July 22, 2024

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From The Queen’s Gambit to Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Emmy Award-Winning Sound Designer James David Redding III enhances workflow efficiency with Krotos software

For 24 years, Emmy Award-winning sound designer and editor James David Redding III has contributed to the post-production of Hollywood’s most acclaimed projects, such as The Americans, American Rust, and Amazon’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith. In the fast-paced and ever-evolving industry, Redding relies on Krotos’ innovative tools—Reformer, Weaponiser, Igniter, and Krotos Studio—to enhance his workflow. These tools not only streamline his process but also enable deeper customization and creative sound design, allowing him to meet the demanding standards of today’s entertainment landscape and advance the art of sound.


Efficient Soundscaping
​In a typical TV project, James David Redding III is allotted 7-10 days to craft the sound for an episode, a timeline within which he has found Krotos to be indispensable. “My approach to sound is akin to Bob Ross painting,” James explains. “I start with broad strokes, laying down the background, and then focus on the details. Depending on the budget and time constraints, I refine it further, adding those ‘happy little trees.'” Krotos Studio, in particular, empowers him to swiftly introduce unique atmospheres and background ambiances, freeing up time to infuse more creative elements, such as the nuanced sounds of a distant ping pong match.

​For example, in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, where dialogue scenes can stretch up to eight minutes—far exceeding the typical 2-3 minute sound files—he leverages Krotos Studio’s capabilities to reimagine a 2-minute NYC recording. “By applying granular synthesis, I can reorder the sounds, creating a unique, customizable background efficiently,” James shares. This innovative use of Krotos not only accelerates his workflow but also elevates the auditory experience, making his soundscapes as vivid and detailed as the visuals they accompany.

KROTOS Studio pricing

Performance and Realism
​Krotos tools shine in their ability to bring a convincing sense of realism to any scene, simplifying what was once a complex process. For instance, accurately capturing the multifaceted sounds of water—a task notorious for its difficulty due to the need to match the varied movements and sounds—has been streamlined by James’s innovative use of Krotos. “What used to take a whole day to perfect can now be accomplished in minutes,” James reveals. His technique involves loading custom water sounds into Reformer Pro and using his voice to perform the movements, a method that proves invaluable for scenes requiring precise sound matching to specific actions.

James further illustrates this approach’s effectiveness with an example from a documentary set in an African market. “The scene involved people handling clothes, which have a distinct sound based on their movement. By loading cloth sounds from my library into Reformer Pro, I was able to accurately perform these sounds with my voice.” This capability of Krotos tools to capture the essence of real-life sounds with such ease and precision underscores their transformative impact on sound design, allowing James and others in his field to achieve an unparalleled level of realism in their work.

MIDI Integration Creative Sound Performance
​The MIDI compatibility of Krotos tools unlocks a new realm of sound design possibilities, enabling sound actions within the plugins to be mapped and performed on MIDI keyboards and controllers. This feature proved invaluable in The Patient, starring Steve Carell, particularly during a scene that required the sound of digging. James ingeniously utilized Weaponiser, Krotos’s specialized SFX engine designed for gun sounds, to recreate the digging actions with remarkable realism. “Weaponiser is equipped with four engines, each capable of holding four sound slots, which I can map to different keys on a MIDI keyboard for individual triggering. For the digging scene, I loaded shovel sounds into one engine, various slides into another, and different throws into a third. This setup allowed me to accurately perform the sounds using just three keys, bringing the scene to life with precise auditory detail.” This innovative use of MIDI integration not only showcases James’s creative approach to sound design but also demonstrates the versatility of Krotos tools in transforming traditional workflows into dynamic, performance-based sound creation processes.

​In Redding’s home studio, located just 20 minutes outside of NYC, he is utilizing a 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos monitor setup. He accredits Krotos for its efficiency and ability for detail which results in giving him back the creative time to focus on placing sounds in Atmos. “Using Krotos for projects like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I can speed up production, especially for complex scenes like gunfights. Weaponiser lets me map gunshots and impacts separately, allowing for detailed sound layering. Its modulation capabilities mean I can cycle through sounds, subtly altering pitches for variety. Now, I have the time to play with other aspects of the production like placing the sounds in Atmos.”

About Krotos
​Founded with the vision of demystifying sound design, Krotos develops software that empowers artists to create immersive audio experiences. Our products are used by leading studios and creators worldwide, pushing the boundaries of audio innovation.

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