Into the Woods


I am currently working on a prodution of Into the Woods. I am the Audio designer with an assistant. We are looking for a series of sound FX for ambiant forest noise, birds attacking, baby crying, cow mooing, Giant's foot steps, ect. We would like to have something that would sound good in a surround sound setting.

Anyone have any input on the matter?


Active Member
We did Into the Woods last year and our sound guy used a sampler called Dr. Sample. I have seen it on and It runs about $250. You can import sounds on a SmartMedia card too. That is how we did it.


Ambient sounds are pretty fun to work with! When I designed sound for our production of Macbeth, our director wanted a stormy creepy outdoors type ambience for the witch scenes, so I found different thunder and wind samples, and sequenced it into a surround sound track in Adobe Audition, then played it using 2 minidisc decks through four speakers to effectifly create four-channel surround sound. It was pretty cool having thunder comming from different locations in the auditorium.

As for your case, you can find many CD's from Amazon and Borders and such that have ambient forest sounds on them, such as birds chirping, etc... I'm sure you could find some on the internet as well, though I'd be very careful to find tracks that do not have much 'noise' on them because your objective here is to add to the performance, not to distract from it.

Ideally, for a surround sound environment, you'd probably want bird chipring comming from different locations, and I would do it by dumping your sounds onto a computer, then using a sequencing program such as Adobe Audition (or something like Kristal audio engine which is free) to create two seperate tracks.. front and rear, then export those and record them to a pair of CDs and/or minidiscs to play back at the same time with two minidisc or two cd decks

Baby crying and cow mooing sounds shouldn't be too difficult to find on the internet, If you've got a budget for sound, try

As for the giant's footsteps, you've got a few options. It ma be possible to find something on the internet, but most likely you'll end up either having to mic someone with a bucket of dirt and a hammer backstage, or you could record someone pounding something into dirt beforehand, then dump it into a computer and lower the pitch, EQ & compress it, etc.. digitally.

Have fun!


I just did a quick search over at and was able to come up with pretty much everything you were asking about. Birds attacking might be a bit tricky - you could probably buy multiple cues and with an audio editing program put together a really cool sounding cue from the ones I listened to there. I am a big fan of sounddogs :)


When I desined sound for Into the Woods I used Sound Dogs too but some things worked better live because it is a musical. The birds were flutes I think. The giant was the best though. I brought in 6 15" subs and drove them with a QSC PLX 3402. The signal was from a microphone under the bass drum with no processing. The percushionist used 2 malets like they were legs. The closer the giant the harder she hit. I put them in the back cat walk of our theater. It rocked the place:)


Well-Known Member
I did Into The Woods last year and got all of my sound effects on SoundDogs. I got a bolder crash for the giant's footsteps. However, apparently the pit musicians had music for the base drum as the giant approached, so we went with that (not reinforced, because we didn't have any subs).

We also had the baby crying as a live sound. The director was on the god mic in the booth for Act 2. Since there are several baby crying sound effects spaced so close together, it was easier for all involved if the director did it.

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