Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SFX Session

Thinking in terms of sound effects, you tend to listen to the world a little more intently. I've noticed, over the last few months, just how noisy the world is. Even when I'm walking in the woods, the background hum of the town can still be heard, and birds and breeze and squirrels. Fine if that's what you need, but these and myriad other sounds can intrude on an otherwise perfectly good recording.

This morning I set out to capture some studio-based sounds. Now, my studio is a large room in the basement. It's packed with junk so there's practically no reverb. The ceiling and walls are insulated, and I can close windows to keep the bulk of the traffic sound at bay, but it's not sound-proofed by any means. I turn off my PC and record with my netbook and USB Preamp to ensure the least amount of noise on my recordings. But today I was hampered by several factors, including: the sound of heavy rain, the council trimming grass along the highway with weed-whackers, someone mowing their lawn nearby, a noisy crow outside my window, and, most annoying of all, the neighbours nailing siding to their woodworking shop. Having recorded the bulk of what I wanted today and turned my PC back on, the pounding of nails and the cawing crow seem to have vanished. Oh well, them's the breaks.

Back to what I was saying about listening. I require a particular sound for my first episode of Tales, and hadn't quite worked out how to achieve it. Then last night while making a salad, it hit me. Not the salad - but the sound. So this afternoon I could be found squeezing what remained of a head of romaine lettuce in front of my CAD GXL2200 microphone.

Other objects I had in the studio today include a four-foot length of 6" duct pipe, a cardboard postal tube with end-caps, and some wind-chimes. What possible use have all these things in a fantasy adventure set in a quasi-medieval world, you may ask? Well, you'll have to wait and see....

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