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The Sound and the Fury: Audio Post on ‘Baby Driver’

"The whole movie is orchestrated to whatever Baby is listening to at the moment."

“Intricate sound design usually involves preparing effects and ambiences that create a realistic, immersive environment for a motion picture audience,” explains

Mel Lambert

. “In the case of writer/director Edgar Wright’s latest outing, the action drama

Baby Driver

, his regular sound designer/supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer Julian Slater faced a far greater challenge.

“The eponymous hero of

Baby Driver

, played by Ansel Elgort, is forced to work for a veteran kingpin in exchange for the start of a better life. But, as the result of a childhood accident, the young man suffers from aggressive tinnitus, which affects his concentration during day-to-day activities.

“To block out its effects while piloting a getaway car for a gang of scurrilous bank robbers — portrayed by a cast including Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm and Jon Bernthal — the lead character plays pop music at elevated levels in his ear buds. He now relies upon the beat of his preferred oldies soundtrack to remain the best in the crime world, with music heightening his driving focus and reflexes.

“‘Because of the lead character’s tinnitus, we worked with pitch changes to interweave various elements of the film’s soundtrack,’ Slater says.” To read the full story on the film’s audio postproduction, click here.

“The whole movie is orchestrated to whatever Baby is listening to at the moment,” Slater explains. “Gunfights are in time with the music. Car chases are cut in sync. Police sirens, barking dogs, speeding trains are at tempo. Much of it is pitched and syncopated so that the music and sound design work as one.”

Cut to the Chase: Editing the Action on Set for Baby Driver

Slave to the Rhythm: How Baby Driver Was Edited

Inside the Sound of Baby Driver

Once Upon a Pair of Wheels: Julian Slater Revs Up the Sound for Baby Driver