Saturday, February 06, 2010

Ann Kroeber | Sound Mountain

If you don’t know Ann Kroeber’s name, you certainly have heard her work. In 1999 she formed a company called Sound Mountain and has recorded and or provided sound effects for such films as The Star Wars Trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Gladiator, The English Patient, The Horse Whisperer, A Bug’s Life, K-19, Polar Express, The Village, Hidalgo etc. and many games.
Although she is often called upon to supply sounds from her huge collection of animal noises/vocalizations, she is also renowned for her unusual recordings of sounds from everyday life, many recorded with a FRAP (Frequency Response Audio Pickup) contact microphone custom-made many years ago by an English audio guru named Arnie Lazarus. In fact the Hollywood Edge FX library (@Hollywood_Edge) even put out a disc of her FRAP recordings--Common Sounds Heard in Uncommon Ways--as part of a three-CD set called Sounds of a Different Realm. The other two of the discs are dominated by the work of her late husband, Oscar-winning FX designer/editor Alan Splet, who did groundbreaking work with Carroll Ballard, David Lynch, and other directors before his untimely passing in 1995.
His incredible archive of effects recordings was passed down to Ann, who had been an integral part of his recording life since they met while working on The Black Stallion (which won an Academy Award for Sound Fx Editing), where she was an effects recordist. Kroeber quickly established herself as a masterful sound editor, as well, on such films as The Elephant Man, Dune, Never Cry Wolf, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Mosquito Coast, and Dead Poets Society. She was also the production mixer on Blue Velvet and sound designer on Carroll Ballard’s Duma at the Saul Zaentz Film Center in Berkeley.
The Saul Zaentz Film Center, along with American Zoetrope and Lucasfilm, it was one of only three major film production facilities in Northern California. By 2005, it has largely shut down its post-production facilities, except for the foley recording studio, which is part of the still-active Fantasy Recording Studios. The film center was sold in 2007 and, after renovations, became the Zaentz Media Center.

[Ann Kroeber @ Linkedin]

"Discovery of Sound Mountain is like finding a new star cluster within the Star Wars Universe. Ann offered unique original audio from which I designed many new and fascinating Star Wars aliens and machines."
[Ben Burtt]

Sound Mountain - Reel from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

"Ann Kroeber has a unique ability to provide one-of-a-kind sound effects. Both as a recordist, and as the knowledgeable gatekeeper of a vast, reknowed library. Ann has given me great sounds that lead to great ideas. When we are searching for something nobody's heard before, Ann can help us find it."
[Gary Rydstrom]

[Directors on working with Alan Splet - via]

1 comment:

  1. thanks for posting all this info about Ann. I am a good friend of Arnie Lazarus and he is from Long Island, NY, not England as some bios have stated. He has been living in SF for many years now and still talks about resurrecting FRAPs. I have a few and they are indeed an interesting mic for placing on any object to record vibrations, sounds and noise.
    I remember seeing a story about a FRAP put on the Golden Gate bridge to record its vibratory motions.