Spooky Musical Jewellery Box & Impulse Responses

(Not the actual box)

One of the rooms featured in the Game Audio Tutorial features a small group of spooky sounds, one of my favorites out of this group is the Spooky Musical Jewellery Box because there is a little bit of a story behind it. The sound itself isn't really that innovative in fact it's a bit of a horror classic/cliché but it still works.

I came across the wind up musical jewelry box at my parents house. It sounds quite old and spooky as it is but as it played it got slower and slower becoming more eerie as it did. I recorded the box at several speeds but ultimately decided that the slowest recording was the most spooky. (see original recording)

Recently I have also been experimenting with creating my own impulse responses using a starting pistol and sine wave sweeps. One of the better impulses I recorded was taken on my street using the starting pistol and my Sony D50 (two bits of kit that are quickly becoming invaluable). I set up the D50 about 25m away down the street and fired the pistol a couple of times to get the impulse.

To make the music box a bit more spooky and interesting (or more clichéd) I decided to add a little reverb to it, after a bit of experimenting I decided to process it using waves IR with my street impulse. I think it gives the sound a very eerie feel probably because of the impulse response's less than prefect recording and odd echo.

Or at least that's what I think, I'd like to hear any comment's if you have any!

The Spooky Music Box was originally recorded with a Sony D50 Internal Mics X/Y @ 96k/24bit. I then processed the sound in Waves IR using a custom impulse response I recorded on my street using a .22 caliber starting pistol and the Sony D50 Internal Mics AB positioning @ 96k/24bit.