Mar 1, 2012


I've been into creating sound designs ever since college. Though I'd enrolled in support of studying film, I hadn't ever really considered audio to be its own entity until I took a class on the subject. Suddenly, film wasn't as interesting anymore. It became all about audio. From nothing you could create something. You could tell stories, establish a mood. Sure, you can do this with film, too, but sound is so much more accessible. So long as you have your heart in whatever you're doing, technical know-how goes out the window. All you need is an idea, patience, and the ability to spend hours trolling the internet for the perfect sounds to give life to this idea of yours. Because of this, Adobe Audition has become one of my favorite things, and the Internet has proven an infinite playground for finding the most perfect audio for whatever harebrained project I have in mind. I've assembled all kinds of soundscapes, ranging from projects I embarked on for shits and giggles, to more serious ideas.

This is my first real project. It's something I never intended on sharing, but rather was a "demo" of sorts I was putting together to see what I could accomplish with nothing more than all those things I mentioned earlier: an idea, patience, and late night hours. Credit must go to The Haunted Gallery, whose own work helped me to realize just what kind of projects I've always wanted to create.

First and foremost, all I really wanted to do was create a mood. My original premise was simple: someone goes out for a late night drive in some shitty, rainy, and thunderous weather. The hum of an engine, rain on the car hood, and maybe some relaxing music. That was it. I'm a night owl, caused by periodic insomnia, so I am always on the lookout for something to throw onto my iPod and let lull me into unconsciousness. Sounds of rain, or the ocean, or thunderstorms. Many folks rely on these soundscapes to sleep, and while I wouldn't say I depend on them, they certainly do help. So that's all I had set out to do: create a setting, establish a mood, and hopefully create something to fall asleep to before it ended.

But then a slight hint at a story began creeping in. Being a writer by nature, the need to tell this person's story became overwhelming. This featureless driver became defined - a man, middle aged, with sad, tired eyes. Where was he driving? What was the purpose? When was this taking place?

Suddenly he wasn't just driving leisurely anymore. He had a destination in mind. He had a reason for going where he was going. As I was working on this project, and strictly by happenstance, I stumbled upon an old Bing Crosby radio special that aired one Halloween night years ago. This completely random project fell into place: a man takes a night drive, sometime during the 1930s or 40s, and with the rain and the thunder happening on Halloween night, it would only be appropriate if he ended up at a haunted house.

He arrives, makes himself at home, and just when things begin to get creepy... stops. (Sorry.) The story got away from me, and what I had originally planned as a conclusion became too epic in scope, and was threatening to curtail my original intention: to establish mood using ambiance only. So yes, fair warning: this "story" of mine has no ending. Not that I run the risk of truly upsetting anyone, but I figured I'd warn you, anyway.

I plan on creating more soundscapes in the near future. I have a much more specific idea in mind of what I will be doing, and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you.

For now, here's this.

Full dark listening is recommended. And for the love of Jebus, use headphones.

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