Sound Design Unit: Recording Location Sounds

I decided to begin with recording souds for my sound design artefact using things I could find around my home and in my garden. I used a H5 Zoom recorder with a directional microphone to record the sounds.

I first started to record the sound of a creaking gate and realised I should play the clip as I do it in order for the sound to match the action. It took me a few attempts to get the sound I was looking for, and I also used this technique to record the sound of a gate hitting the fence and fence impact sounds.

I also found a padlock on the shed that I used to recreate the sound of a gate knocker hitting the fence.

I then moved on to creating the sound of the garden gnome turning it’s head by using bricks and plant pots and dragging them against eachother and the concrete block.

I learned a lot about sound direction here as this required me to move a prop in different directions to create the sound, which meant I had to follow the sound as it was being done so the sound could be consistent in volume and distance.

The sounds I created in the garden worked really well within the artefact and I had well selected my props. The only issue with doing this outside was that i was not able to isolate my sounds and get crisp and clean sounds of objects due to many factors in the enviroment such as neighbours and traffic. However, I think regardless of this it still worked as the sounds were from a scene that is outside so it was best to record them in their natural enviroments.

For sounds that I wanted to isolate and record without any external noises, I created a sound booth in my bedroom. I used a seat coverfor the sides of the booth and a thick woolen blanket in order to absorb the sounds and vibrations.

This worked really well for recording the sounds of tools and objects for the factory and house scenes as I was then able to use these clean sounds with room tone and ambience in order to place them convincingly in the scene.

Overall, recording location sounds was a fun and creative challenge that involved a lot of innovative thinking and persistence to get the sounds I wanted for my artefact. I was able to successfully carry out sound recording in different locations, outside and in a studio-like enviroment and I understood how these sounds would vary in tone and quality.

However should I do this again I would say I would like to carry out studio recordings in a proper studio that can facilitate the recording of larger objects as I was slightly restricted for space and could only record smaller objects.

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