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Sound and Space / / Create a Room



A man returns to his apartment after a long night of drinking. The intoxicated man opens the door to the apartment, fumbling with his keys. He trips over a table and sends his dishes to the floor. After trying to put a bottle back on the table, he walks to get more dishes from his cabinet. Walking from the cabinet to the window, he dropped a dish and let out a small yelp. Once he opened the window, he walked to the stove and began cooking for himself. As he was cooking, he poured himself another drink.

When I began this project, I was worried about learning Adobe Audition. I had some practice with Abelton and arrangement with sound, but usually in a more musical context. As a distraction, I went diving through menus of sounds and noticed a lot of the samples with vocal introductions. As a beginning to learning the program, I edited the vocals of the sound designer’s voices to sound more like yelps and exclamations. I learned that if the vocal cuts were the loudest sound in the mix, the illusion of the drunk stumbling man felt more like the listener was the man. The final kitchen scene in the piece was the easiest for me to create because the gas stove and liquid in a glass samples weren’t as ambiguous as the some of the other moves and hits. Slowly, I became more acquainted with the program. I had a lot of fun layering the moving sounds and foot step sounds. I realized that even if the individual sounds had the right tones, their spacing and timing was really important to not sound rushed or unnatural.

I’ve been experimenting with samples and their manipulation in more musical applications for a while now. This program and approach to creating a sonic illusion was very different than my previous works. Small details became essential to preserving the illusion, like adding small fades at the end of samples to avoid distracting clicks. Additionally, this project is helping me think about samples and their associated frequencies. There’s a finite space to be filled in any mix of sound. In this project, it was important to make that balance of low, mid and high frequencies sound as natural and realistic as possible to preserve the illusion.

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