Cabbages, Celery, and Toilet Paper Portals

Oct 21, 2022

I sometimes feel like a hoarder of sounds and files, other times, like a turtle carrying a world of memories and audio on my back, packed away in hard drives.

Day 3. Wow. there are a lot of Foley needs for this project.
[Project notes 3 / [1], [2], [4]

A bit of R-bass on the sound of shed tornados.

There is an old creaky metal shed near where I grew up. During a huge windstorm a year ago, I took the opportunity to record what sounded like a tornado rending the shed to pieces. For this re-design project, I used some of these recordings to add body to: an explosion, the sound of lumbering gigantic hell beast, and for a battle where a skeleton is slammed into an old door.

Processing these sounds is like looking at photographs. It cues up memories, makes connections between my present and past, and takes me to a mental space where I am more mindful of the sonic world around me. And this is a great part of why I love Foley and Field Recording. There is a magic to capturing audio-imprints or photographs, and then later molding them into something new and amazing.

My key takeaway from this project is the transformation of the sound of ripping toilet paper into the sound of an extra-dimensional portal blasting its way through reality. I still can’t get over it.

The technique is simple - take some layers of toilet paper, and slowly shred them while recording at 96kHz or greater and pitch down. The example above is just that with a bit of EQ.

Supplies laid out for a Foley op.

Corn starch worked great for a crunchy-dirt sound, it’s really similar to the sound of walking on snow (thanks, Twenty Thousand Hertz!), very messy though; Snapping celery stalks gives a great bone-cracking snap, is working for sword stabs into skeletons; I tried using cabbage to get some squeaky shoe and leathery garb ruffles.

Link to soundcloud clip: