Category Archives: Sound design

May update

I’ve been busy working on a new audio production project for an upcoming episode of the Drabblecast. I’m working on the narration, voice acting, sound design, and original music on a story that’s bound to gross-out most listeners.

Other than that, I’ve polished and submitted one short story, started a second one, and have resumed revisions on my other novel Casey Stripe: Discount Necromancer.

Sound design update: NMRIH Door project

For the zombie survival shooter No More Room In Hell, I’ve been working on creating new sound assets for the doors, hoping to match the game’s creepy atmosphere. To begin, I went through and screen-recorded footage of the various types of doors, gates, and barricades that needed sprucing up, so I had a better idea of what to record, and the approximate timing.


I brought my field recording kit out on a door safari, starting with some of the more interesting doorknobs and hinges in and around my home. While scouting around the neighborhood, I found an abandoned newspaper vending machine that looked promising. It wasn’t as squeaky as I had hoped, but I was able to get some good thumps and rattles, which proved useful for roll-up metal door sounds. Continue reading

Birthday Hydrophone and the Quest for the Shotgun Shell Grail


My folks got me a Cold Gold hydrophone for my birthday last weekend and I’ve been having fun playing with it over the past few days.

In this example, the first two recordings are in my bathtub, the last are from a metal soup pot in my kitchen sink. I now know that there is a slow leak in the drain of my tub.
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March update

My great job search continues. Current projects I’m juggling: implementing a rudimentary dynamic music system into Cube, another round of editing and revisions for my novel Further Complications, and putting together a more extensive sound reel using clips from Facewound, PVKII, and NMRIH. I just got a Cold Gold hydrophone and I’m excited to try it out. I’ve heard they make good contact mics even out of the water, so we’ll see.

FPS Sound Design Work In Progress (Cube)

Here is another work in progress video of my sound design and implementation of the open-source FPS Cube, using the Wwise sound engine.

Thanks to a code fix by Simon, I was able to get the projectile sound events working. I added the rocket explosions, fire, ice, and slimeball hits, and beefed up the monster voices. I have tweaked the voice limits and priorities, though I might need to play with attenuation distances and cones a bit more. I’m not quite happy with the quad damage effect. I thought I’d put some low and high pass filters to give the sense of focus, but I think it ended up taking away most of the oomph instead. It also makes it harder to notice the synth loop and stingers that happen when you attack during quad mode.

For my previous post, check here.

Cinematic Sound Design Demo Clip: Dark City

In this clip from the 1998 Alex Proyes film Dark City, I have completely replaced the soundtrack with original sound designs. I wanted to avoid using library sources so I started by recording as much as I could myself.

For the footsteps and foley, I built a small platform using wooden pallets and scrap lumber. The rope strain sounds came from a number of different types of ropes, combined with a wicker basket that I twisted and pulled apart. All of the vocal sounds started from my voice and I used the FL Studio vocoder to impart some different texture layers to the Strangers. Although I was able to record some actual sparks with the help of my father, most of the electrical elements at the end came from an experiment with a contact mic taped to a wooden dresser with a thin chain dragged over it. The brain creature was a combination of a squeaky keychain, synthesized elements, mouth noises, and a layer of cooked pasta for the extra squishiness.

Demo reel breakdown: weapons and armor

In this continuing series, I take a look at the sound designs from my Oblivion demo reel clip.

I wanted to create the bow and arrow sounds myself for this clip, but I wasn’t able to coordinate with my archer friend to record. I was going to have to create the sounds from scratch, as components.

The main bow-draw sounds came from some experiments with a slingshot and a thin wooden dowel. The friction of the arrow against the frame, combined with the stretch of the elastic bands got me in the right neighborhood for the draw sound. Unfortunately, disaster struck as I was experimenting with ways to record the arrow loosing part of the sound, and one of the bands snapped. Although I was able to get a few recordings of bow releases, they needed a serious amount of oomph.

I decided to record various types of strings and cords under tension to mix in on both the low and high ends of the sound spectrum. It was quite the arm and pec workout just stretching a cord in both hands, not to mention that I practically needed to pluck it with my teeth. Instead, I tied one end to my pullup bar and torqued the other with a gloved hand.

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