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Hi,

New here and need some suggestions.

I'm beginning work on an audio production in which the main character has been shrunken down to a centimeter or two in his house. What kind of room tone could I use here? The idea would be much like in Honey I Shrunk The kids in that the rug and things that sit on the floor create a new dangerous environment or obstacles at least.

Would normal room tone suffice? The character will be climbing up a very leafy houseplant so the majority of the scenes would have the character in sort of a jungle type environment. Only problem is, I can't use actual forest sounds fx ambience tones because those usually incorporate birds and animals to help set that ambience. Need some suggestions or ideas please!

Tom

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5 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Welcome! It might be cool to pitch your tones down a little bit (not too far though) and heighten the subtle air/wind textures inside the room rather than just roomtone - Since for being physically smaller, the 'moving air' in the room is larger in proportion to regular size.

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@Stavrosound Yeah, in thinking about it - smaller eardrum + larger moving pressures in relation to the size = lower tones and bad high-frequency reproduction.... right? Friggin cool question! –  C3Sound Jun 3 '12 at 1:05
    
Thanks for the idea! I appreciate it! I'll give it ago and see what the director thinks! Thanks again! –  TomStitzer Jun 3 '12 at 2:25
    
Am I supposed to tap that check mark to the left? I assume that's what you do when you get a good answer? –  TomStitzer Jun 3 '12 at 2:27
    
@TomStitzer The checkmark is for the 'accepted' answer - the one that you think is the best, or the one that you end up using. If an answer is good, upvote it. If it's good AND the one you go with, then upvote it and check that mark. –  Joseph Harvey Jun 4 '12 at 4:40
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I would definitely make the impact movements ultra realistic. Everything needs to sound huge! Lots of layers and good use of reverb.. Definitely use pitch effectively too like mentioned above. Good luck

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I would agree and think all sounds should definitely go bigger and lower as well. An air conditioner unit to us normal sized folks would probably seem like a huge wind turbine to mini people. I think the pitching is certainly a great way to start, but also look at mixing in and manipulating other "relative" sounds, like a pitched down jet engine or windmill or the like.

Although I don't know how much I'd focus on the room tone as much as some other sound elements that would probably convey the miniaturization much better to an audience. Particularly if music will be involved.

Also think about the movement of the plant leaves, which wouldn't sound like a typical plant rustle, but probably a huge canvas sheet or some heavier material. And the waxy surface of the plant leaves might even be have a heavy plasticy feel at that scale.

Keep us posted on the final design!

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Hm, interesting question! I'd probably keep roomtone and amb pretty much like normal, possibly with a little sweetening on something heavier for the mere feeling, but really put all power on the other sounds. Logically,everything we'd hear would be extremely trebely and thin, not like in pitched, but like in a really terrible EQ:ing. I for one would hate to see a movie like that though, seriously painful to the ears, so I'd go not for a feeling of being small, but a feeling of everything else is absolutely ridiculously large.

Hard to say how exactly I'd approach it. It's not uncommon for the expected way to show to be not working as well as one'd had though at first when actually doing it, but right now I think my choice would be to replace EVERYTHING with new sounds reminding of the original, but really being composites having absolutely nothing in common with what it's supposed to sound like. I don't really like pitchshifting the original for these kind of things, it tends to sound cheap and unconvincing, I would rather design the sounds to mimic something completely different though related. Dropping a pen? Mimic dropping a Redwood-log. Eating an apple? Mimic taking a huge bite out of Earth had it also contained gristle.

This is a job in which you'll actually have a tremendous freedom to do that you wanna do!

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If you were shrunk that small I reckon draughts and air currents would be very noticeable, maybe even a problem.

Perhaps you could make subtle use of wind sounds to create a sense of the vastness of the surroundings relative to the size of the character.

e2A: Stavrosound got there first with that suggestion!

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