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Hi,

What are your favourite techniques for creating insect type monster/creature sounds? I mean like larger than life, big chittering monstrosity type things. I think this is one of the areas I consistently find challenging to come up with good original sounds, especially around the low/mid frequency range.

I have had some success with various things... xoxos has a good plug-in (http://www.xoxos.net/vst/nature/birdsandinsects.html) which can add some nice high frequency elements, and I've found polishing glass with a paper towel gives some good squeaky type sounds, but I would love to hear your ideas!

  • this xoxos plug looks interesting but there's no download link on the page. has it been abondoned? and is it available for osx? – Arnoud Traa Aug 7 '13 at 10:31
  • It's in this pack of VSTs, not sure about OSX though... xoxos.net/vst/nature.zip – lolamadeus Aug 9 '13 at 14:16
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I've found that most of the best sound designers for film and games start with real animals and insect vocals and layer and manipulate from there. Just to let you guys know, I have a HUGE collection of unusual creature vocs that have been used on many many well known games and movies. And since they can be used in so many different combinations and ways of processing everyone's monsters sound different. I'm happy to put a package together to fit your particular needs and budget. (It does not have to be a big budget project!) Love to help.

annk@soundmountain.com

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I thought Dave Whiteheads work on D9 was excellent, especially scenes where the only dialog was from the non-humans... worth a re-read:

http://designingsound.org/2009/11/exclusive-interview-with-dave-whitehead-sound-designer-of-district-9/

  • Loved that and I love that he had to "farm" more flies. Pretty amazing. His weapon sounds in that are some of my favorites. – Dave Aug 7 '13 at 15:18
  • I'm not sure my partner would appreciate a fly farm in the garden! That definitely was a good read though, impressive work on the alien 'language'. – lolamadeus Aug 9 '13 at 14:17
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If you realy want a monster use horse and other animals:

Pitch them down, use granular stuff on them, vocode them with other animal sounds.

Remove bottom end a bit if it gets to bass heavy on extream pitch shifts. at the end you cna alos use eq-notch sweeps or formant filters to give some more definition.

That could help if you want to make them growl.

if yo uwant fly sounds you can use all sort of source soudns and apply filter and amp lfos to make them rhythmic

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I agree, I find those sorts of sounds challenging too. I've had some success with close micing my hands running over a few days worth of stubble on my chin. Gives a kind of creeping tentacle like sound. I read about that somewhere. Of course you have to watch your breathing.

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I always liked the hipass tapping on desk, and i love making some weird insect like sounds with my mouth and pitching them up and stretching. I usually will try things like tongue clicking, fluttering, or (sorry to be gross) getting some liquidy noises.

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I've used a number of techniques to design a lot of huge insect like sounds on a project.

Screeches and screams work nicely for insects. Gapper Snippers and Ampitude Modulation are good go to techniques to get that chittery sound.

Try to think how an insect when it feels a certain way would sound with it's chittering. What would it's base sound contain.

Layering in your own mouth sounds and voice is very rewarding.

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