Post tutorial RSS Making hella cool sounds from a violin

Using a broken violin to create creepy, eerie ambiences for video games.

Posted by on - Basic Sound Effects

SOUND DESIGNING WITH VIOLINS

This is Tina Guo...

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Electric cellist extraordinaire known for her work on countless movies including Batman Vs. Superman, Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean and most recently on the upcoming video game Cyberpunk 2077. She is an exceptional string player.

And yes, she is as windswept-epic as her photos lead us to believe.

Now this is me.


A guy who recently took an old 3/4 sized violin off a friend’s hands and almost IMMEDIATELY broke one of the strings.

Thankfully the beauty of sound design lies not in how talented you are at playing an instrument, but in how you process and manipulate the god awful squeal that you relinquish from it. I played a simple articulation and layered it like no tomorrow in Logic Pro X.

The sound you’ll hear in the video below is a violin played over the bridge, or as my Italian relatives would say, “sul ponticello”. Taking the bow and playing very softly across or near the bridge of the instrument (the wooden part pushing up the strings from the body) you get a very airy, icy-y quality. Almost ghostly and creepy which is exactly the mood i needed to send shivers down player’s backs, whilst they traverse the eerie, pixel-art dungeon visuals i had been given.

You can see the gameplay footage i was presented at the end of the short video below.


For more sound design goodness please follow me on Instagram or subscribe to my YouTube!

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