Posts Tagged ‘design’

So its been a while since my last post, but there is a reason. I’m working on something big… real big… hopefully it will be up by the end of the year. But for now, some sound design info/mini tut.

Sound design is quite simple when you think about it, in a lot of ways its just recording the sound you’re looking for, then cleaning up the recording and using it, but sometimes you can’t find what you’re looking for… like when you need the sound of a dragon, or a giant vegetable monster (encountered both of these in the same project… lolwut) so what do you do? The answer is much simpler than you think.

‘When you don’t have creatures, be the creature…’ – Geoff Garnett (Wabi Sabi Sound – Dead Space 2, Dante’s Inferno, Left 4 Dead 2)

So start by setting up a mic for yourself, press record, and just go nuts. Make the most messed up creature sounds you can, but whatever you do, don’t hold back, you have to really go over the top. (If you’re too embarrassed, find a shameless friend.)

Now when you listen back you’ll probably think ‘omfg… am I retarded?’ and this is ok. Now, the optimum plug-ins for mixing are Pitch Shifter (for a lower monster sound), and possibly some light distortion (if you want a higher monster sound,) the obviously EQ, Compression, Noise Gate, the standards.

Low monsters: Pitch shift down as low as you dare, create a new track, C&P the recording onto the second track (preferably just slightly offset, like Beatles style double tracking) and put this one at a slightly different pitch (I like 3 semitones higher), you may do this as many times as you like, however once you start getting too high in pitch it won’t work as well. But feel free to add as many tracks as you like, even add in some different samples, this can make your monster sound really intense (but be careful not to make it just sound like 2 monsters), apply some EQ, probably to cut out a little of the bass you’ve most likely created that is now dominating your speaker system, compress to make the monster really loud and in your face, and noise gate out any of the noise floor if you need.

High monsters: This process is very similar to the first, only instead of pitch shifting down, you might pitch shift up a little, or maybe still down, just a lot less. Apply some light overdrive distortion to get your monster sounding less human and more screwed up. There are other plugins you can experiment with, like the harmonic exciter (this can give some wild monster sounds.) But the biggest thing is finding a good pitch, and (if needed) some light distortion if the monster still sounds like someone going (arahfarahrahrara!!!!)

That is my short tutorial on monster sounds,

Thanks for reading.

My audio and sound obsessed uncle arrived today. We started chatting pretty quickly and he told me about his current projects for building speaker cabinets and different combinations of drivers, tweeters and horns. He talked about woofer horns and how they throw the sound better. He also showed me some models of some old JBL speakers hes trying to build/model and gave me a very large collection of info on a lot of audio topics, in particular speaker designs. Will keep you updated on what it says when I start reading!

So I discovered the world of sound a couple of years ago when I took Audio Design as a class in grade 11 and 12, I’m now a first year music technology student at university, and I plan to use this blog to just keep a diary of what I’ve learned.

I have embarked on a few small projects so far, including recording and electronic music projects for personal and school purposes, building an analogue synth using a kit from, wiring up a pair of speakers from JayCar, regularly live mixing a local cover band and occasionally mixing live pop choir concerts.

I have learnt a lot in the little experience I have, and I’m sure that knowledge will come out in future posts but it would be pointless to try and list it all at once, especially since who knows how much of it would even be useful, but this blog isn’t about what I know, I plan to develop it into a diary of experiences for myself to review at later times, to keep me from forgetting and to share with people my mistakes and experiences so they may be able to avoid making as many themselves.

Until next post!

An audiophile