Seal Creature #1: Boh, The Forgotten Dog
Let’s get started with the seal creatures showcase. Here’s the first creature, who I called Boh.
Boh born as a scent hound dog. The nightmare came one day in the forest, when Boh was assisting his master in a hunting adventure and inadvertently ingested a strange and toxic substance that made him sick.
Over time, Boh started to get mutations and became aggressive. His master had to get rid of him, but he would not kill his faithful friend, so he locked Boh in a cave, fed him everyday, and never let him get out. When his master died, boh remained alone and abandoned in his cave, becoming more aggressive each day.
The evolution of the mutation, and the fact of eat other animals, made the life of Boh last longer. Boh has changed so much that is completely unrecognizable now.
I had to made all my sounds using only this text reference, so this time it’s not about performance, it’s about the emotional and physics of this dog, based on how I imagine it. I had in mind three fundamental aspects:
- - The monster was a dog
- - Is sad for his lonely life and miss his master
- - He is very aggressive and kills other live beings for feeding
Use of Seal Vocals and Sound Design of Boh
So, with those aspects identified, Is started to select the seal vocals. I found useful to play with all kind of growls and bites of the adult seals. Growls give a very deep factor to the attacks and post-breaths of the monster, while the bites give aggressive elements and impact. Another useful element here was the breaths and the respective weird versions of them. That help a lot to give a sense of despair and anxiety to our character. You can easily identify some of the parts and samples I used, but the goal here is not to hide the seal recordings, is just about making a sonic .
I splited the files in a lot of different ways, combining elements from several samples of the library. There’s no too much layering in the sounds. Just enough to give different perspectives and trying to layer the essential elements such as breaths, then growl + bite + extra factor (ie a weird seal call pitched down to give a sense of sadness). The breaths can be also added to the end and have different sounds.
For this creature I did a lot of pitch/time down processing. That helped to achieve deep and fat kinda monster sounds. I also added some sub-harmonic content to enhance the deep-low range. Also some EQ and dynamic processing was present, mostly to give more warmth/color and a bit of punch.
[Notes: Played in no particular order. Each one is a different example of how Boh could sound like]
Image credit: Basset Hound at Wikimedia