There wasn't much in the city of Dundee that i wanted to use for ambience. I had already planned a trip out to a nature reserve near Tayport to record some forest atmospheres and various other things, so i saw it as an oppotunity to use them for Cube. I'm still undecided on the theme of my Cube level, but now i'm thinking something the merges nature and mechanisation. It could create an interesting juxtaposition.
Issues arose on the recording day, the main problem being how windy it was. This caused a lot of rustling from the trees, which may seem out of place in the game. I began by using RX to clean up a lot of the noise, but it wasn't able to remove it completely without affecting the bird sounds. I also had to apply a lot of EQ to remove wind rumble, as well as reduce a very sharply pitched bird call that was on a tree nearby. I've recently purchased "The Sound Effects Bible" by Ric Viers and it had given great insight into how to edit. I orginally had turned to compression for this bird call to try and even out the dynamic range, but quickly learned what a mistake this was as it noticeably brought down the background noise too.
Surgical EQ was a much better method that left me with an audio file that was far more comfortable to listen to. The before and after effects of the processing are linked below.
When it came to creating the ambience loop i chose to avoid having too much bird song at the forefront as i thought it might break the illusion of the game world if the player was to turn in various directions and the bird was fixed in the stereo field.