Jack Menhorn

Sound Designer

Jack Menhorn is Sound Designer for video games. Also Editor in Chief at DesigningSound.org and a panelist on Game Audio Hour

Unexpected Recording Subjects Are The Best

This past week when Doomicane Sandy was heading up the Eastern coast, I took the opportunity to go to a local park here in the middle of North Carolina to try to record some cool wind and tree creaks.

While I debatably got some decent wind sounds I wasn't able to grab the creaking sounds I wanted. But I was able to get some wood creaks I didn't know I needed.

Bike ramp?

Bike ramp?

I had decided to walk along the bike trail rather than the pedestrian trail to minimize encountering anyone while recording.  About halfway through the bike trail I came across this wooden ramp-thingy off to the side.

I thought to myself: "Hey, this will probably get some good hollow wooden footsteps". So with my blimp-encased NTG-3 in hand, I walked up the ramp only to discover it wasn't fixed in place!

The structure had more in common with a see-saw than a ramp, balanced right in the middle with a fulcrum. So as I would walk back and forth along the planks the whole ramp would rock back and forth and make some fantastic creaking sounds!

Standing in the middle, above the fulcrum I shifted my weight back and forth and was able to get some pretty cool creaks and slams out of this unexpected treasure. Fortunately the wind was fairly calm while recording the ramp, (much to my dismay for the intended purpose of my trip!) Funnily enough; the day after I recorded this I had a time-sensitive project pop up with a specific need for such wooden, creaking slam sounds!

While I wasn't able to get very much in the way of wind and tree creaks, I sure as hell got something better.

Downloading the track above for free allows you to use it royalty free in any capacity commercial or otherwise as long as you do not sell the file as a SFX library sound. This sound will also be available on Freesound.org once it has been through the approval process.

Standing on the ramp in my fly kicks.

Standing on the ramp in my fly kicks.