Because Sometimes Only Hearing is Believing
Many times my FX are drawn from a marvelous website called Freesound.org. I cut, slice and alter them using effects found in the Audacity tool (also free to download and use). Sometimes I create the sound myself, using my voice or things to hand.
Featured Sound: Guarded Portal
Seems like so long ago now, but my first real-for-true outside author who hired me for narration work– Gilbert Stack had me for the Legionnaire series but he’s a cherished friend and colleague– was M. R. Matthias for his series Fantastica. He liked some of the sounds I installed (and asked me to drop others); I’m sure I learned a lot from helping to tell this epic tale over the course of four books (now available as a bundle).
Briefly– there’s a chamber filled with tomes of lore, the entrance guarded against entry by evildoers (the innocent can pass through freely). When the bad guys try to enter, the magical ward goes off, with fatal results.
Here’s the sound, Guarded Portal:
How It Sounded
With regret, I threw together FX in the early days without careful notes on which contributor to Freesound were the authors. But I’m fairly sure there were two sounds here, one of several Lightning sounds and another having to do with Electric/Zap. The challenge with these short FX is to insert something that’s evocative without interrupting the flow of the tale. The story is always, always first and foremost about the words the author wrote. I tried to put this in so that the listener might jump a second, and thus become more fully immersed in that tale.
How It Looks
Yeah, no. Google doesn’t have much in the way of a lightning-like flash that goes off when someone tries to cross a portal. But there is a company called Zap that makes garage door openers! Fantasy with its magic and monsters exceeds our experience– that’s really the point, isn’t it?. So the listener must just imagine that moment when the evil sorcerer gets an also-evil but unsuspecting thug to try and cross the portal.
The Fantastica series is available in all formats on Amazon and Audible. It remains one of the best selling volumes of my narration collection.