Cube - Recording/Editing Footsteps

The focus of the sound at the moment is the players footsteps. This involved recording on five different surfaces: metal, grass, wood, concrete and gravel. The recordings took place in the studio at Abertay using Foley boxes and other surfaces.

I recorded on my handheld Tascam DR-40 so i didn't have to record into and bounce out of Pro Tools. I'm faster at editing in my own DAW and wanted to save some time. However, multiple issues became apparent upon listening to the audio files:

1. The stand i used was not built for shock absorbtion and some of the vibrations were causing the metal to rattle, adding subtle metallic overtones to the audio

2. The proximity effect was causing a lot of low end in some cases. This was especially problematic on the grass files and i had to high pass a lot of it out.

3. Loose trousers were adding a rustling sound

4. I'm unsure of the actual cause of this but in some of the files, mainly the gravel, the sound quality was very hollow and had a 200Hz 'boxiness' to it. This could possibly have been phase cancellation occuring from the room reflections, as i never used the acoustic panels, though i didn't think the sound would be loud enough to require them. Another possibility is that it was the sound reflecting off of the edges of the Foley box itself. Making an EQ reduction at 200Hz lessened the boxy sound but i was unable to remove it entirely.

 
 

When it came to editing i kept the best footsteps that had little unwanted noise and a good distance between the heel and toe sounds. EQ was used on numerous files to remove low end thump and they were compressed lightly to bring out the nuances a bit.


So to conclude, the recordings came out quite poor but i'm aware of the mistakes that were made. The proximity effect can be avoided by having the mic slightly further away, but i also think the actor will need to be far softer on things like grass to avoid thumping. Tighter trousers are also a requirement. I think the gravel Foley box needs to be fuller to reduce the sound of the box itself. I'll also try it with the acoustic panels, just in case it's the room.