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Posted by on Jul 21, 2011 | 6 comments

Sound Design Challenge #11: Sound Scavenging

It’s time for the next Sound Design Challenge! We’re really excited to have this one sponsored by McDSP. They’re offering up a copy of their Futzbox plug-in to the winner. Please take the time to thank them by following them on Twitter @McDSP_PlugIns and visiting their Facebook page (feel free to “Like” it while you’re there).

We’re going to try something a little different with this one, and it’s going to be a bit like a scavenger hunt. Here are the details…

Your task for this challenge is to get out of the studio an do a bit of effects recording. You’ll need to produce 5 sounds in total. I say “produce,” because you won’t be able to find an actual source for some of those sounds…but that’s part of the challenge. ;) Whether or not you’ll be able to find an authentic source to record, or have to record component sounds to modify and layer will, to a certain extent, be determined by your location and what you have access to. You’ll have to record everything yourself though…no library effects for this one. Starting today, I’ll announce a sound every four days which will be listed at the bottom of this post (so you may want to temporarily bookmark it). You’ll need to submit all of them as one file through the SoundCloud group before the challenge ends (August 11, 5PM U.S. Eastern Time).

Let’s get specific about the rules:

  1. Make sure to read and understand the General Rules and Legal Disclaimers as described on this page. Participation in the Challenge implies you have done so and agree to the terms listed therein.
  2. You must use only “fresh” recordings for this challenge. That means no library effects may be used (whether they be commercial or your existing personal stash). This one is all about foraging.
  3. You are not required to record the literal sound. Recording and modifying different sounds to build the target is perfectly acceptable (and expected for some of them). Record any sound you think will be useful.
  4. Your entry sounds must be submitted as a single, composite, file to the SoundCloud group before the challenge closes on Thursday, August 11th (5 PM U.S. Eastern Time).

Yes, the categories listed in the picture above are hints as to what the next sounds will be, and I guarantee that you’re going to have to do some processing on a few of them. As usual, we’ll be looking for some volunteer judges to help generate a pool of finalists for the public voting. If you have any questions please leave a comment, and I’ll respond as soon as possible.

A big thanks goes out to McDSP for sponsoring this challenge.

Now, here’s your list of sounds:

  1. A “dry” toilet flush (meaning little to no reverberation). The challenge with this one is how reverberant the rooms they’re in usually are. ;) Good luck.
  2. A babbling brook. If you don’t know what that means, just have a look at this video.
  3. A galloping horse. Try not to get trampled.
  4. A bullet ricochet. Don’t put your eye out!
  5. A LARGE rocket launch. We’re talking ICBM, Apollo 111, NASA shuttle…


  1. Still need judges? I’m up for it if you still need people.

  2. I wish by “Dry” toilet flush you were litereally looking for a **dry** toilet flush.

  3. Is there a place (forum) where the participants can discuss the entries? (i’m pretty curious how some other people made their sounds).
    Also, when will the public voting start?

    • I’ll create a post dedicated to comments regarding the entries where that can be discussed. We’re finishing up the judging to narrow down to 5 finalist, and public voting should open later this week.

  4. Thanks for the quick reply!

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