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I can't seem to find a recording of a bird (a crow in particular) flapping its wings as it flies away in to the distance. I imagine it would be a hard sound to capture. How can I make this sound? Is there a way to make it using a synth? I heard that's how you can make large 'dragon-like' wing sounds.

OR

Is there a material I can use and perform the wing flaps as foley? Such as paper?

(I may have just answered my own question. Ha!)

1

Foley, is the way to go here. I've caught wing flaps (of crows actually), but the ambient sound was too great for them to be a focal point of the mix.

Try flapping a pair of gloves (leather, fleece, whatever best matches mood/picture). I've also heard of successes performing wing flaps with a feather duster. I'd think paper is too crinkly, although a pillow case might be effective and easy to manipulate. I've even used a loosely-held tissue in front of a large diaphragm mic and pulled it tight to get a flappy, low-end thwump for a sweetener.

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Foley indeed, but adding a few real pigeon/crow wings flapping away in there works quite well too, it adds that quick whooshy air sound between the flaps. The thing to do would be quite obvious : If you're in a city, find a not too exposed park on a sunday morning (quiet background), bring some bread, feed the birds. And then run in the middle with your microphone in hand. It's stupidly fun.

  • That makes a ton of sense actually. But is that useful for a single bird? – Steve Urban Mar 23 '14 at 2:39
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Gloves, soft cover books (not pocket size) and umbrella work pretty well.

Umbrella is good for bigger single flaps and if you edit umbrella recording a bit you can create wingflap loops of bigger birds like eagle and such. Also a classic approach for bats and dragons.

Try some bigger soft cover books. For example the sound design book of Ric Viers works pretty well :) These are imo good for a sound of swarm of birds. Somewhat harsher tone than gloves.

2

Great ideas so far. Have a pair of real wings but also a real feather duster is great as well as leather or suede gloves (soft leather) I also use these for dog ears flapping. If the wings are really big, I take a thin shirt, put it on and pull it out with the mic underneath it and with the feather duster beat it against the shirt. works well.

Good luck

0

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