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Discussion Starter #1
I’m an up and coming sound designer/field recordist and am currently working on a collection of horror sound effects.

What categories of sound effects are you interested in? I’m working on the following categories at the moment: impacts, gore, risers, instrument effects, sci fi, vocal effects, spooky 80s synth sounds/phrases, and possibly some scary animal sounds.

Looking forward to your replies!
 

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You could find some general areas that require sound effects on this forum. For example, you see a lot of pirate builds, so perhaps ghost ship-related stuff (ocean, ship, etc.) Dark Circus would be another. I would just look and see what general areas present themselves from the props/tutorial sections. As for me and mine, I wouldn't mind some dark music-type stuff, and dark ambience always is useful.
 

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Ok sounds good!

When you get sound effects, do you like them fairly loud? Or do you like them quieter so you have the ability to mix/blend them with other sound effects on the same track?

I'm trying to determine what "volume level" to deliver my sound effects at (louder or quieter). I know people who do music for a living would appreciate their sound effects to be "quieter"(-6db to -12 db), so they would have the ability to mix them better with the instruments etc.

I have done ambient music tracks in the past, which are different from sound effects. I'm doing shorter "one shot" sound effects as well as longer musical and non musical phrases.
 

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Ok sounds good!

When you get sound effects, do you like them fairly loud? Or do you like them quieter so you have the ability to mix/blend them with other sound effects on the same track?
I vote for louder. Not clipping the extremes loud, but loud. You can always turn down a volume and keep all the wonderful nuances, but you can't do that with a low volume sound if you want to crank it up. By giving someone a loud sound, it actually gives them more flexibility than one that is engineered for low volume playback only. When mixing sounds, I adjust the volume to match the overall presentation, but I start out with sounds that are crisp, clean, and loud if I possibly can. From there I mix them down into the final mix.

We play back our sounds on little computer speakers we have situated around our graveyard. What I thought would be a nice "ambiance" level of sound was drowned out by local outside noise. We had to crank up the sound just to get it out far enough that people heard it. It would have been different indoors, but outside, having sounds that could be boosted easily was important to the final soundtrack that was heard by visitors.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I vote for louder. Not clipping the extremes loud, but loud. You can always turn down a volume and keep all the wonderful nuances, but you can't do that with a low volume sound if you want to crank it up. By giving someone a loud sound, it actually gives them more flexibility than one that is engineered for low volume playback only. When mixing sounds, I adjust the volume to match the overall presentation, but I start out with sounds that are crisp, clean, and loud if I possibly can. From there I mix them down into the final mix.

We play back our sounds on little computer speakers we have situated around our graveyard. What I thought would be a nice "ambiance" level of sound was drowned out by local outside noise. We had to crank up the sound just to get it out far enough that people heard it. It would have been different indoors, but outside, having sounds that could be boosted easily was important to the final soundtrack that was heard by visitors.
Thank you so much for your reply!

Do you prefer working with mp3 or wav?

I think most people prefer mp3, because it takes up less space on their computer hard drive.
 

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Thank you so much for your reply!

Do you prefer working with mp3 or wav?

I think most people prefer mp3, because it takes up less space on their computer hard drive.
If you're making a CD to sell, that's one thing. Definitely work with WAV because that's your end product. However, the days of folks using CD players to pump out their sounds are waning. We actually have a couple of old boom boxes with repeat on them that can play a CD. Up until last year, they had a place in our haunt, but they're giving way to the much leaner and more easily hidden MP3 players. Thanks to new technology you can provide CD quality with an MP3. You might consider who forms your customer base and mix your sounds as WAV for your CD crowd and then provide a cheaper, downloadable MP3 file for those savvy enough to realize the savings won't affect the quality of the product they get.

When we mix our sounds, we use whatever file type comes along that meets our needs. But when it's all is mixed up and ready to go, we save it down to a 256 bit MP3. We don't even go 320 bit, although I would recommend that you do as you're providing a product, and you want it to be the best you can give folks. We're aware enough to know that Halloween night comes with so many of it's own sounds that having deep base and sparkling treble isn't going to be high our our must have list when it comes to the sounds in our graveyard.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
However, the days of folks using CD players to pump out their sounds are waning. We actually have a couple of old boom boxes with repeat on them that can play a CD. Up until last year, they had a place in our haunt, but they're giving way to the much leaner and more easily hidden MP3 players. Thanks to new technology you can provide CD quality with an MP3. You might consider who forms your customer base and mix your sounds as WAV for your CD crowd and then provide a cheaper, downloadable MP3 file for those savvy enough to realize the savings won't affect the quality of the product they get.
Ok. Kind of on the fence now. I was planning to make both mp3 and wav versions of the sound effects available to be downloaded. i know a guy who primarily delivers his sound effects in mp3 format and, on request, he can give people a wav version as well.

Where do you usually get your sound effects from?

Also, what sort of sound effects are you currently looking for?
 

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Business models are much different than what we do at our haunt. We don't have to have our presentations in both WAV and MP3, but you really should. You should also be able to provide a CD of the effects for those who are old school. (Which is simple with CD burners now a days. You can make them on demand without investing a great deal of money.) Some people just have to have something they can hold onto in order to feel their purchase is secure.

I have a couple of programs that I use that provide me most of what I need in the way of sound effects. I use Atmosphere Deluxe as my primary sound generator. It has a great number of background noises that fit our haunt perfectly. We layer in other sounds on top because they provide a number of other pre-loaded sounds and the ability to load up our own preferred sounds. Those sounds come from all sorts of places.

I have a great more latitude than you do because I'm creating a soundtrack for personal use. I don't make any money from it, so the sound effects I snag from the Net don't necessarily need to have royalties paid to use them. Fair use laws are variable from state to state, but in general if all I'm doing is playing with the sounds for my own entertainment, the rules about using sounds found on the net are much more flexible for me than yours will be.

As for sounds, we have all that we're looking for because our haunt is relatively small. But if it helps, the sounds we do use are a creepy sort of dripping background that can be heard throughout the haunt. It's just a sort of uneasy noise that creeps people out when they hear it. We have other sounds like growling for our monster in the box, creepy waltz music for our dancing skeletons, cauldron and fire noises for our cauldron creep and witches. We also have scraping rock that is used for a crypt that keeps trying to open up. We used to have one soundtrack for the entire haunt that included growling, evil laughter, witches, creepy music boxes and kids singing, crows, rattling chains, ghosts, and all manner of other sounds.

Try visiting Listen to free halloween sounds and listen to the sounds others have made for an idea of what's popular out there. And then find a way to put your own spin on it. And of course wherever you land be it a website or other social media, make sure people can get back to you about what they're looking for. Generic soundtracks are out there for free all over, so the ability to give someone just what they're looking for might be key to you enjoying a steady income stream.
 

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Just FYI, with my software (DAZL - Misery Bay Software) I can import either format, but generally speaking, I think you should have WAV as your standard (it has the quality, i.e., 44100 Hz, stereo). People can down-convert to mp3 easily these days.

I think the best bet is to concentrate around core concepts (pirate ship, dark circus, electric chair) as a way of packaging a group of sound effects. That would resonate with people doing specific scenes/projects. More value that way, especially if they have display rights for "yard" use.
 
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