Soundscape – Apothecary Shop
BattleBards is working for a high-profile, undisclosed client set to release a new product aimed at the tabletop gaming market. As Audio Producer for this product, BattleBards will create and manage the audio needs required for this product with all final decisions regarding track selection handed off to the client. Selected artists will be credited with the creation of the tracks purchased. All Gigs are full Buyout only.
This Gig is for an environmental soundscape, that is, a soundscape featuring a specific environment or in this case, a very particular shop. We would like to provide gamers with a track that can be played highlighting the sounds of being inside a medieval fantasy apothecary, thus, no music, no footsteps, only the sounds of the shop and all of its associated sounds is what we’re after. This means we also do not want to hear anyone working in the shop, only the shop itself and the various sounds related to the making of various brews and potions. Assume that the making of such potions are on ‘auto-pilot’ for the sake of the piece. Tracks must be able to loop cleanly and provide a rich, high definition canvas for the environment being featured. A challenge here is to make each track somewhat general, able to be used in a multitude of situations. For example, if you include the sounds of an exploding cauldron horribly burning someone, use of this track would be limited to too few situations where such a thing occurs, that’s too narrow a range so this must be avoided at all costs. The track should be at least (5:00) or 5 minutes in length but longer tracks are welcome.
Gig Details - Descriptions:
Setting’s Environment. The listeners are visiting an apothecary shop, a place where potions, salves, and other curative and beneficial items are created. Stocked with all manner of plants and mixed with various reagents like ashes, minerals, and liquids, an apothecary shop produces magical brews critical to most adventurers. Full of various bubbling pots, open flames, and all manner of brewing and distillation equipment, the shop is abuzz with the sounds of busy potion makers. Not only does the soundscape include the sounds of the actual shop but of outside as well. The shop is located at the intersection of two well-traveled streets within a large medieval fantasy metropolis and thus, the occasional muffled sounds of horses, wagons, and passerbys outside the store would help to create a rich, vivid, and organic soundscape.
Clips and Loops: Five minutes is a long time in soundscape terms and we’d like to create as rich as a soundscape for gamers as possible. If you’re going to embed many loops you need to be careful. These soundscapes are meant to be looped in a gaming session which can play for hours. Over saturating any one element will likely become grating to the listeners. Make sure those loops you embed (bubbling water, clinking of glass vials, etc) are done so with enough variation to avoid becoming jarring.
Not a Wizard’s Shop: Unlike the classic image of a wizard brewing potions who use the parts of exotic animals, calls of lightning, and incantations, an apothecary shop has some subtle but important differences. Focused on the use of herbs and elements of the natural world, there’s less of a focus on ‘overt’ magic than the subtle magic of knowing just what to mix and in what quantities. In regards to animals sounds, instead of dragons and fairies, one would more likely hear the simple natural sounds of what you’d expect from a well-tended garden. Birds signing in a window sill and so on.
Variation and Accenting SFX: A good deal of creative license is available to the artist to create a unique and compelling apothecary shop. Even though we need to avoid overtly obtrusive accenting sound effects, there’s a great deal you can include to make your shop uniquely yours. Well woven details included in the background make good soundscapes great. Some ideas of these small details include: a brew coming to full boil, the whistle of a tea-kettle like distillation equipment, the ‘poof’ (or anything other interesting sound) of a potion coming to completion, the sound of one liquid poured into another with unusual effect, the sounds of a pestle and mortar, and SO much more can help to add that spice to your soundscape. When it comes to these accenting SFX, keep in mind the following:
• Subtle. This is the most important bit of advice. These elements must be unobtrusive and pushed into the background of the piece. The track cannot introduce any element that forces the Game Master (the one running the game) to introduce something to their game that’s not intended.
• Don’t Go Overboard. The artist is at their discretion when deciding how full their fantasy layer will be, however, making your environment too crazy will likely freak players out and make for an unusable track for a Game Master.
The following tracks have been identified as providing a good basis for inspiration into the feel, energy, and direction this track requires. Please note that there will be no tolerance for stolen work, so make sure that submitted auditions are original compositions and that you have 100% rights to use and sell any samples or loops you embed.
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince potion making (1:03 to 3:40)
Having the continual sound of generic bubbling in the background can get a bit stale, especially since soundscapes in tabletop gaming are often looped for hours. The type of bubbling we hear in the section indicated above from the Harry Potter Video Game provides both some interesting variation in the bubbling as well as some interesting sounds for when a potion reaches a certain level of potency. This sort of detail would be well received in this Gig. Please note, the clip above includes background music which is not a requested component for this Gig.
Please note that there will be no tolerance for stolen work, so make sure that submitted auditions are original compositions and that you have 100% rights to use and sell everything that you submit for consideration.
Most important of all, have fun making these! Talent that enjoys immersing gamers in these settings tend to be the most successful since it often shows in the track. If you have any questions, please shoot us over a message through Audio Catch, we’ll try to answer all of it, don’t be shy. Good luck!!!