Editing Episode 17 - When is a door not a door?

Welcome to the latest episode in my irregular series: ‘Complaining About Science Brian’s Sound Descriptions’. This month we have this charmingly and unnecessarily specific addition to the list:

A snippet of script showing the sound effect: OUTSIDE A FUNNY DOOR IN A WALL IN OXFORD

Funny? In this podcast?

So let’s break this down, shall we?


Fine. Outside. No problem. I have many ‘outside’ background noises. Outside raining. Outside windy. Outside in a field with birds singing. Outside in a Victorian street with horses trotting past.  And, the effect I finally used here: Outside in a modern street with traffic in the distance and people talking. But does that really meet what I shall, with one raised eyebrow, refer to as ‘the brief’?

A Funny Door

Not just a door. A funny door. Now, I’ve talked at some length before about how things in audio dramas don’t necessarily sound like they do in real life. So Science Brian expects me to suggest to the audience, with sound only, that the characters are standing next to a door. A funny door. It will come as a huge surprise to absolutely no one at all that I essentially just ignored this bit.

In a Wall

I… no.

In Oxford

Well, perhaps. There are many things that Oxford is famous for, but could any of them be included in this sound effect:

  • Centuries of academic excellence..? No.
  • Posh berks with too much money..? Well, perhaps, I suppose. But no.
  • The colour dark blue..? No.
  • Bicycles..?

Bicycles! Of course – to my ‘Outside in a modern street with traffic in the distance and people talking’ I could add some bicycle bells and pedalling to create the perfect Oxford ambience. Sadly, I’ve only just thought of that now, while writing this blog, but had I thought of it three weeks ago when I was editing the podcast, I assure you it would have been brilliant. Ah well…

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