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Wednesday
Mar022011

Melting Snow

Recently I came home late at night and as I was walking up to the front door I heard this great sound of trickling water.  Toronto has had an unusual amount of snow this winter and on this particular day the temperature had shot up and the snow had been melting all day.  The problem is that until the snow covering the sewer grates melts there is no where for all the rest of the melt water to go, but once the grates melt through the water falls into the sewers like a mini waterfall - and that was the sound I heard that perked my attention.  I quickly (and silently as my lady was already fast asleep inside) grabbed my field rig and started recording the water.

Sewer Snow Melt by azimuthaudio

The great thing about 2am is that traffic is minimal so I was able to get a pretty clean recording.  What surprised me most was the lack of natural reverb down in the darkness of the sewer, I was expecting a whole lot of slap back but there was basically none.  So I loaded the recording up in my DAW and threw on some verb to get that water dripping in a cave vibe going.  

Sewer Snow Melt Verrb Added by azimuthaudio

That is more what I was expecting to begin with.  Since I had the reverb plugin on the track already I thought I would play around with crazy impulse responses to see what I could get out of the sound.  Recently I worked on a episode of an animated series where the "camera" went into the walls of the house and through the plumbing pipes and I had a real hard time getting a good wet pipe interior sound as the camera tracked through the various pipes - this could have come in real handy had I had it at the time.  Some nice gurgles metal ring going on here:

Sewer Impulse Metal Pipe by azimuthaudio

Finally I came across this with a bizarre impulse I stumbled across.  It kind of turns the babbling water into an alien jungle AMB.  It still needs some tweaking but it could be the start of something for all the Avatar copycat movies that are sure to come out in the coming years.

Sewer Impulse Alien Jungle by azimuthaudio

Friday
Feb182011

Review of "Ultimate Mud" SFX Library from The Recordist

At first blush you might think there is not an overwhelming call for mud SFX is the cannon of film and television. The best memory I have of mud in films of the top of my head is the mud slide scene in "Romancing the Stone" ending with Michael Douglas landing into the mud pool face first between Kathleen Edwards legs (it seemed so edgy in 1984).   But this collection is more about possibilities then then its name implies.  

The sounds of splats and squishes available through Sound Ideas are both over-used and tired at this point, but Ultimate Mud will reinvigorate you library with more spats, squirts and squishes then you will know what to do with.  I recently used this library to cut an animated scene of characters having a wet sponge fight.  Although the scene had no mud at all in it, I used the mud splats for all the impacts of the sponges smacking into characters faces and backs and it worked amazingly well.  The director had zero notes when the scene was screened.  This collection also features a bunch of "mud suction" sounds that have been very helpful.  I had to cut a clogged pipe sequence and without this collection I would have been in trouble.  I also used "mud pours" to fill out the sound of a man vomiting on a sidewalk.  Very gross but also very effective.

One of my favourite things about this collection is the metadata included in the files.  Simply drag the files into Soundminer and the metadata all appears and it is well thought out.  With 464 different SFX of mud I can see how it would have been difficult to describe the different FX in ways that clearly define individual sounds.  This problem is overcome with great words like "goopy", "gloppy", "spooge", "splatty" and "wet poof".  Once you dig into the sounds the difference between "splatty" and "squishy" is obvious and the library becomes easy to navigate.

This library goes for $50 US, and for that price is well worth the money, again just to add the fresh "splats" to your library, but there is a lot more worth using as well.  4 Stars!

The Recordist Ultimate Mud HD Pro • Files: 464 • Zip File Size: 638.8MB • Price: $50.00 US

 

 

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