For any budding sound designer, there's nothing more exciting than the prospect of having your own foley pit. However, the build process can often be daunting for those who are unfamiliar with D.I.Y projects or working with restrictive budgets. In this article, we will share with you a short guide for building your own foley pit.
To start with, look at the room you want the pit to be in and make a measurement of how much room you have to play with. Then decide how many different substances you want based on the room you have available. Common substances used for foley include - Wooden floorboards, Concrete, Gravel/Stone, Leaves, Carpet.
For example, using 4 different surfaces, each section 2x2 feet would require a square with a minimum area of 16sq feet. This does not account for extra space needed to separate the different sections of the foley pit, which would ideally be a few inches, so it's best to assume you will need slightly more space than you think.
If you have limited space available, this puts restrictions either on the surface area of each section, or the number of different substances you can include, so it's up to you to decide whether to have fewer sections and more space or more sections but less room to maneuver. Once you have made a decision, you should make a rough plan using pen and paper, sketching out the layout of the foley pit and where you want everything to go. The Build
A foley pit is essentially interlocking wooden or concrete frames that each contains a different surface. The frames can be constructed by cutting plywood into four panels and gluing them together. Wooden pallet beds are also a good option and can be reconfigured into frames without too much difficulty. You can then position wooden panels or floorboards on the top of the frame to create a wooden surface. For earth surfaces such as dirt or rocks, you may want to line the wooden frame with sound blankets to dampen the resonance of the wood or use a less resonant material such as concrete or brick for the frame.
A trip to your local D.I.Y or garden supplies store should provide you with all of the materials and tools that you need to build the pit.
Our Basic shopping list looks like this Plywood panels
Carpet Squares Dried Leaves/Hay
We hope you find this guide useful. If you enjoyed this article please check out our ultimate guide to audio post- production: https://www.344audio.com/post/the-ultimate-guide-to-audio-post-production-sound-design
344 Audio is an Audio Post Production studio in Manchester.
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