Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Creaky Wooden Floor

audio cookbook a site that aims to post one "interesting" sound file every day has posted a recording of a creaky wooden floor that has been pitched down 2 full octaves.

The results sound very cool; you can hear lots of the timbral and textural changes taking place within the sound and the whole thing sounds like some massive creaking construction as opposed to a small piece of flooring.

This technique of extreme pitch shifting to reveal the hidden intricacies of a sound can be very useful when designing original sound effects.
"To make this 4:15 minutes long recording I found a creaky spot on the wooden floors of my house, rocked back and forth in place and pointed a stereo mic at my feet. I remember doing this years ago, but thought I’d give it another go using a faster sampling rate and bit depth so the quality is not reduced as much when pitched down. Before making the recording I set the sampling rate and bit depth to 96kHz and 24 bit. I pitched it down two octaves and then normalized the results before rendering the final output.

I’ve suggested this technique on several occasions to students and sound designers to manufacture a realistic simulation of a creaking ship. It’s sounds as if I added reverb, but it’s just the natural sound of the room itself. I was not particularly careful about recording in a quiet environment. I heard a car go by outdoors at one point, but it’s not too noticeable after the down pitching."

creaky wooden floor sample

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