Audio narrative for location-based story app in Portland, OR
Recording, mixing, mastering
Southeast 12 Studios
The Exchange is an iOS app that tells a fictional story comprising 40 scenes narrated in over an hour of audio. As users visit different locations throughout the city, a new piece of the story is unlocked. All audio, minus ambience, was recorded in my basement studio and mixed to make the listener feel as though the scene they were hearing was unfolding in the place they were standing.
This was my first time recording voice acting and trying to create a world around those tracks. The ambient tracks were a huge part of setting the scene but still relied on a ton of extra sound effects to be convincing. For the most part, vocal tracks only had a little EQ and compression with reverb used to try and place the voice within the ambient track.
Sound effects made up the majority of tracks in these scenes and included a range of sounds from an apple being sliced to a printing press being destroyed. The biggest challenge in recording these sound effects was controlling the environment as we recorded them, for example, dropping pieces of steel onto concrete in a garage without getting any reverb on the track.
In an effort to combat the environmental shaping of the effects, I used as much dampening as I could. I built GOBOs that were used to surround the sound sources which were then close-mic'd. In the end, the raw tracks I got were pretty clean and allowed me to add reverb as necessary to make sure the sound effects fit into whatever environment the scene called for.
The Exchange is available for download in the Apple app store.