Soundscape: The Mirror Hall

Mirror Hall

In the Kingdom of Korvar, roughly 75% of the citizens live beneath the earth in order to seek shelter from the desert heat. In order to support agriculture and general health, enormous mirrors were built and set up in Mirror Halls which channeled surface sunlight down into the vast underground cities. Thrice a day: at 6 am, 12 noon, and 6 pm, a bell tolls and the Mirror Guard pull cords which shift the giant mirrors into different configurations in order to optimally channel the sunlight based on the sun’s shifting position.

For this soundscape, I wanted to achieve a few effects:

  • an echoing cavern inhabited by people
  • a distant bell
  • the giant mirrors grinding and shifting into position
  • the gears, springs, and various mechanisms that lock the mirrors in position

I didn’t want to download any sounds, so all the sounds in this clip were recorded by me, using my handphone.


I actually recorded the crowd sounds last semester, for the final 4D film project. I decided to reuse the clip as it had a nice mix of background chatter and non-distinct foreground chatter. I added some audio panning to add a bit of variety, and then added a second non-panning reverb to give the impression of distance and cavernous expanse. I also recorded a backdrop of my fan buzzing and doing its thing, then put it into Audacity with the Wahwah filter in order to create the impression of channeled drafts of wind through the enormous caverns.


For the bell, I was trying to look for something that could give a resonant metallic tone. So I used anything metal that I could find in my hall room. The result: clothes hanger on towel rack.


I then pitched it down, added echoes, reverbs, and gave it its own backup reverb track. Really sounds like a big bell now.


For the shifting mirrors, I wanted the sound of giant slabs moving, as well as the sound of slightly rusted ropes grinding through gears and pulley systems. For that, I used the grainy texture of my hall desk, and the plastic edge of my charging cable. Pitch and reverb. Everything is pitch and reverb.



Only two sounds were actually employed: the sound of my door lock, and the sound of the door latch. The latch produced a sharp, springing sound, while the lock produced a grinding shifting sound. The latch sound was therefore used for the sounds of the mirrors clicking into place, while the lock was used for the intermediate sounds of grinding up into position. Of course, that was after the mandatory echo/reverb/pitch pass.


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