Apr 04

Cars, rocks, debris and landslides and more just added!

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been out on many locations and away from the studio. For me this is a welcome break from what sometimes is an easy trap to fall into… making, designing and creating sound effects on the computer in the studio rather than being out in the real-world recording. Don’t get me wrong, I love both, but it has been a refreshing break to be outside, getting some vitamin D. The sessions have been highly productive with some fantastic new sounds, so here is a small list of just some of them…

Cars driving on various surfaces

These sounds came about by accident on a recording trip up to Mapleton Forest Reserve, and more specifically, Pt Glorious. This lookout, high up in the lush green hinterland is accessible via a long, winding dirt track that meanders through the forest. I was actually on my way up to the top to record some wind and birds, but I took the opportunity to record the car driving as there was nobody else around.

Using an AT825 into a Zoom H5, I first recorded some car drive-bys on the dirt and gravel track. Then I recorded several reversing up, away and also skids and wheel spins. I made sure I was respectful to the forest and didn’t cause any damage. But the session was a great start to the day.

Next up I tried to set my microphone up from the rear of the car, hanging out of the boot. Unfortunately it was much too bumpy, and too much vibration was getting through to the mic. I was ill prepared for this type of recording, so instead I drove with the doors open and the mic hanging out, close to the front and then back wheel. I recorded a few versions of the car moving, onboard but external. I also made sure to include versions that were with the engine on and off. These were recorded on both wet and dry tracks.

Recording wind in the trees on the Mapleton Forest Reserve

Now this is what I actually came to the forest for, and it was certainly worth the trip. Pt Glorious looks north-west from close to a town called Yandina all the way up to Noosa and across the national park. In the middle of summer I would expect this location to be buzzing with cicada and birds, but this being the start of autumn, it was much quieter. In fact it was a slight let down in that there wasn’t any real insect or bird noise. Nevertheless I managed to record some fantastic wind in trees, which can be found in our wind library.

Rocks, stones and landslides

On my way back down from the lookout, I passed a pile of rocks and stones that had been left by the side of the road. This was the perfect place to stop and record a few impacts, rock movements and also some source material for landslides.

Using my Sony PCM D100 portable recorder I recorded lots of different actions and movements including several versions of single, multiple and then loads of rocks and stones falling, dropping and sliding down the pile.

Back in the studio I was able to layer these up in Adobe Audition to create some long and short landslide sounds. These are great on their own, or can be layered again with some of our other rock and debris sounds to create even bigger, more damaging landslides.

About The Author

I'm the founder of zapsplat.com and professional sound designer. I provide free sound effects for games, TV, radio, filmmaking, podcasts, YouTube and more. You can download all my sounds free as mp3 and wav files here at ZapSplat.

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