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Vagabond Audio’s Latest Projects, New Audio Suite

Chicago-based Vagabond Audio is celebrating its third year with a plethora of new projects displaying the talent of audio engineer Drew Weir and executive producer Risé Sanders. This spring also brings the opening of Vagabond Audio’s second audio suite.

Weir completed “Friday Night” for Burrell Advertising’s client, Allstate. The audio track includes the sound of impacting autos and shattering glass. Weir also incorporated the sound of squad cars and police radios into the music soundtrack. “The first part of the spot is very music driven, and the car crash thrusts the audience into reality,” says Weir. “The sound design was needed to enhance the drama of the car crash and its aftermath.”

Director Suree Towfighnia began work on her documentary Standing Silent Nation (Prairie Dust Films) in 2002. The documentary debuts on PBS’ documentary series POV on July 3, and follows the story of a Lakota Indian family raising industrial hemp on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. In a crucial moment of the film—a raid of the family’s farm by the U.S. Marshals, FBI and DEA—Weir creates a dramatic aural backdrop for the story unfolding on screen.

“We used the sound design help fill the story because it is visually portrayed through abstract images and some archival footage,” says Weir. “We used sound design to build the energy of this moment. We laid in the sounds of the helicopters and the sounds of the machinery tearing out the crops. As the raid ends, the sound drifts back to a more natural, realistic sound, a more peaceful feeling now that the authorities are gone and the farmer is looking at his crops which are now destroyed. It’s a very dramatic moment of the film.”

Vagabond also teamed with Burrell Advertising on six spots for McDonald’s new Snack Wraps.

Vagabond Audio also announced the opening of its second sound suite. Studio B is a mirror of Studio A, allowing for fluid movement of projects back and forth between suites. “As we enter our third year, we’re excited to have this new suite available for projects,” says executive producer Risé Sanders. “Studio B will allow us an easier work flow, making us more flexible and able to respond even faster to our clients’ needs.”

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