Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Surf's Up

All those years ago when I was training to be a Studio Manager I remember someone - probably Paul Hedges - saying how useful white noise could be for creating sound effects: waterfalls, seawash, jet engines and generally whooshy stuff like that.

I filed that piece of information away but never had the need to try it out. But now some of my students are working on an assignment where they'll need a sea wash sound effect, and this seemed like a great chance to have a go. Of course I'd need to work out how to do this before letting them loose. Here's what I did, using Adobe Audition v3.0

1: Start in the Edit view. Make a new stereo file, set sampling rate to 48kHz, channels to Stereo and bit depth to 16

2: In the Generate menu select “Noise”

Set Color to "White", Style to "Independent Channels", Intensity to around 30 and Duration to 20 seconds

3: Switch to the Spectral View and using the marquee tool select everything above 17kHz.

Press “Delete” on the keyboard to remove these high frequency sounds. This will just take away some of the fizziness.

4: Return to the waveform display and go to the effects menu. Choose Stereo Imagery and then Doppler Shifter

5: In the presets choose Large Track. Set the radius to 250 and click OK. You've just made your first wave. These can be strung together to create the sound of the sea licking up on the shore as you enjoy a celebratory beverage.

And here's the sort of thing you'll end up with. It's not the finished article, but isn't a bad place for the students to start from and tweak a bit.


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