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Sound Designer Gives Voice to ‘3 Days Rising’

Sound plays a pivotal role in the upcoming horror/thriller film '3 Days Rising,' which was a challenge to sound designer Bob Pepek.

sound designer Bob Pepek
Sound designer Bob Pepek

Enfield, CT (November 1, 2021)―Sound plays a pivotal role in the upcoming horror/thriller film 3 Days Rising, a retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, but it wasn’t without its challenges for sound designer Bob Pepek.

Roderick Usher, portrayed by actor Peter Greene (renamed Eric by screenwriter Derek Cukrowski), is soft-spoken and often mumbles to himself. There are also crucial moments in which haunting noises surround Eric as he descends further into his madness. Both factors presented a challenge to Pepek, owner of MelonCollie Productions. To properly capture all the terrorizing nuances of the story, he turned to Nugen Audio, most notably the ISL2 True Peak Meter and SEQ-S plug-ins, to ensure the audio supports the chilling vibe of the film.

Pepek, a singer-songwriter turned audio engineer, has been a fan of Nugen Audio for years and uses Nugen for all his post-production audio needs. This includes everything from the animated children’s series Astro Blast and LEGO product animations (for which he has won two Telly Awards), to commercial work and feature films. “I consider myself the Bob Ross of audio engineering and Nugen plug-ins are my ‘happy little trees,’” he says.

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This was especially the case with the Nugen SEQ-S and ISL2 plug-ins. Pepek says they were particularly helpful to ensuring Greene’s dialogue was seamless between the lavalier and boom recordings. The production crew often needed to switch between both microphone styles, depending on the shot, which can cause inconsistent audio capture at times.

“It becomes difficult in those situations, because sometimes the lavalier is the better microphone option in a scenario, such as a wide angle shot,” Pepek explains. “Not every lavalier mic has the same EQ pattern or timbre as a boom mic. Nugen SEQ-S has been vital to matching the EQ from the lavalier and boom.”

Pepek also often turns to Nugen’s ISL2 True Peak limiter to hit certain loudness specifications. He used this on 3 Days Rising, but also with commercial ad campaigns for brands like Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, to ensure loudness specs are consistently met for the campaign.