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Old October 20th, 2006, 01:31 AM   #1
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bird bed

Here's a new one:


I want to have, kinda throughout a whole scene, the sound of birds chirping, as if outside someone's room (scene takes place in a bedroom, supposed to be a dream, birds are for happy cheerful ambience). I can find individual bird sounds, but is there a trick to layering them together? It sounds stupid, but it's harder than you might think to make it sound "right". I tried this before and gave up early on 'cause it didn't sound quite right, and I was in a hurry.

Any tips?
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Old October 20th, 2006, 01:13 PM   #2
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Not sure if this will help, but recently I had a customer buy a pretty "high-end" mic. A Sennheiser MKH-30 (figure 8 pattern). I asked what he was going to be recording and he said, "Nature sounds." So we got to talking and he turned me on to this http://freesound.iua.upf.edu/geotagsView.php
Pretty dang cool. You should be able to find some bird sounds in there. The really cool part is that you can see where in the world the sound was recorded using Google Earth. Most of the folks also mention what equipment they used to record with.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 01:42 PM   #3
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Thanks.

Actually, it wasn't the sounds so much I was having issues with, as it was the technique for layering/mixing them together to have it sound real and natural. What I mean is, how far apart should chirps be, that kinda thing.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 11:08 AM   #4
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I would use 1 audiotrack per bird (and probably not more than 2 or 3 if it's just going to be in the background). Pan them differently, probably not hard stereo, maybe 25%R, 20%L, 75%L. I think it would sound best with about 1.5-2.5 seconds of silence in between chirps, puncutated by short bursts of 3-4 chirps at a time. Ideally you would have 8 or more samples to work with for variety, especially if you want more than 3 birds.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 01:10 PM   #5
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Thanks.


Would you still recommend the panning even if everything else in the project is equally stereo'd?
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Old October 21st, 2006, 02:42 PM   #6
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Now that I read your post again I would probably pan them at a tighter range because they're supposed to be coming in through a window. I wouldn't put them all at the same spot, but within maybe 20% of each other.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 05:36 PM   #7
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Even given that nothing else in the project is panned a certain way?
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 03:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass
Even given that nothing else in the project is panned a certain way?
That would make it more or less a mono soundtrack (unless you recorded using a stereo mic or matched pairs or something), so I fail to see any reason why panning the bird songs would be necessary in this particular case.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 05:12 AM   #9
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Remember too that a substantial number of your viewers won't be hearing it in stereo anyway. Even if you provide the track in stereo, it will often get collapsed to mono somewhere along the way. Even if it stays in stereo all the way to the viewer, a good number of viewers will be watching on TVs with built-in speakers that are on either side of the front panel or the sides of the case, far too close together to produce any signifigant stereo imaging.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 09:06 AM   #10
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Yeah, and I'm not quite dedicated enough to get that anal with the sound.
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