Blog Archives

Sound effects in RPGs: more dialog

Here’s another blogger talking about using sound effects in your RPG. He raises some good logistic points, specifically about positioning your laptop behind a DM screen to better hide your actions, and using a playlist program like iTunes.

I love seeing this sort of thing. It tells me that the conversation we were working on back in 1996 is still going on in many places (the previous blog entry I linked to is more recent, but still…). Keep it going!


Season of the Witch – movie review

Mr. Blood continues his series of film reviews, in which he tells what he thought of the film but also examines it for possible Role-playing game ideas. This week’s film: Season of the Witch.

5 senses in your RPG

Since we at Toxic Bag make and sell sound effects for use in Role Playing Games, I’m obviously interested in the discussion of using sound effects in games. “Andy/GGG” over at takes it even farther in a new blog post, incorporating the senses of taste, smell and touch into his games as well as hearing. From a sound standpoint, he’s got some great insights about music, voices with accents, and creating soundscapes. I hope you find it inspirational!

Everybody needs a Hero sometimes…

(but sometimes you don’t)

Tonight is final dress for Hobo Junction’s “The Regulars,” and tomorrow we open. I’ve been working since January on the musical arrangements for the show, and spent the last few days teching and tweaking. In the last few days we’ve added flutes, trumpets and many many more layers of electric guitar and moog synthesizer to the already epic score, making it even epic-er. The cast is kicking ass and taking names, and bottom line, you should come to see this show.

For more details on the process, please read Amy The Stage Manager’s blog, “Managing Hobo Junction’s Regularity.”

“The Regulars” runs May 7 – June 13 at the Apollo Theater in Chicago.

Part of the musical superduperforce behind "The Regulars." Dan Krall, Josh Zagoren, Joe Griffin

picture courtesy Amy Hopkins.

Project Spotlight: Book teaser

We’ve just finished the first in a series of short promotional videos for Chicago author Jean Latz Griffin’s “In The Same Breath.” The book traces the history of spiritual awakenings and realizations about the immanent nature of God/Spirit over the past 3000 years, and includes weekly readings from an incredible variety of ancient and modern writers. Christine Tobias’ stunning artwork, which we used in the video, ties the ages together.

The book is available at Amazon and CyberINK. The teaser video can be seen at CyberINK’s YouTube channel.

For further discussion about Griffin’s philosophy of the non-dualistic immanence of Spirit, please read her blog, “God Swimming in God.”

(full disclosure: Jean Latz Griffin is Joe’s mother.)

Out of office memo

Next week I’m going to be in tech for Measure For Measure, and I’m not sure how often I’ll be posting. In the meantime, please visit some of the other blogs over in the sidebar. For those of you who are minded towards politics, media, science or religion, I direct your attention to CyberINK, my mother’s new blog.

Have a great week if I don’t see you!

Spam of the Day

On Wednesdays we read your letters

In response to my Bachelor’s Grove video shoot post, some porn spambot posted:

The ghost bag has a scary ghost face with green eyes, and a red nose that lights up.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love that. Thank you, porn spambot!


I really love discussions of process and technique. Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge tech-head, but I’m always a little disappointed when I read an article about a big-time sound designer and all they talk about is where the speakers were placed and how many channels the mixing board had. It’s not that speaker placement and delay tower settings aren’t important. I’d just much rather read about how they built that ambience cue, or why they chose eBow guitars instead of cellos for the underscore. Even if I haven’t seen the show, this stirs my creative juices in a way that knowing where the monitors were hung does not. Sadly, the theatre publications I read rarely look at this side of the design job.

That said, this made me happy:

A couple of weeks ago I posted about designers attending rehearsals for shows they’re working on. Today over at Sound Design Concepts there’s a fantastic excerpt from an interview with sound designer Marty Desjardins wherein Desjardins talks about this as well.

“…for example, I don’t really refine the ideas until I start to see them in rehearsal with the cast. So it’s not just the text that’s informing me; it’s also the performances that are informing me and in order for me to have that information I’m gonna have to wait until I see it.”

He also talks about drawing inspiration from the other design departments. That’s something I’ve definitely enjoyed on past shows, and it’s really happening in a strong way on my current project, Measure For Measure with Promethean Theatre Company. One of the most fun things about that process so far is how the set designer and I are developing our design ideas in reaction to each other.

“…the timbres that I use in the design are oftentimes heavily influenced by the set design, although I don’t know that I can say exactly how or why. I can’t really put my finger on what it is in each design, but there are usually implications for me about what is going to sound right, what is going to sound like it belongs with that set. I mean, if a set has a lot of metal in it then that tells me something about the sound and also the nature of the way we’re telling the story compared to if it has a lot of wood in it. And it’s more nuanced than metal equals metallic sounds, but there is definitely a relationship there for me.”

The interview is being posted in segments; I highly suggest checking back for the next segment.

One more thing to keep track of…

Someone I’ve recently become friends with suggested to me that I ought to start a blog. I have been thinking about it for awhile, and since establishing the Donny Who Loved Bowling Facebook page last month and the Toxic Bag Twitter feed yesterday, I figure I may as well drop back to mid-decade and finally start the blog as well. My concern, as I told my friend, was that I wouldn’t have much to say. We’ll just have to see how that turns out.

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