Our post production class focused on sound effects and foley for our Star Wars this week, starting with footsteps and ending with me kissing my hand up close to a microphone. While the foley and other sound effects really made the short video clip feel more complete, it was the atmos(phere) and white noise that really interested me. We recorded a few minutes of SAE’s server room, with a 7 foot rack of cabling and patchbays with a noisy whirring fan at the top of it. We added some white noise at a low level to the entire recording, and continued to send different sounds to reverbs to create some space.
White technically we recorded a lot more effects and foley than atmos, and even with reverbs creating space, it was the atmos that tied it all together. With the help of the visual aid of the video, our brains can still psychoacoustically create depth and a sense of space. In recording music, we don’t have this. However, we still use room mics on drums so the drums don’t sound too dry and close-mic’d, and similarly on acoustic and even electric guitars to give different instruments different energy than a (usually) close mic that misses the way a sound does (or doesn’t) interact with the walls of the room it’s recorded in. Is atmos in music recording a technique? Similar to convolution reverbs or impulse responses? E.g. an atmos recording of a drum room with no drummer – or would this track be made void by the drum rooms mics?
I’ve got a lot to think about it and plenty of, ahem… space to think about it.