Nicolas Titeux

Sound designer | Sound mixer

Sound design contest

by | Apr 10, 2020

Thunderstorm sound design

During quaranteen, the sound library publisher 344 Audio launched a sound design contest. The rules are simple: re-create a natural soundscape, only from household objects.

I decided to make the sound of a summer storm.

I started by sequencing the typical thunderstorm. It often begins with a strong and gusty wind, due to the depression of the cloud. Then we hear the first distant thunderclaps. The rain follows the wind, torrential, when we are in the eye of the storm.


Sound design a partir d'objets de la maison

For the sound of the wind, I used two props. An accordion, with its vent valve opened, gave me the whistling and howling of the wind. Then I waved and shaked streamers to imitate the sound of agitated foliage. For each sound, I edited several layers to make the sound thick and wide.

For thunder, I thought about the expression: “a lightning tears the sky”. So I tore a sheet of Canson paper, very close to the microphone to reinforce the low frequencies. I recorded this sound with a high sample rate to be able to slow it down … a lot. Resampled at 10% of the original, the sound sounds like a distant thunderclap.

For the rain, I recorded small pieces of paper falling and colliding. Thanks to my Neumann KMR81 and the fabulous Sound Particles software (used on “The Rise of Skywalkers” and “Frozen 2”!), I transformed these sound elements into a pretty convincing rain. To make my storm a little more liquid, I added some water recorded in the shower. It remains an object from the house! Here’s another use of Sound Particles.

When mixing, I mainly added reverb to made this soundtrack more natural.

Here is the result, which gave me the second price!

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