‘Surrounded by Space’ Production

After all my research, I decided I wanted it to feel like someone was sitting on the edge of one of the rings of Saturn. This idea was inspired by finding actual NASA audio recordings of planets. The sounded like wind advancing through different sized tunnels and I have made this the core idea behind my project. I have tried to give each sound ‘movement’ as if the person is sitting watching the environment go by.

In the end, I decided to remove the instrumental element of my five speaker piece because I wanted to focus more on representation. Although I was inspired by the sound used in films I wanted it feel more like an installation and be a representation of space. I found that I could easily mold my recordings from the reverberation chamber into metallic resonances in ProTools and this gave my piece more depth.

My final piece used:

  • atmospheric sound from the reverberation chamber
  • atmospheric sound from the anechoic chamber
  • vocals – my voice humming
  • my fingers flicking a ladder inside the reverberation chamber
  • the sound of dragging the ladder

I used the audio editing tools in the ‘audiosuite’ on most these recordings except for the sound of the anechoic chamber.

I recorded myself humming very quickly before I left the chamber (I can’t sing at all!) but I ended up using this sample many times. For example I need a high frequency sound continuously playing throughout and I found I could generate this by taking a small sample, reversing the sound, increasing the pitch and putting it on loop.  I also put my my voice through ‘sci-fi’ modulation in the audio-suite producing a sound I thought represented an object moving with momentum past the listener.

This time round I have tried to use the five speakers as surround sound and to generate a ‘ricocheting effect’. This gives sound the three dimensions needed to create a sense of a world around the listener.

Man sitting on the rings of Saturn

Illustration by Kim Arrowsmith

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