Creaky Doors and Flapping Wings

Creaky Door

Hello there, lovers of audio and reading

Every week we will be sharing a little audio news about what goes on behind the scenes of the audio department at Antagonist. Dan, head of audio stuff, splits his time between his studio where he writes and mixes music, the office where he sits to edit and develop the design of the audio, and various locations around and about where he records environment sounds, wildlife, ambience, etc.

This week’s audio news, recording a creaky door and flapping bird’s wings:

Howdy. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote an audio blog as I have been very busy making sound effects for the official Through the Woods demo. So this past week has seen me singing creepy Norwegian lullabies, scraping guitar strings with bits of wood, recording twig snaps and leaves blowing in the wind and such. I also spent an evening with our programmer, Torstein, at my studio, adding all the new sounds to the game and finally getting to add 3D sounds and mix everything properly.

But some of the most fun recordings I made were of a super creaky door at my house and simulating birds flying away from the player character when disturbed.

When we moved in to our current house, my girlfriend and I lived a long time with creaky doors. She eventually got tired of my laziness and used some kind of cooking oil to stop them groaning so sadly, but, thankfully, one of them still sings its dirty, rusty song.

The sound of the door in the game is directional which means the audio should end up as a mono file, which you can very happily record with a single microphone. But after a little listening I found the top and bottom hinges made very different sounds. The top hinge had a squeaky scream and the bottom hinge had a lot of bassy groan towards the end of the door swing. I got my Neumann U87 and his faithful sidekick, an Audio Technica AT4040, aimed the Neumann at the top hinge and the AT4040 at the bottom hinge and stood there closing and opening the door at different speeds. The results were pretty great. I will upload a couple of the creaks to SoundCloud if you are interested in listening.

Creaky Door

Next was the sound of a bird flying away. I actually have a ‘bird cloth’ I use for birds coming in to land. It’s a shiny, lint-free cloth but sounds quite ‘birdy’ because of a dry, scratchy label that sticks out of the side. But for a bird taking off, this cloth doesn’t sound quite right. So for this I have a pair of leather gloves. If you hold them both by the wrist bands in one hand, letting the gloves hang down, and shake your arm up and down it sounds rarher like a bird flapping. You can also twist your arm from side to side, or hold one glove in each of your hands and flap them around.

So I watched a coule of videos of crows and ravens taking off to get the timing right, added some quiet ‘bird leaping from branches’ sounds and perhaps a squawk and there you go.

If you want to check them out, you can visit my Trackwriters SoundCloud page.

Ok, that’s it from me for this week. As always, any questions can be mailed to dan@antagonist.no or you can leave a comment below.

Check back here next week for some more audio news. Until then, have a great week!

Dan.

www.trackwriters.com

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