The wooden bannister rail on the upstairs landing creaks. It always has, and one day it might get fixed. In the meantime, it is an interesting creaky sound source. But sound effects for creaky doors and floorboards are boring, and there are too many of them. So what’s a better way of using the sound source and making something useful out of it?
I tried granular, but it sounded…’granular’. I tired slowing it down and it sounded…percussive and boring. I tried applying Paulstretch and it sounded…like it had been processed by Paulstretch. Duh!
So I went old school. I took each of the sets of recorded sawtooth-like creaks and separated them out onto parallel tracks. Then I time aligned them. I was expecting them to be all very similar timing (like the On/Off switch I did some time ago), but they weren’t. In fact, they worked nicely as an ensemble. So I did a few more layers, did some spectral processing to emphasize the dominant formants, and realised that I had failed again. I had done all this processing on a wooden creak sound, and it sounded like some sort of scary alien choir.
Oh! Maybe that’s not so bad after all.
So here’s a scary alien choir made from many wooden creaky sounds, played in parallel. It isn’t your warm, ethereal angelic voices… Actually it is the exact opposite: cold, dark and rather unsettling. Not the sort of pad you hear very often, because it has very little immediate appeal to those shallow people who want bright, bouncy, modern sounds wallowing in reverb. Oh, except for the reverb – there’s lots of that. If you remove the reverb, then the sound becomes even more brittle, and it starts to sound like someone has put a choir through my free MaxForLive.com ‘Synthesizerwriter M4L Tape (etc.) Suite’, which Christian has never reviewed, despite featuring tape emulations several times. Maybe the Suite is too good, or too affordable?
Anyways, I would say enjoy, but it really isn’t that kind of sound.
Reviews for Wood Creak
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Another warm and spooky voice?
Cannot imagine the sound from the title. It sounds almost like voices. Bright and tremoring, nicely distorted sound.
A nice addition to your horror soudtracks
This athmospheric set of sounds is not an instrument per se, but a collection of sounds to add some eerie/scary mood to your tracks. The lower register sounds like whispers or windy sounds, the upper register provides more scream-like creaks. Although limited in its possible uses, this is a great library for spicing up your tracks and giving chills to the listener.
Perfect for layering with drones
This is a gorgeous sound that's just perfect for layering with drones for that spooky scifi space feeling. As others have pointed out, the lower or higher registers are the most usable for some textures. The UI is a little hard to read though with the brightness of the picture, maybe darken the picture so it matches the spooky vibe.
In true Pianobook style...
In true Pianobook style is a sampled instrument derived from something unique and peculiar, but turned into something really useable and playable. This will certainly find its way into many a composer arsenal.
Many possibilities in this instrument
There are many different possibilities for this instrument, I imagine this being used in a lot of musical situations. Setting the tone one bar to the maximum value and all the others to zero will release a really nice pad, with an almost choral character. On the other side, setting the noise bars up can give you an interesting pad with a lot of different textures. Very versatile instrument.