About the Sound Effects Library

the_rustle_sonniss-1The Rustle is a sound library with recordings of grass, leaves, scrubs, branches, rods, twigs & trees rustling in the wind. The goal was to create a versatile library with high quality recordings of natural sounding ambience and foley sweeteners.

Designing beautiful winds or other natural ambiences can be tricky. Often, the rustling of leaves is the key to convey wind movement clearly and believably. And sometimes it’s simply an in-scene tree or bush that needs some presence, but with the right perspective.

I always found it difficult to get my hands on nicely textured and well-defined rustling sounds and that’s why I recorded this library. Many different (as diverse as possible) plants where dragged in the studio and tied up to hang dangling from the ceiling. Then I tested different methods of making them rustle in the most natural way.

The problem here is that things quickly start to sound “purposeful”. It’s quite hard to take a branch in your hand and recreate the random and natural movement produced by a light breeze. There’s a certain poetry in the tenderness and lightness of truly free-swinging objects in the wind that is difficult to reproduce artificially. Real wind will not sound purposeful, it’s perfectly random and follows the smooth dynamic typical for wind. Of course, the best way to tackle this is to use natural wind and record in the field. And I did exactly that for a large part of this library.

But in the studio, simply shaking these plants by hand was not always satisfying. So after lots of unfruitful experiments with all kinds of artificial wind sources, I ended up with a quite simple method: a Chinese paper fan. The results where far better and much more subtle than touching the leaves directly (the files where the fan was used are marked with “fanned”).

Of course, these sounds will also work for many other purposes, like insects or foot steps that don’t sound “grassy” or “forest-y” enough. Whatever you end up doing, I hope you’ll enjoy working with The Rustle!

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