Give Sound Some Love

Daniel Cook - June 22, 2015

For a while, I have been intrigued by the idea of using natural and/or foley sound to build a musical score. Working on the Defiant Whisky piece, I spent many hours attempting this. For the bar scene, I sampled things like glasses clanking, chairs sliding and other actions appearing in the scene. I had this one virtual instrument I built called “musical chairs,” where I sampled the squeaking sound of a wooden chair being moved across a wooden floor, then mapped that sample across a midi keyboard so it could be used to play a melody. I did the same with the truck scene, using tires squealing, engines rattling and horns honking. The result was pretty cool, but a little too weird for the video.

I’ve tried this for a couple of other scores as well, but nothing’s really stuck yet. In other words, I’m still in the try-fail-repeat phase. But I thought I’d share some of what I was using for inspiration.

This guy Diego Stocco is doing some amazing stuff with sound. Here’s a tune he made using a bonsai tree.

And here’s one he made using sounds recorded at a dry cleaner.

Audio is a huge part of what we do in video production. It’s half the medium, actually. Yet it usually doesn’t get the love it needs. Let’s change that!