As regulars to these pages will know, one of the aspects of region design I tend to keep an ear out for and appreciate, is that of a well-crafted ambient sound scape. In fact, not only do I listen for local ambient sounds when visiting regions, I also use them in both my public and private builds; hence why I was intrigued when my Redoubtable Region Spy Shawn Shakespeare (SkinnyNilla) passed me an LM to Hear How Your Landscape Should Sound, and decided to hop and take a look (and listen) sooner rather than later.
Designed by ElizabethNantesJewell and region holder Electric Monday, the region – which I’m going to abbreviate to HHYLSS, even if that does sound like a riff on Douglas Adams’ The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy – is intended to offer a demonstration of how the considered use of sounds can enhance a setting, notably by using Electric Monday’s Bunyi brand of ambient sounds (her store can be found tucked into a corner of the region and is used as the landing point in this article).
Beyond the store, the land is split into a number of interlinked environments that form a natural, rolling landscape in which collections of related sounds can be found, each element of which can be purchased on encountering it via little tree-trunk pedestals that also provide a description of the sound being heard. These sounds for a small selection of those found in the store, and range from bird song to the sound of water bubbling through a brook to the buzzing of bees, the call of sheep and lambs, and more. As well as hosting these sounds, the setting itself offers plenty of opportunity for rural / pastoral photography, including as it does woodland, rolling fields, a Zen garden, and a climb up a stubby finger of rock to the cabin at its peak as attractions.
The landscaping itself comes from a number of creators I particularly appreciate as I use their work myself. These include Cube Republic, Alex Bader, Lilith Heart Sasaya Kayo (Happy Mood), and there reside here together with elements by the likes of Kendra Zaurak (Fanatik), Cari McKeenan (The Little Branch), Krystali Rabeni (Love) and more – all of which means the regions is also ripe with potential landscaping ideas. In some instances it would seem that these creators may have inspired Electric in her range of sound systems – her Zen Garden sounds, for example would mapper to offer a good fit with Alex’s Studio Skye Zen Garden kit (a personal favourite of mine).
Of course, a lot of landscaping creators also provide sounds of their own to go with items they sell: Alex, for example provides the sound of flowing, tumbling water in his river building kits and his waterfall kits come with sound systems as well, but what Electric and other creators like her offer are broader sounds, individual and in collections, that can help add depth to a setting, be it an entire region or a modest parcel, and – in Electric’s case at least – offer sounds based on geographical locations – North America, Eurasia, the tropics, etc., helping to focus an ambient sound scape on any theme represented by a region / parcel build.
That said, I would emphasise this article should not be seen as an endorsement of the sound found within the region. Not because I have any issue with them, but simply because as I have a system I’m long familiar with and which offers the range and flexibility of use I require, I’ve no pressing need to add others sound emitters to my inventory, no matter how reasonably priced. So, if you are considering purchasing anything from the Bunyi range, I recommend you do your own homework first to ensure you’re happy with your choice.
Nevertheless, HHYLSS offers a good example of the considered use of local sounds and their placement within a region / parcel, and presents a place that has several opportunities of photography, thus making it an interesting both to visit and as a generator of ideas.
- Hear How Your Landscape Should Sound (Bunyi, rated Moderate)