Mary Kate and Nan’s sound project version 2

Mary Kate:

Bringing together elements and being able to create this horror-movie type sound piece demanded a very meticulous process. Using the tascam field recorders and microphones to record some of our sounds and learning about the different programs available for us to use to edit sounds, all the knowledge gained built up to producing this sound piece which I feel that Nan and I really did our best and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

The most difficult part I found was to ensure that all the sounds followed the particular story line, and that they merged and synthesised well with one another. It was also important to play with the amplitude of each particular sound to deliver the effects that we desired, but at the same time, ensure that all sounds could be heard clearly. I think that was the most challenging part, after having all the sounds in a particular sequence, now adjusting the tones and pace of each piece of sound in the larger piece. We had some difficulties with the ‘wind’ sound and tried to diversify it as best as we could. We had to introduce some ‘breathing’ sounds in order to make the character walking through the grass more real and to create a relationship with the listener as well. The breathing was pretty tricky because we had some heaving breathing that we had recorded previously and what we had to do was cut it shorter, extend the time for one breath but also adjust amplitudes at specific points in order to make it more natural. This was also the case for all the other sounds that we used in the sound piece and it was really a learning and perfectioning process, adjusting the sound, then listening with headphones on, then adjusting again and listening with the eyes closed to feel the effects.

I think playing with sounds requires a lot of time, and commitment, and I think people who create sound are really amazing because I believe they go through a much more thorough and meticulous process. It demands a lot of attention to produce the desired effect. But I am very happy with the first sound piece that I have ever created, I think this project gives me a good base and experience to now be able to create other sound pieces of my own. What I really liked during the presentation of the piece to the class was the feedback given, our sound piece was very abstract and was open to different interpretations. Another important note to take out from doing this project is to always listen to your sound piece through speakers as well as headphones to ensure that the effect is equally as great when played out loud in the room.



Now we get to playing with sounds!

At first, we just came about the idea of making sounds about a horrible story. Then we tried to imagine every sound we can think about, such as the wind sound, the owl sounds, the stepping sound, the gate, etc. And when we were thinking about sounds, the story was shaping. We made it two scenes, one is outside, the other is inside, and the character is seeking for someplace safe outside, and she saw a big house, and then she stepped into the house, which is still very terrifying.

Because it is better and more convenient to do with one laptop. So basically we worked together on class or after class together. Also, the difficulty to us is to make everything fits well. Sometimes the sound of wind is too loud, and the character’s sound is too low.  We need to adjust the volume of different sounds. We also spent more time on adjusting the “breath sounds”. And it took a bit time for us to figure out how to slow down or how to higher the pitch. Finally, we decide to make the story no ending, since horrible story always needs unknown thing to attract people’s interests.

The reflection is quite helper. As beginners, both of us didn’t aware of the importance of testing our project not only on headphones but also on speaker. Playing sounds is interesting and needs cooperation. I think I have learnt a lot from my own experience and also on others’ projects. Maddie’s group of creating a cool sound by combining two sounds.


Leave a Reply