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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 27 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Session Ambience  (Read 2330 times)
Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« on: September 30, 2011, 05:31:36 AM »

I produce a lot of music, and I'm always looking for a new challenge.  I don't believe in money, so I'm happy to work for free, because it's what I enjoy doing.  So if any of you want me to custom design evolving ambience for your campaigns or settings, I'll be happy to take a crack at it.  I can tailor things quite considerably.  If you want battle sounds in the subtext of the sound, or tavern ambience, or the chill, distant reverberations of a high-ceilinged stone keep, or even specific monster sounds that you can trigger in-game, to the delight and terror of your imaginative players, I'll be happy to oblige.  Get in touch, let me know!

http://soundcloud.com/shavingronaldscar/dungeon-music-tabletop-rp
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Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2011, 06:16:01 AM »

Sound-cue ideas I've implemented in the past:

"The little bronze box begins to emit a low, thrumming sound when you pick it up..."

Running through the woods at night, unidentified, slavering creatures pick up your scent.  (The panicked rustling of leaves and twigs as the party begins running, accompanied by far-off grunts and snorts and wet sounds)

"Two levels above you, you hear this..." (the sound of a heavy iron door that could only be the basement entrance, closing with a note of finality, filtered down through cracks in the damp stone and tremblings in the woodwork.)

You enter the bazaar (hawkers shouting out their wares, the bustle of the crowd and the livestock, the town belltower...)
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Thriff
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2011, 10:19:45 AM »

Dear Rubbs,

You are a busy fellow!

I had never intended to use audio components for my game, but you say fun for you and free for me... so I don't see why not. Besides, I am perfectly confident that whatever you produce will blow my mind (the good way).

So, if you wish to accept it, here's a prompt:

"You are alone aboard a city-flotilla. The city-flotilla is hundreds of vessels bound together and swaying languidly under the permanent dusk which is the sky. The wind is non-intrusive, warm, and slow. The cacophony of the creaking planks and rattling chains is muted by the ever-present slosh of the ocean against the hull far below you.  The undulating waves rock the vessel, easing you into a trance."

Some key words that I think would help solidify the prompt: other-wordly, ordered chaos, non-threatening,

Whatever you do with that prompt is up to you. Please set your own due date, magnitude of invested time and energy, and duration for the piece. Have fun too!

Thanks Rubbs,

T
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Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2011, 10:34:16 AM »

I'm on it, bro!  Starting right now!
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Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2011, 10:35:12 AM »

d'oh.  Quick question:  Do you want any sort of passing melodic undertones, or just pure soundscape?
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Thriff
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2011, 11:35:47 AM »

Rubbs,

Unfortunately I know just as much about "melodic undertones" as I know about "soundscape".

And I trust that you can infer exactly how much I know about either. :P

Do as you wish. It's a free (barring the heaps of designer adoration you've been payed with) service that you've offered, so do whatever is easiest/coolest for you.

A more helpful response is likely:

"I would like to use the audio piece to aid players in imagining the setting established in the prompt."

Thanks,

T
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Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2011, 01:00:24 PM »

"Melodic undertones" implies a musical element.  A soundscape is just the sound of a place or theme, real or imagined.  For now, I've just made the latter.  It's not too long, but long enough that you should just be able to put it on repeat in the background for the session without it getting monotonous or intrusive.  http://www.sendspace.com/file/pz6ihh
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Thriff
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2011, 12:20:36 PM »

Rubbs,

Thanks for the piece! I really appreciate that you took the time to create it.

Also, (should've mentioned it before) this probably isn't the most appropriate forum for this thread. I'm not sure where it'd go... but perhaps ask Ron so as not to arouse anyone's displeasure?



I see what you mean about "melodic undertones" vs. "soundscape". The soundscape you made fits well with the watery environment that I was imagining and the apparent wooden creaking and metallic whining does wonders.

If you are interested in investing your time and energy, I would muchly appreciate a melodic undertones version.

Here are some suggestions if you choose to create another version.

1.) Use the same prompt (and first piece, if it's easier). Further details: The flottila is an ever-moving gargantuan amalgamation of individual ships bound together by chains and rope.

2.) The bubbles are nice, but they suggest "underwater" more than "aboard a ship being splashed by waves" to me. Could you decrease bubbles and have more waves crashing against stuff sounds?

3.) Could you have some thunking of wood-on-wood as the multiple ships (bound by rope and metallic chains) bash their hulls together?

4.) More wind gust sounds? Perhaps cloth whipping in the wind?

5.) The squeaking sounds remind me of rusty hinges more than rattling chains, could you replace the former with the latter?

6.) I like the bird sounds, adding more wildlife sounds would be cool (even if the sound is foreign to our ears, it could be an aquatic or aerial beast in this world)

7.) Could you add melodic undertones that suggest a dynamic and surreal atmosphere? Dynamic in the sense that there's motion and action going on (wind, waves, creatures) and surreal, perhaps a particular instrument... ? (I'm not sure which instrument is used to evoke surreality.)

