Bamsound get creative with post-production audio for new horror movie

At Bamsound Creative we are currently working away on an exciting new project in association with Golden Crab Films. Patients of a Saint, set to be released in 2019, is a story based on Matthew J. Gunn’s screenplay Prizoners. The story is about inmates held on St. Leonards Island, the home to a re-purposed prison for some of the world’s most violent criminals. The only way the inmates can get off the island is to agree to the extreme medical trials taking place inside the prison.


During one of the trials something goes horribly wrong. Prisoners, doctors and guards must unite to survive a horrifying and rampant disease that completely transforms its host. This is Russell Owen’s second feature film following Welcome to the Majority (2013) and features a talented cast that includes Jess Chanliau (The Riven), Philip McGinley (Game of Thrones), Lynne Anne Rodgers (Justice League) and Jane Garioni (The Wife).  

Our contribution to this stirring story involves the full post-production audio for the entirety of the film. Responsible for the sound design, editing and mixing we are aiming to sculpt a tense atmosphere and a fully immersive feel to the film. To achieve this, we are using the cutting edge of audio technology as well as unique audio techniques that will empower us to create an absorbing and memorable cinematic experience for the audience.

At Bamsound we like to be at the forefront in every aspect of sound design. Using the latest in sound technology we want to ensure we are providing the best possible audio for every project we work on. For Patients of a Saint we are using Atmos, Dolby’s latest surround sound technology. Atmos will allow us to produce sound that moves in the three-dimensional space and create the fully immersive experience we are looking for.

Atmos treats sounds as objects as oppose to channels, meaning that tracks are encoded with data that indicates a location in space. The result is sound that comes from specific points between you and the speaker, as oppose to directly from the speaker itself. This enables us to create a soundscape that is more accurately reflective of where the sound is located spatially in correlation to the visuals, providing a more convincing and powerful experience for the audience.

During the post-production of Patients of a Saint we aim to use Atmos to its full potential and make use of its capabilities in supporting overhead speakers for a more enveloping sound experience. Our aim is to create 360-degree audio that really engulfs the audience and puts them right in the thick of the action.  

When we discovered a lot of the film would be set inside the prison we saw a lot of potential for the use of unique audio techniques. We wanted the audio to reflect the claustrophobic nature of the setting, so we set about experimenting with ways in which we could reflect this in the sound. With this in mind we wanted to record using a 2nd order ambisonic microphone to provide a heightened sense of realism throughout.

Ambisonic recording requires the use of special multi-capsule microphones. In a basic configuration, known as 1st order ambisonics, there is four capsules positioned on the microphone to capture a 360-degree field of hearing. In 2nd order ambisonics, there is eight capsules present on the microphone for more dedicated points of reference which add more detail and axis points into the field of hearing.

Once converted into a spatial ambisonic format for use in our Dolby Atmos surround beds, the extra layer of sound recorded provides a magnified level of detail. This technique is used in virtual reality experiences and is fully equipped to provide us with the immersive qualities we desire to add a sinister, eerie and enclosed atmosphere to our mix.

"Patients of a Saint is a project we’re very excited to be working on, it gives us the opportunity to really flex our sound muscles. Using audio techniques which traditionally haven’t been used in cinema audio we want to see how far we can push the chill factor using our cutting edge immersive audio techniques.” - Scott Marshall, Founder of Bamsound Creative & Supervising Sound Designer.