Lil Nas X - "Panini"

I had the pleasure of reuniting with director Mike Diva and the crew at Lord Danger to sound design and mix Lil Nas X’s “Panini” music video, which has best been summarized as “slapstick cyberpunk.” Here’s the video!

We had a fairly short post turnaround for sound (about a week and a half, with VFX rolling in along the way), but the vision was clear from the get-go: we needed a living, breathing, Blade Runner-esque soundscape for the goofy antics to take place in. While the tight schedule meant pulling exclusively from my sound library, I was able to use a lot of original material I recorded and synthesized for other projects, some of it previously unused, which helped create a unique texture. The sounds of traffic and walla were filled out with recordings I made in Shibuya and Sangenjaya in Tokyo. I then used synthesized textures from previous projects that I generated in Absynth and Jeskola Buzz (an absolutely ancient program), to add a sci-fi edge and strange ethereal quality to the city. This was beefed up with material from other sources in my library, ending up with a blend of about 50% “literal” modern city sounds, and about 50% sci-fi-leaning elements, which ended up feeling like a good balance. Friend and fellow sound editor Diana Cha provided the Korean advertising voice over.

There’s lots of interviews online with Mark Mangini about the sound design in Blade Runner 2049, which was great reference in a pinch when it came to the hover car cue. Blade Runner 2049 used a bullroarer as the basis for the spinners, and I was able to achieve a “similar yet different” result by using a didgeridoo sample, processed to add a doppler, and then run through Waves OneKnob Pumper to give it an engine-like pulse.

The video below is a compilation of some of the sound effects and backgrounds from the video, rearranged into a short “soundscape.” This video includes material from a deleted sequence involving a computer interface reminiscent of the original Blade Runner, and even a bit of a jump scare. Oh well, not everything makes the final cut!

I was also an extra on-set during the shoot, and make a brief, less-than-one-second cameo as the dude occluding giant hologram Lil Nas X’s crotch.