Granted, being located in SoCal really stunts all seasonal variety. But trust me! Once you’ve lived in sunny LA for a year or two, anything below 50 degrees begins to feel like the arctic. I know, it’s a bit dramatic. I myself am embarrassed to agree, especially having grown up on the east coast.
In fact, because I’m from New England—where every season is highlighted—spring holds a lot of memories for me. I can easily recall the smell of Spring and if I close my eyes I can hear a light breeze fluttering through my childhood bedroom window.
With the uneasiness of the current global climate and orders to remain at home indoors, it is easy to feel in some ways that Spring is being robbed from us. That is why this year as Spring begins to settle in and the world outside changes as I watch from my couch, I find myself reminiscing about Springs past. Memories of long sunny days filled with laughter help to remind me why it is important we social distance at this time, so that hopefully one day soon we can all reconnect in the Spring daylight. Until then, I’m enjoying the joys of Spring through my memories.
Growing up with the extremes of all four seasons, allowed me to appreciate their differences. One thing that stands out the most for me between the seasons, besides their obvious climate differences, are the sounds I associate with each one.
As an assistant sound editor at Boom Box Post, one of my duties is to handle backgrounds on the shows I assist. The other day as I was cutting BG’s for a fall-themed episode, I noted that some of the established background sound effects, such as birds and winds, had been switched out with effects of a more seasonal specific aesthetic. Yes, backgrounds are particularly notorious for being inaudible in the mix, but as they say, the devil is in the detail.
This got me thinking, what are some sounds associated with springtime?
I decided to reach out to our editors and compile a list. I thought it could make for a helpful blog post, especially since I always come across one tip in particular for aspiring editors and audio students: to start building up a personal SFX library.
So here are 10 Spring-inspired sounds, that if you have access to, you should go out and record this refreshing time of year!
Sounds like spring
Jump Rope-Pavement Chalk-Pogo Stick-Spring Birds-Bicycles-Spring Storm-Puddle Jumps-Spring Breeze-Playground Ambience-Wind Chimes
Don’t have access to the sounds listed above? That’s ok! It just means it is time to get creative. A lot of these sounds can be easily duped. Here are some tips and tricks I came up with! Some might be more successful than others, but that’s the fun of trial and error.
Tips and Tricks:
Jump Rope: Don’t have a “real” jump rope? No problem! You can use any old rope you have lying around. If you have a long rope, try tying one end to a pole or tree for bigger more rhythmic circles.
Pogo Stick: Wait, so you’re telling me you don’t have a pogo stick lying around the house? That’s ok! What if you plucked the inside spring of a stapler? Or one of those springy door stoppers? After layering up a couple of sounds you can create yourself a custom pogo stick!
Spring Birds: With streets being quieter than ever, now is the perfect time to get outside and record the birds! Even just opening a window in my apartment to let fresh air in fills the room with their singing.
Puddles: If you aren’t blessed with any rain you might miss out on the fun of actually jumping into a puddle this spring. However, you can still recreate this sound at home. This one is pretty simple, just fill up your sink or bathtub and start splashing around. Maybe try out some different-sized bowls and cups.
Playground Ambience: Ok, so now might not be the best time to record children walla—with the world social distancing and all—but that doesn’t mean you can’t take yourself on a nice little walk to the local park. Why not reconnect with your childhood self and take flight on the swing set? You’re never too old!
Wind Chimes: Have you ever dropped or hit an aluminum water bottle by accident? I think layering up that ringing—which almost has a Tibetan bowl quality to it—could make a really cool wind chime. Sometimes I gently tap mine against the table on purpose because I find the sound soothing. I recommend playing around with different amounts of water in the bottle to change the timbre of the ring.
Written by Tim Vindigni
Kate Finan and Boom Box Post: After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Sound Recording Technology, Kate began her career as a post-production sound effects editor. Over the next several years, she worked her way up to being a supervising sound editor at Warner Bros. and then left to start her own studio, Boom Box Post, with business partner and fellow supervising sound editor, Jeff Shiffman. Together, they lead post-production sound crews for animated television series. In addition, Kate also acts as the re-recording mixer on several series. Recently, Kate and Jeff have launched an additional venture, Boom Box Library, which creates custom sound effect libraries as well as software to aid in the sound design process. Over the course of her career, Kate has been nominated for MPSE Golden Reel Awards, Music + Sound Awards, and a Daytime Emmy. You can read more about her company and enjoy additional blog posts at www.boomboxpost.com.