Week 5: Can you hear me now?

Not a lot of people know this, but before I was an Education major, I spent five years studying audio production and I was actually pretty good about it. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here but…beep beep.

I had a major assignment due for a college professor years ago that involved adding sound to a muted scene and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in school. A lot of people forget about room sounds. There is a natural sound to every atmosphere which must be added to a movie scene or it will sound fake. Many people are not aware that Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds did not contain any natural bird sounds. Every thrilling squawk in that movie was engineered in a studio.

So anyway, back to this exercise. I set my alarm for two minutes and closed my eyes and here’s what I heard:

-My dog breathing: My dog is about 10 now so he’s old. He breathes heavily when he naps and the noise fills the foyer in the front of my house. It’s basically an amphitheater.

-Wind: It’s particularly windy today and I have a fireplace so it’s extremely audible.

-Room sounds: Rooms sounds are everywhere. They are simply the natural aura of noise that surround you wherever you are.

-Creak of the floor upstairs: Probably from the wind since I’m home alone.

-My dog’s nails on the tile: When my dog naps, he moves around a lot. His nails hit the tile so we always know when he’s rolling over.

-Airplane flying overhead.

My own breathing: It’s amazing that this was the last sound I realized I was hearing. Once I heard it, I was extremely aware of it. In fact, it was almost silent but once I realized it was present, it was the loudest sound I heard.


After I completed this exercise, I listened to the clip from Good Will Hunting. These were the sounds I heard:


-People talking, laughing

-Cars driving

-Dogs barking

-Bike wheel sounds

I assumed it was set in a park and I was correct. Now, I have seen the movie before but it was very long ago and I honestly did not remember this scene.