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The screaming locket. HELP


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Hello soundgroup members, 

For the people with little to no time here's the Question in short: 
(longer version is below) 

I want to create a similar sound to the one that the locket makes in this video (below) every time it gets attacked. 
Any idea with what I should start ? 

The only thing I hear is someone eating a cookie.



Here's the same Question a bit longer: 

I'm a student with 0 experience and interested in creating some sound effects. As my teacher's ears are tired of me asking questions I wanted to try another way to get information on how to do things. 

For a short film we made in school I'm looking to add some sound effects, as a preparation I'm looking for proper effects in movies I know and try to adjust them so it fits in our project. 
One of these is the metallic screaming of the locket in this video. 
Can you help me recreate the scream of this locket as I have 0 idea how to start. 

(if the link does not work it is the scene where Harry this to destroy the locket with his wand but fails in the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) 

Please be reminded that I am an absolute beginner I've only added a gunshot and reverb before. 

Thanks a million 


Sequence 01.mp3

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4 hours ago, Jay Rose said:

How about that you posted a 90 second ad-supported clip, rather than trimming it to the desired sound, or telling us where the sound is located, or (most preferable) posting just the piece of audio you wanted to emulate?

Ok, I'll adjust it thanks for the feedback.
My appologies.

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Alright, I'll go out on a limb here for you. Seeing as how I called you a bot. 


I almost rented a house from Ben Burt. 


That basically makes me Lucas certified. 


What worked for me in school was to go out and record a dozen or so "sound effects". I used a Zoom H4, and went around the Bay Area. I recorded baseball games, bart trains, china town fireworks, Muni car sounds, anything I heard that sounded unique. You are going for the emotion rather than the explanation. Just get your feet wet and make your rough draft sounds CD. Listen to it in your car, your headphones, on your tv. Everywhere!. figure out what sounds good and what doesn't. Along the way, you should find some gems. 


There really is no one sound to rule them all. Have you looked into how the sound effects were made for StarWars? It will give you allot of direction. 






P.S. Always carry your audio recorder around with you, you never know when or where you will hear that gem!


FYI Harry Potter probably had close a million dollar sound design budget. 

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I hear an animal chattering, filtered and sped up with pitch shift... leading to a reversed crash-with-reverb, so it builds. Your clip cuts before the crash itself; if it were up to me, I'd do a quick fade into the natural verb and ambience so we never hear the crash itself... but that's wild: I've got no pix or story reference, so I don't know what should happen next in context.




I guess I'm also sort-of Lucas Certified: Randy Thom and I developed a book together, had a contract from a big publisher... but could never make our schedules work to actually write the thing (and cancelled the contract). That being said:

1)  I agree with D. Start recording your world. Then get home, start listening to little pieces, organize them, and turn them into little sound montages. That second part is as important as the first: it'll teach you to hear real world in the context of what's usable for sound design.

2)  Since I brought up Randy, read his essays. They're all over the web, and he's brilliant.

3)  While you're at it, you could read the free tutorials on my website. And if you've got $35, read my audio post book... big chapters on sound effects and manipulation.

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Thank you for your patience. experience and explanation.
I will Put a zoom in my bag and go explore, thanks for the tips and reads. I know what to do for the next couple of months.
I know HP had millions of budget, but it seemed like a good idea to copy and learn from pros.
Also If I recreate it maybe I can hear things I could before because I've made it
Again thank you so much and my apologies for the annoying post.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Thielle,

no-one would want to teach a potential apprentice by the 'copy method' -alas I believe many schools don't understand this basic fact. I was taught (when in the industry) by "here's the scene, here are some sounds; I'll come back and hear what you've come up with".

Several of my friends worked on many of the Potters (I attempted to get work on the first!) - everybody's work was different and interesting and mutually appreciated as far as I ever saw. I remember one editor being asked to present his finished tracks to a film school - which he declined (because of what I said previously rather than some abstract idea of secrecy). In fact everyone I'm thinking of here have been most happy to share their successes (and failures) in editing with anyone who really knows what they're asking.

Just to reiterate- don't learn by (direct) copying, learn by trial and error (although copying by trying to recognise and understand is indeed good practice). Learn by listening and trying to understand: and don't focus on "sound design" - focus on storytelling - 


- can I hear the dialogue? did I miss anything because I couldn't hear the dialogue?

- did I lose track of what was going on because I was too interested in the sound?


The bread and butter of sound editing is like everything else in filmmaking - making the unreal completely believable - and it is essential that this is understood. 90% of what we do is ordinary, often even boring, not spectacular.


Dialogue has to be clear, things have to sound how they look like. Before adding the cherries the cake has to be made. Don't start with 'sound design' start with storytelling. After that of course you can change anything and everything.


Two food metaphors already, so I'll spare you the pizza made from above ...


I had 'sound bibles' when I was starting out, and they weren't Apocalypse Now etc - they were films which told stories well with totally different approaches to sound, some direct, some subtle (in no cases were the soundtrack considered paramount over other departments).


Tell the story, and as a good learning tip try to do so without drawing attention to your sound.


Best of luck, Jez Adamson

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