Composer and Sound Designer

Kasey Polk is a freelance composer, performer, and sound designer. His focus is to create music and sound design for film,video games, sonic branding, and commercials.  

Field Recording Session: Gibson Park in Greensboro, NC

Every month, I try to participate in a gamejam either with new developers or with a group of devs I regularly work with. This month Unreal Engine(game development program) is having a MEGAJAMMM, which means the jam will be a weeklong instead of a normal 4 days. So for this jam, myself and a few buddies decided that we wanted to give it a try! 

For our game we decided to do a game that was set outside in a forest so, of course that means FOREST SOUNDS! I was super excited to grab my recorder and head out to the park!

Gibson Park is located in Greensboro, NC and is connected to the 16 mile Bicentennial Parkway Trail. I normally come to this park to get some exercise (lots of people do actually) and if you haven't had a chance to explore it, you should!


For this trip, I took my Handy Zoom H4 Portable Recorder with wind blocker, Sony MDR-7506 Cans, My pocket knife, my phone for photos, and the list of SFX I needed to gather! Also took some water! Stay hydrated!

What sounds did I record?

For this session, my goal was to gather as many forest ambiences as I could. We decided that we didn't want to really focus on the "music" aspect of the game but wanted to focus on the environmental feel of the game.  My goal was to gather wind noise, tree sounds, various animals, streams, breaking sticks, traveling on gravel, travel on leaves, travel on sand, falling leaves, and as many variations of birds, squirrels, and other animals as I could. 

Advice for recording near a stream!

Embarrassingly for me, I had a bit of an accident during this session. As I was approaching the edge of the stream to record, I wasn't paying attention to the moss on the rocks and guess what i did! I NEARLY FEEL COMPLETELY INTO THE WATER! Fortunately I ended up just dipping one foot in the water and slamming on my butt! Happy to report that non of my equipment was damage and I made it out safely, which hopefully no one watching haha!  But for anyone that wants to get great stream sounds, I recommend a boom pole setup so you can keep your distance or wear some non slip shoes!  

You can hear me falling in this audio clip haha! 

Another sound that I had to get was the sound of acorns falling from a tree and landing on the ground. For this, it was a little late and the team needed them soon. So I decided to look around the house for something that could replicate the sound of an acorn. I ended up finding a small chocolate egg and some printer paper. I crumpled the paper and added some dinner mints to replicate the ground with leaves on top. And proceeded to drop from various angles until I got the desired sounds. Overall they came out pretty great I feel! 

The Final Product!

The team finally did get to finish the game and we submitted it for the Mega Game Jam today. Feel free to check out our game and many other submissions. Here is a screenshot from the game we made! 

If you'd like to play the game, hear the sounds I created, and see what a small team of folks can do in one week, you can download the game here! and to view the rest of the submissions go  --> https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?87375-Epic-MegaJam-Submission-Thread!

Thanks for reading! 

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