1

I work about 5 mins away from Griffith Park, but the guttural rumble from the bowels of the Interstate 5 prevent me from recording such lush greenery being trampled.

What would be a good substitute for someone who needs to record foley in grass who is deserted on a desert island with no such availability of the stuff?

Cheerleader pom-poms? A pinata? Astroturf? Grass skirts?

5

Disclaimer: its been a while...

Grass itself does not really make a strong sound unless it's dried up grass. So unless you have close ups of feet walking in grass spend less time to recreate the grassy part of the sound. The green grass sound is mostly about a good NON resonant soil sound, with a little grassiness on top. Old school was using old quarter inch tape, the scrappier the better (if it's to new it will crackle to much). Place a thin rug or towel over it in the dirt/soil pit and go from there. Quarter inch tape can be replaced with other materials, paper based stuff has a very limited lifespan. Plastic can easily sound to plastic. IMHO less is more in terms of green grass rustle. But then the less there is, the more it will stand out when it's there. Careful editing and de-essing can also help to get the sound feel right.

  • Update: just spoke to our foley artist, less quarter inch and more hay and fake grass that you might use on a balcony. Otherwise he seems to agree with what I wrote previously. – ErikG Feb 8 '12 at 8:42
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I had to foley grass for a feature a couple months ago. What I used was the film inside of an old VHS tape piled up. It might sound good for dry grass too.

2

On a grass heavy project we did recently, we actually bought a couple rolls of sod and rolled them out in the foley room. Messy...but it sounded great. Nothing beats the real thing.

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I have recently worked on an animation where grass footsteps were needed.I've recorded one of the plants i have while i squashed and squeezed its branches and leafs at different speeds and amplitudes. with a bit of editing i got pretty good results.

1

I took a pile of grass from the garden (or in your case park) and used it accordingly - though some of the less literal suggestions would work great as listed above.

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I recorded some grass footsteps recently for a game I'm working on. What ended up working well was a mixture of dried pine needles (totally random - was recording outside and there were a LOT laying around from throwing out an old christmas tree) as well as some real grass. Ended up sounding great.

  • FWIW, short grass didn't sound like anything, the grass where we recorded was pretty long and over grown. – mrgrimm Apr 20 '12 at 14:42
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A door mat (those brown ones with the thick brush like texture), with a smattering of quarter inch tape on.

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On The Hunger Games, they went outside with and iPad

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I see tape has already been mentioned. Even old cassette tape can do a passable job,though not as good as wider 1/4" tape. Another thing to try is to actually record on real grass, but use your hand on the grass rubbing in different ways and lengths to generate different or "non identical" footsteps. Get the mic in close to the ground so you avoid introducing other background noises.

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