Hot Sake: Sonic Waves and Cerebral Sounds
To design typically means to draw or sketch plans for a project or shuffle tangible objects around to form a pleasing array. We think of interior designers, architects and website creators as designers working in visual, tactile, easy to visualize media.
But what of creating sonically? From cell phone to film screen, sound and motion are part of our daily experience. And boutique audio design shop Hot Sake has a unique take on the engaging collision of air, vibration and energy that accompanies video.
“We custom create music and sound for 3D animation, jingles for commercial spots, scores for film and TV shows, noises for video games, DVD menus and Internet.” explains chief sound architect Jason Hausman from the Hot Sake studios in Charlotte NC.”Anything that needs sound we cover it. We also do the nuts and bolts work of handling audio editing, recording, mix and mastering.”
Hausman, a musician, became intrigued in sound design after spending endless hours recording. “Production amazed me from the beginning. Then I landed a job in a commercial recording studio. As General Manager, Engineer and Composer, I was able to hone my skills and build a rapport with a large commercial client base.” Eventually, Hausman would open his own studio, Hot Sake.
How does one design sound?
“We typically start with a raw video,some sort of 3D animation (or any other sort of video piece). This might be a transition from a commercial break on ESPN or a full length NASCAR Truck Series open, or a logo animation for AMP energy drink to give a few examples.” explains Hausman. “I’ll sit and watch this animation over and over until I get a feel for what the animator is trying to get across. Very quickly the graphics start to “speak” to me, and I start to verbally interact with the piece providing vocal noises, swooshes, explosions, drones and the like. If a client walked in on this process they’d probably have serious doubts about the finished piece, and my sanity!”
Laughing, Hausman then explains getting his vocal aerobics into sound bites. “The sky is the limit! I use objects to start designing the sound. PVC pipe, pine cones, digital sounds. If things are really rolling for me I will lose 2 to 5 hours in this land of noise. It is a heavenly place. It is like falling into a trance and coming out the other side with a finished product. Total Zen!”
Hausman sums up the process. “We manipulate sound to make it do what we want in order to find new and interesting textures for the job in question. We do the same with music. We create original works so the client won’t hear the music on their commercial or show being used by a competitor.”
What’s the best thing a client can say at the end of a job? “Actually the best thing a client can say is at the beginning of a job.” says Hausman. “And that is ‘Do what you do best’. That gives us the freedom and flexibility to work without limits.” Hausman pauses.”And that’s really where genius thrives, right? Creativity without a limits? That’s genius and that is a word we really like to hear at Hot Sake! So, the best thing a client can say at the END of a job? ‘Genius’.“
Hot Sake is the recipient of dozens of ADDY® Awards, TELLY® Awards, and Emmy® Nominations. Clients include NASCAR, Raycom Sports, Carmax (Superbowl Ads 2010), and Lockheed Martin. The sounds of Hot Sake have aired on all major networks as well as ESPN, Turner, SPEED, PBS and more.