I wanted to remake my soundscape task for several reasons: I didn’t dedicate as much time to the original piece as I would have liked; I was quite disappointed with how it had turned out and had definite ideas of how I’d like to improve it; I have recently learnt more about using audio effects; but most of all I really enjoy making my own foley so knew it would be lots of fun.
Before I started I went on Amazon and invested in a few props. A plastic watering can, a jaw harp, a small metal slinky and a metal ruler.
The first sound I worked on was the rain. I needed a good clear sound to replace the shower sound, with it’s added water pressure noise, that made my whole piece sound like a poor quality recording contaminated with background noise. I used the watering can to sprinkle water onto the side of a plastic bucket. After several attempts I managed to get the can to the right height to produce the correct sound, but it was only right for about 10 seconds so I looped the track and added a little reverb to make it more natural sounding.
I wanted to introduce a little thunder to the beginning of the sequence. My friend suggested dragging a wheelie bin for a short distance as she often mistakes that sound for thunder. I tried this out but sadly the recorded noise was quite different to the one my ears picked up. If I had booked out the boom along with the H5 I think I may have captured a more accurate sound, so will definitely remember to book that out for next time.
I researched how to make a thunder tube and set about making my own with the materials below.
Unfortunately the only spring I had was too wide to produce the correct sound but it made an amazing space invaders/light saber sound which I have added to my sound bank for a future project.
Back to the drawing board I thought I’d try out the marbles rolling in a wooden box technique. Minus any marbles or a wooden box I resorted to some chunky beads in a shoe box. I slowed the sound down to half it’s normal speed and cut it to just a few seconds. This seemed to work well and I was pleased with the final sound but felt the rain and thunder should maybe not play all the way through the track. I wanted to emphasise the children’s boredom so recorded a clock ticking which would come in as the rain faded out.
Some of the original sound effects I had used were good but just not loud enough to have the impact I intended. I turned up the audio gain on both the bouncing ball sound and on the BUMP noise. I also removed me saying the word BUMP so the noise stood out more and almost ‘spoke for itself’.
Now to introduce the more comic/Looney Tunes sounds I had been inspired by on researching my first attempt. These noises seemed to have more of an affinity with The Cat so I chose to introduce them as he stepped in on the mat. After about half an hour practicing with the harp jaw I managed to produce quite a good BOING noise so recorded this along with a BOING from twanging the metal ruler on the side of the table. I placed both noises over one another and really like their combined sound. I slightly tweaked the TA-DA noise to make it a bit more mechanical sounding and then looked at the music I used to end my original recording. I was happy with the original closing music as it seemed to match well with my other sounds but it came in abruptly and ended too quickly, in order to keep to the one minute time limit. To get around this I introduced the music a lot sooner with a gradual fade and then faded it back out over a few seconds.
I replayed my soundscape to my class on Friday and this time no one had a single criticism. In fact, everyone really seemed to like it. They may have just been being nice but it really made me feel like the extra time I invested in the piece was well worth it and I would love to go on to record the full story with more handmade sound effects.
fartfx3 (2009a) CRASH! BANG! BOOM! The wild sounds of Treg brown part1. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqaeds-wO4A (Accessed: 8 November 2016).
fartfx3 (2009b) CRASH! BANG! BOOM! The wild sounds of Treg brown part2. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6IeTsHfcvU (Accessed: 12 November 2016).
Greg Wilson Honrado (2012) How to make a thunder or lightning sound. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGEMKa2mK5A (Accessed: 25 November 2016).
Hermann Huber (2014) Best of coyote and roadrunner (2) – cartoon (english). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd_41tM6H2Y (Accessed: 25 November 2016).
Peter Brown (2015) Making a thunder tube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd3LQ7kYvWA (Accessed: 25 November 2016).
Smith, J.P. (2016) DIY sound effects | make: Available at: http://makezine.com/projects/diy-sound-effects/ (Accessed: 25 November 2016).