understanding of sound
- How voice talent can use silence to their advantage
- Why marketers and advertisers are starting to pay attention to good sound design
- Some examples of sound design – such as casino “win tunes” for machines
- The laws about manipulation using sound in casino gaming (there actually are some!)
- What music notes are used more often for the sound in casino games and why
- How it’s the wild west in advertising when it comes to sound
- How to use compelling sound in advertising
This episode was very skillfully made to sound beautiful by the talented Humberto Franco (http://www.humbertofranco.com/).