Pins & Needles
The soundscape is best experienced using earpiece/headphones 🙂
Inspired by Foley and how the mind works when asleep, Pins & Needles is a psychological soundscape that evokes a sense of anxiety through three kinds of common nightmares painted using sounds. A dreamscape of broken continuity, the soundscape is layered with sounds that stimulate nervousness, the ticking sound provides a built-up and countdown. Or perhaps the suggestion that it is all just a dream – The sound of a clock ticking. A specific sound is used to draw the listener back to reality at the end.
Concept wise when we first got the brief I had zero idea on what to make my soundscape about. I was thinking of doing a sonic portrait since it sounded pretty cool – Making one paint a picture of the person just based on sounds but at the same time I figured it would’ve challenging as the person you have in mind (if taken the personal approach of creating a sonic portrait of your loved one), the sounds would’ve been very personal, unique and only recognisable to you yourself. It could be solved actually if I were to do a sonic portrait of someone famous perhaps… but didn’t go ahead with that anyway.
Still clueless, I just played around with the SFXs available on GarageBand first and put together some free sounds downloaded from freesound.org . Boy, GarageBand offered some really great sound effects for use! Eventually I came up with something for consult and the idea of an anxiety-invoking dreamscape kind of worked out from there.
Especially after I came across this website that lists the types of common nightmares one tends to get and I got ideas: http://listverse.com/2012/10/31/top-10-nightmares-and-their-meanings/
Painting scenes of claustrophobia, being chased, and being followed, these were some I had in mind and kind of went ahead with them.
Feedback was to have more layers (foreground/midground/background), to have a focus in each ‘scene’, have more variations (ASMR, Left & Right sounds) as it sounded kinda flat and a bit soft initially.
RESEARCH: THE REFERENCES
For research, the artists and video links were really helpful in getting a sense of what soundscapes are about and how we could go about them. I was super fascinated by Foley in particular and while browsing more videos of it on YouTube I chanced upon this TED Talk about sound design and it was a really interesting watch on how sounds can be deceiving sometimes.
One of the Foley videos I chanced upon (below). Foley was the main reference/style used to get the sounds for this soundscape. There wasn’t any specific artist/film that I referenced for my soundscape in particular.
Even Disney films in the past used the Foley technique!
Plenty. Conceptualising was really hard. When we first got the brief I thought, yeah a soundscape would be easy, especially when it was just a minute long initially. I underestimated the difficulty of it. We just needed to come up with the idea and when the right sounds are produced, everything will just work out. I thought wrong. Especially when producing the sounds, there’s a lot of trial and error, a lot of exploration to get the right sounds needed for the soundscape. And also, to avoid producing sounds effects that when mixed together sound tonal (like there’s a tune to it).
For me my soundscape is made up of a variety – Self-produced sounds, sounds from online sources, and readily available sounds on GarageBand, the software I used for mixing the sounds to create the soundscapes some of the sounds I wanted to use were really hard to produce. Sounds that sound like a person’s drowning, some muffled noises, hollow sounds. Ambient noise wise, it was pretty easy to record, just leave the recorder on and alone for probably 10 minutes, it’s good enough to get some good background noises.
Overall this was a challenging but fun project. It made me more aware and appreciative of the sounds around me. I think my senses have heightened now haha.
Those used from online source freesound.org
- Run basement 07.wav by LG: https://www.freesound.org/people/LG/sounds/73107/
- heart beat increasing 116642.wav by klankbeeld and Wooding: https://www.freesound.org/people/klankbeeld/sounds/181805/
- Underwater02.wav by LG: https://www.freesound.org/people/LG/sounds/23831/
- Flickeringlight.aiff by scotchio: https://www.freesound.org/people/scotchio/sounds/143915/
- technology buzz.wav by frus: https://www.freesound.org/people/frus/sounds/172142/
- ship2_bergen.aif by milo: https://www.freesound.org/people/milo/sounds/23722/