40 Voices Challenge #6  – part 2

Sound Effect #1 – Scripted and Alternative Takes

Last time I introduced the Human Sound Effects recording,
in other words, the various noises and changes in sound based on human
behaviours.  Using a scene from the movie
You’ve Got Mail, I recorded a straight take based on the script.  Now we will add the suggested human sound
effects listed in The Voice Over for Animation book (by Jean Ann Wright and MJ
Lallo).  I will then provide comments on
my recording experiences.

The scene is on YouTube (0-46 seconds).

Take 1:  Play it straight, off the script.

Take 2: Character1 is choking, Joe is laughing, Kathleen is whimpering,
Character2 is smoking a cigar.

With the laughing, I was getting a big contrast in
volume.  To equalise it I found laughing
to one side helped and it still sounded natural.  Laughing with an “ooo” sound carried
incredibly well, so I had to really turn my head for that.  The cigar smoking was the opposite
problem.  I had to exaggerate the sound
(sucking on a pen) to make it audible.

Take 3:  Character1 is sneezing, Joe is in ecstacy, Kathleen is
coughing, Character2 is grunting (as if lifting something heavy).

Sneezes can be both bassy and explosive!  In terms of equalising this was
difficult.  Interestingly, I found
sneezing above the mic and facing up kept the volume down most.  The worst part about the cough was technique
and damaging the throat a little.


Character1 is slurping, Joe is eating an apple, Kathleen
is yawning, Character2 is out of breath.

It was very easy to overdo the slurping.  So unlike the cigar effect, this one needed
to be toned down.  I decided on live
props for both the drink and apple in this instance.  The heavy breathing was extra-bassy so needed
a less direct positioning.

Take 5: 

is lisping, Joe is stuttering, Kathleen is just waking up, Character2 is

The hardest thing about stuttering is timing, because it
simply wouldn’t sync with the pre-existing video clip.  Stuttering was also hard to do effectively
for a character and it was hard to not tense the body and sometimes the
completed words would be harsher and louder after the effort of producing them.