What's a good low instrument for creepy suspense

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ironpony
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11 May 2020, 10:43 pm

I'm getting ready to compose some music for a short film that is of the horror/suspense genre. I want an instrument that is very low bass for creepy suspense, and I am not sure which one. There is the double bass and the tuba. The double bass has a bit of a plain vanilla sound for me, and the tuba sounds kind of creepy, but also kind of... 'farty', or flagellant, shall I say.

I was listening to some soundtracks and I like the way the tuba and double bass sound here in these pieces:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE0WZxPTFwY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Me-VhC9ieh0

Unless maybe there are better bass instruments that are as low as those, that I haven't considered?



auntblabby
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12 May 2020, 1:46 am

listen to a contrabassoon sometime, esp. paired with a contrabass. alan parsons used them to keen effect in his album "I Robot."



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12 May 2020, 1:50 am

I honestly do not know how well it works, For this
...but what if you just played a creepy tune on a hurdy gurdy?


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Last edited by Sweetleaf on 12 May 2020, 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

auntblabby
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12 May 2020, 1:55 am

the guy who did the music for "green acres" liked to use a hollywood theatrical wurlitzer [the Lorin Whitney Studio Wurlitzer, now defunct] to add terror accents to some of his soundtracks, esp. to the movie "the ghost and mr. chicken."



ironpony
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12 May 2020, 2:02 am

Okay thanks. Actually the contrabassoon sounds like the instrument in the John Barry sample I posted before. Is that a contrabassoon and and not a tuba, perhaps, like I thought?



auntblabby
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12 May 2020, 2:14 am

got the impression left channel was hard-blown tuba, right channel was bass trombone or mebbe a contrabass trombone.



ironpony
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12 May 2020, 2:19 am

Oh okay thanks. I tried downloading the clip and listening to both channels separately. It doesn't sound like a bass trombone, it sounds like a tuba in both channels, but maybe one is is a bass or contrabass trombone...



Last edited by ironpony on 12 May 2020, 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

auntblabby
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12 May 2020, 2:36 am

ironpony wrote:
Oh okay thanks. I tried downloading the clip and listening to both channels separately. It doesn't sound like a bass trombone, it sounds like a tuba in both channels, but maybe one is is a bass or contrabass trombone...

something about the bore of a trombone amplifies the lip buzz, giving a hard-blown low-register trombone its distinctive buzz, that is how i ID'ed it in the right channel. the one on the left channel lacks a lot of that buzz but still sounds like an almost overblown tuba to my ears at least, because that is what low brass instruments are known for, that "blatty" buzz on the low notes when blown hard.



ironpony
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12 May 2020, 2:46 am

Oh okay. I kind of like the buzz, kind of not...

What about this low instrument, what would this one be:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN9gcEZMZO8

Is it an electric double bass or a synthesizer?



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12 May 2020, 3:18 am

sounds to me like a synth as traditional wind instruments like tuba can't glide seamlessly from note to note quite as smoothly/reliably as what was in the youtube. a contrabass [lower version of string bass] could but also would have a telltale string buzz that was not in this recording [unless they filtered it out, a real possibility].



ironpony
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12 May 2020, 3:55 am

Oh okay, that makes sense, thanks. Well another possible idea is the electric double bass, but I cannot find any examples, where it's played really low though. Is there any soundtracks I can find the really low notes being played?



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12 May 2020, 4:01 am

Theremin.


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ironpony
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12 May 2020, 4:03 am

Oh okay, but a theramin cannot produce low bass sounds, can it, or at least I've never heard it do any, in the past.



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12 May 2020, 4:52 am


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Sweetleaf
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12 May 2020, 4:55 am

ironpony wrote:
Oh okay, but a theramin cannot produce low bass sounds, can it, or at least I've never heard it do any, in the past.


IDK but the theremin is still an awesome thing. I kinda want to get one...just so if nothing else if I had people tripping on mushrooms in my house I could present them with that crazy device. But then again for that to happen I would need friends.....but I am in short supply of those.


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