Music From Another Room

The prompt

(This is a folk song written in the 1800s that was recorded in 1922 and is now public domain. However, since it is a song that already exists, Soundcloud may flag it anyway. If it gets taken down, leave a comment and I’ll try to embed the file or something. Just so we’re all on the same page.)

The description: It’s been fifteen years since the virus began spreading. It’s been ten since the vaccines failed, and six since it mutated into a hyper-deadly, hyper-contagious variant that wiped out 97% of the population. You’re one of the last survivors on the planet. As you raid an abandoned house for supplies, you accidentally trigger a tripwire and the music starts playing. As you explore further, you find who set up the tripwire, at least what’s left of them: a skeleton on the floor of the bedroom, lying on a bloodstained carpet, the gun they used to take their own life still in their hand. You take the gun. You can’t afford to waste time and resources to mourn the dead. Not anymore.

The writeup: I have been thinking about apocalypses in relation to this song a lot recently, considering that was the long-form writing idea I came up with and I’m still planning to do something with it. The song is a folk song, so there are plenty of different versions of it. I originally tried to do this project with the Gene Autry version of the song titled “Red River Valley” because that one’s my favorite, but Soundcloud flagged it, so I used the version that’s old enough to be public domain instead. I honestly hate this version, but it gets the mood across. I like the juxtaposition of an upbeat song with the gruesome image of a suicide that was never found (honestly, one of the more grim images I could think of from an apocalypse).

I took the base recording and used Sony Vegas Movie Maker 15 to make the edits. I used the amplitude modulation to increase the wet out to 24 dB and lower the amplitude. I also had the low-pass start frequency set to 230 Hz. I then used the Track EQ feature. I honestly don’t know what it does exactly, but when I was playing around with it, I found that moving point 1 to (+15, 166) and 4 (-15, 169) came with a good effect.


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