Audio in Pictures – Sounds of the 80’s Part 2
If you haven’t read part 1 of this post, please check it out here.
Setting the Mood
For the introduction, we made a soundscape to establish a visual mood. It starts with repeating footsteps on a hard surface, this was to recreate a person walking on solid concrete. Furthermore, this sound was sent to a convolution reverb, making it appear as though it was recorded in a car park. As the footsteps progress towards their destination, the convolution reverb gets drier, as if the listener were stood beside the person walking to their vehicle.
The main track was processed with subtle distortion and EQ to sound as though it was playing in a card radio, additionally, the convolution reverb used for the footsteps was also used on other elements, becoming dryer as the scene focuses in more. We really felt like this kind of soundscape worked well to introduce the track, Synthwave is commonly associated with nightlife and cars, so we wanted to depict the audio equivalent of a silent night with a person's short journey, ready to take a ride through the empty streets.
Rhythm Is Everything
In terms of composition, we felt that the bass held the most importance within this track, it is the driving force behind the rhythm. Playing at consistent 1/16 notes, the bass keeps a simple steady pulse throughout the entire track. Even though sometimes it deviates in terms of notes used, the rhythm remains the same. This simplicity allows the rhythm to be felt more by the listener, it’s easier for them to understand the flow of the track. Furthermore, the bass accentuates the kick and snare, letting you know exactly when each drum is about to hit. We also felt that the use of steady notes implies movement, which fits perfectly with the scene of a car driving at night.
We worked hard to create sounds that reflect the visual aesthetic of Synthwave and 80’s culture. Matching soundtracks to specific stylised moods is a fun challenge which we always enjoy!