FANTASTiC | 05 February 2024 | 523.06 MB
Since the very beginning of humanity caves have attracted us as safe-havens and gathering points that to this day still provide a feeling of mystique and history. Because of its resistance to change and the relative stability of its climate, the underground world perfectly preserves much anthropological and paleontological evidence that has taught us much about our fellow man. What do caves sound like? Can we capture that magical resonance and reverb of caves that transports us back to the times of ancient ancestors?
Soundscapes Caves takes place over two distinct cave environments. The pack originally took shape with hardhats and soggy recording equipment deep in lava tunnels formed by a volcanic eruption 20 years ago on Réunion Island, a French department in the Indian Ocean. Producer Charles Van Kirk and Réunionnais artist Aurus hiked over crumbling volcanic rocks along a little known fisherman’s path with the help of a local guide in search of Salanganes birds (swiftlets in English).
The path to the lava tunnels began with Charles asking Aurus: what are the most memorable sounds from your childhood on Réunion? One of the answers to that question – echolocating birds nesting deep in caves near the ocean – is featured prominently in these recordings. Aurus and Charles sang in the caves and played percussion on the surfaces of the lava, with the movement of the eruption etched in ripples and cracks.
This network of caves contains many different acoustic environments: small, intimate spaces with excitable low frequencies and larger chambers with longer reverb decay times. A constant in most of these spaces is dripping water and fluttering wings of the Salanganes.
The second part of this sample pack was recorded in southern Utah in and around Zion National Park with Charles, vocalist Emily Greene and Splice’s Josh Robertson. The trio explored an abandoned sandstone tunnel and several other points of acoustic curiosity, leaning into the expertise of Emily’s gorgeous vocals in the unique reverbs of the twisting Utah caves to round out this pack.
As you spelunk into these samples, expect incredible vocals echoing through the cave networks, compelling percussion using rocks, body parts and creatures living in the caves, and incredible synths designed from the ambiences found in these special hideaways. Become a sonic cave-dweller and unearth these versatile, full, and moving sounds for your next film production, track, or whatever your creative endeavor.
All sounds were recorded with a DPA 5100 surround microphone into either a Sound Devices recorder or an SSL interface.