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This is my first sound design. I did a short clip from Lord of the Rings. I'm trying to get a decent monster sound. Comments and advice would be great. Thanks.

http://www.vimeo.com/17062502

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You covered what you can see, walking and the grunt of the "monster". First and last grunt are synced but the middle one is missing from what I see. The clips sound very compressed with low bit rates are they mp3s? Because of this I think the walking sounds more like fire than footsteps.

For a first effort its good I would advise recording in higher bit rates and adding some environmental reverb for the walking.

  • The background noise is a rain recording pitched way down. The monster grunt is a recording of my dog growling. I recorded at 24bit 96k but pitched it like 15 semitones down. Thanks for the advice. – ShaunKelly Nov 22 '10 at 3:48
  • @Shaun I see, its very distorted maybe try and record yourself stomping/dropping logs etc and overlay it a few times. :) – Adrian Millington Nov 22 '10 at 9:13
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Try syncing a few sounds to the orcs passing behind your main subject. If 2 orcs pass across camera and clank their axes together - try putting that in at a lower volume than your subjects growl. It may bring some pieces of the picture together with sound.

Use a different crowd background. Stampedes work well but only if things are moving fast. Like a horde of alien creatures running full speed at or across camera.

Check my Darksiders trailer during the beginning on the portfolio page for an example: www.c3sound.com

Try using Walter Murch's rule of 3 - If there is more than 2 people on the screen, sync is not necessary with footsteps. Try throwing some armor gack in with some thumpish footsteps for 3 orcs and you might possibly have almost filled the atmosphere without having to resort to fire as the main layer. Try keeping the fire in, however way way in the background - it might fill in the gaps with a nice background noise... but use a different fire than you are using, and cut the high end out with a filter.

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Sound Design is a wonderful thing! I think you did a great job.

I agree with what C3Sound and Ade told you. I will simply add one thing. It's not always about what on the screen. Sometimes, it might be beneficial to come up with other sounds that will help you "paint the picture". You need to create the scene, and put all the characters in a place. Add an ambient track of some sort... perhaps something spooky, like a heavy drone.

This will achieve so much to the overall feel and experience of your movie.

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