Republic Poly launches top-notch audio facility

Students at Republic Polytechnic (RP) can now enjoy a new aural playground which facilitates industry-quality sound design.

The 102 sq m Foley Arts Studio is built to support the diploma in sonic arts curriculum at the polytechnic's School of Technology for the Arts.

Located in this school of technology, the $400,000 facility contains three rooms where students can produce everyday sounds suitable for use in movies and broadcast.

The Foley Live Room contains a range of props and materials to create sounds, including walking "pits" made of concrete, asphalt, gravel, sand, marble and wood, as well as a water trough.

The Foley Control Room contains post-production equipment such as industry-grade audio interface and monitoring systems. Students can also head to the Dubbing Room to record voiceovers and re-record dialogue for film.

At the studio's official launch yesterday attended by Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, the polytechnic in Woodlands signed two memoranda of understanding with production houses Yellow Box Studios and Beach House Pictures.

The partnerships will allow staff and students to collaborate with the production houses. These tie-ups will provide internship and mentorship opportunities, as well as academic awards for the top performing students from RP's School of Technology for the Arts.

Additionally, RP will work with Yellow Box Studios to develop training programmes to help working adults keep up with the fast-paced audio production industry.

Second-year sonic arts student Ashsiddiq Hussin, 21, said the studio would make sound design more convenient. "It's all about having everything in one studio... And we can create original sound effects without having to use stock audios."

Director of RP's School of Technology for the Arts Sharen Liu said the studio will broaden and deepen students' skills to prepare them for work in the entertainment industry.

"The digital sounds from sound libraries cannot replicate sounds as naturally as Foley artists. The artists need to be imaginative (and) find the right objects and the creative means to replicate and enhance sound effects," she said.

"We're preparing our future workforce to get jobs beyond Singapore, perhaps to even win an Oscar one day," she added, with a nod to Singaporean Ai-Ling Lee, who was nominated for two Oscars for her sound work in 2016's La La Land.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2017, with the headline 'Republic Poly launches top-notch audio facility'. Print Edition | Subscribe