Thanks friend!

T

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Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2011, 02:17:55 AM »

Quote
Also, (should've mentioned it before) this probably isn't the most appropriate forum for this thread. I'm not sure where it'd go... but perhaps ask Ron so as not to arouse anyone's displeasure?

Yes, it was a toss-up between Actual Play and Game Development, but I put it here, because I'm much more interested in designing sound tools for people's homebrews than I am in designing generic GM tools.  I don't think this is off-topic, and I'm assuming one of the mods would have contacted me by now if this were an issue.

And I gotta say, thank you for bringing specific issues to the table, instead of accepting my work as it stands.  Too many people are scared to criticize, and simply choose to be content with 90% of what they originally wanted.  I will get to work on a new version when I find the time.  I enjoy this challenge!
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Thriff
Member

Posts: 68


« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2011, 08:14:25 AM »

No sir, thank you!

T
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Cedric
Member

Posts: 28


« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2011, 09:27:40 AM »

Impressive...

So, Rubbermancer, how do you plan to proceed once everyone will notice this thread and just ask you for stuff?
If I may, here one request (if you are still taking requests - just know that that'd be a soundtrack I'd love use. And I have several things in mind but let's start with one).

Actually, I've tried to crawl the web for ambiant sounds corresponding to the universe of Föld, with mixed success. Because besides playing it during sessions, it is also quite inspiring during the writing sessions !

So, the request: "Walk the icy earth".
Context is a world where the sun rises every 3 months and then stays for another 3 months before setting down. There is ice as far as you can see, the blizzard is never far away and the soil itself is quite unstable. You also know, but quite can't see, that demons are lurking around - imposing masses looking like big, degenerated dogs on steroďds... To make it short, it sucks going outside :)

In terms of 'requirements', it could go along those lines:
- icy wind / storm / blizzard (from none to little to big)
- ice crackles (soil melting, breaking, small avalanches)
- growling noises from the demon packs, ranging from far away to very near

- and (important): a sound that can loop-over, so that I can play it for hours if necessary ;)

Keywords: hostility, helplessness, coldness

Feeling inspired?

  Cédric
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Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2011, 02:13:23 AM »

Haha, I plan to proceed by saying *pause*, right now, because I have enough to run with for the time being.  Cedric, and Thriff, your soundscapes are on the list.  Further jobs will have to wait.  Which job gets done first will be a matter of in-the-moment inspiration, not a result of preference or favouritism, just so everybody knows.  That said, in the future, I will try to tackle this on a first-come, first-served basis.

...And I will post again with finished products and "un-pauses".
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Cedric
Member

Posts: 28


« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2011, 03:15:05 AM »

My, thank you !
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Rubbermancer
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2011, 05:48:51 AM »

OK Cedric, it's all done.  I spent a lot of time layering field recordings of wind, filtering them to get that snow-dampened, dark and quiet sound.  For the monster sounds, I recorded from discovery channel and from old horror films, and twisted the sounds a bit (or a lot).  Let me know if sounds are too loud or too quiet, or not frequent enough, or too often.  http://www.sendspace.com/file/hyyeq2

-Joe
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Cedric
Member

Posts: 28


« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2011, 07:16:16 AM »

Joe, you're a machine ! ;)

I'm loving it. And it's so great to think: 'this is really Föld, not some sounds from some other place' !
Several remarks came to my mind as I was listening, but latter parts of the sound were answering my initial expectations; in the end, everything is pretty much packed and comprehensive.
So thanks for that !

Namely, the first growl made me jump at 3'17 and I loved also when the wind became really strong around 9'20...
I also liked how there are some little sounds I could not quite succeed in identifying (15'53), bringing a touch of mystery to the otherwise uniform impression.
I also love the impression of vastness I got while listening, really nice. Oh, and the stereo effects.

So now, and since you asked for it, here are some minor nitpicking, but rest reassured that this theme ROCKS - or 'ice-cube rocks', if I may ;)

- I feel that some of the growls (especially around 5'30 and 12'30) are a bit too loud, they feel like the creature is just right next to me where I would prefer to get it 'close, but no idea how close'. Just getting these a bit less loud should do it ;)

- Additional indication (sorry I failed at that one) : the beasts don't quite like it when it's really windy. They will rather try to reach a shelter. Still it can happen that they get trapped in the blizzard and stumble upon the travellers, but it is the exception. So based on that, maybe (re)move some of the growls from the last part of the soundtrack, like at 11'50 ?

- Last, I would fancy hearing sometimes, during the calmer parts, the sounds of walking or running demons (they usually travel as packs, just like wolves actually)

But again these are nitpicks. I don't know how to thank you for this work...

  Cédric
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