The groundskeeper walks up to the wooden doors of the old building, thrusts a large metal key into the lock, and then turns it, before the house opens up with a creak.
'Good luck,' he says, as he hurries away.
I take a look inside to see a vast building, covered in dust and black mould, imagining the kind of life the family that lived there a hundred years ago might have lead. I place my bag down and carefully install my respirator, before I walk inside, the sound of my footsteps echoing throughout the curiously shaped building.
As I walk around the house, inspecting all the doors that I could record, I felt my pace quicken with excitement. Such a large house, with literally nothing better to do, just waiting for me to record it.
Making my way back to the entrance, I take my equipment out, set it up, and I begin recording the doors, in all their might.
With every movement, the shrieking sound of old wood and metal hinges resonated throughout the mansion.
As I moved from room to room, I tried to image what purpose each might have served. Perhaps this room was used as a living room, as it overlooks the town at the bottom of the hill. Or maybe this is where the father established his private office, where he could smoke and look at the adult photos he had locked up in his bottom drawer, right next to his revolver.
Making my way through the house, I begin slamming and hitting the doors, the entire house shaking with each impact, black mould and dust flying freely through the air. The strange shape of the building gave each impact interesting resonance, adding to the character of the recordings.
As I looped around the house, ignoring all the sounds and creaks coming from the seemingly empty rooms, I stumbled across two large wooden doors, similar to the kind you would find upon entering an 18th century European Ballroom. Rather relatable, I know.
I swung them open a few times, which made a grandiose sound, and then I scurried out of the building, before I slowly drove myself insane.
After repeating the process a few more times at an abandoned house, warehouse, and another mansion, I found myself back at my lair in London. My eyebrows furrowed with doubt, I scrolled through the endless tracks, clips, and takes that I had to edit through.
Nevertheless, I'm a good boy, so I got started straight away, cleaning up the audio, putting iZotope RX to work, chopping up and editing different takes, writing awesome metadata, etc.
After weeks of work, I was done. The absolute mess of clips that I on my computer was now organised into sweet .WAV files, dripping with metadata, inviting you to press play.
Anyway, as I was saying, I was standing there, all proud, looking at this neatly packaged library, gently shedding a tear. Before uploading it, I didn't quite know how popular it was going to be.
After posting about it on Facebook, and getting some great feedback from George Vlad, I knew people were excited, but I didn't quite realise how popular it would be, trending on asoundeffect.com for a couple of weeks.
If you've purchased Abandoned Doors, I want to say thanks! I hope you got good use out of it, you're awesome, and you make what I do so much fun. If you haven't purchased it yet, you can get it here
*Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge*
Also, if you’d like to learn more about how you can get started recording sound effects, I’ve written an article about the gear you need here.