In June, I decided to run a crowdsource within the Field Recording Slack with members Daniel Meuser and Robbie Elias. Being a huge creature person and part 1 of the crowdsource had already been recorded, I decided to run part 2 of Creatures. It was way cooler of an experience than I anticipated - even after running doors back in 2021. At first, I thought that it would be pretty explanatory, then a few days into the crowdsource I realized the daunting question, what makes good creature source material?
Since every creature for every project is different, there is an endless amount of ways that a creature can be created. After listening to early submissions and beginning my own recordings, it was soon realized that there are certain qualities of a sound that make it sound like a creature.
- The throat
- The mouth movement
- the breath
For sounds of the throat of a creature, it could be any type of sound that had a longer sustain, anything that had a screech, or squeak. It was also learned that applying a resonant moving filter to the midrange of just about ANY sound, gave it a throaty quality that made it sound like it was coming from a creature.
The mouth movements of a creature are a crucial part in making it sound believable, the throat on its own often isn't enough to make someone believe the creature is alive, but hearing the mouth open, close, gurgle, click, before and after the main throaty element, giving it the extra spice that allowed for it to be believable. These elements could be any type of short squeak (a common theme), gurgles, bubbles, bowing of various objects, processing with tremolo, slowed-down recordings, etc. Having a quick burst of the mouth opening and then a longer more dramatic guttural sound is an excellent way to turn any throaty element into a creature.
The final element is the breath, truthfully this is more of a sweetener and how it works is very dependent on the project, but creatures need to exist in space, right? How do they react to the environment, breathe, Gills moving, the low rumbling of the chest, absorbing sounds through a crazy black hole? Just about anything goes for this but it's one of those extra things that help bring the creature to life.
All in all, this crowdsource was an awesome experience and the types of sounds the community came up with are breathtaking. I am incredibly proud of how this one came out and I also wanted to give a huge shoutout to the other hosts: Daniel Meuser and Robbie Elias.