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What is the sound of nothing? 

Charles Deenen: 
I need to make a sound for about fifty 20x20 rooms that LITERALLY have nothing happening inside. The walls are 10 feet thick solid rock walls. The rooms are underground. I've tried everything  that is the usual normal filler, but it either sounds like standard tape-hiss, too modern, or too much like wind... 
Mark Berger: 
You really want to know "what is the sound of nothing?" We were faced with a similar problem in "The English Patient." What is the sound of a desert, with no wind, nothing happening? 

The sound of nothing is hard to convey by itself. It is best accomplished by contrasting it with the sounds of something that suddenly go away. The more the contrast, either in volume, density, or variety of sounds that completely go away when you enter the room, the greater the sense of emptiness and isolation. 

To emphasize the silence, perhaps a single, very dead creak or pop, to emphasize that there is nothing else happening. Again, in "The English Patient."  we used the sound of a single cricket-like insect to reinforce the feeling that there was nothing else, especially when it stopped. 

Charles Deenen: 
That certainly helps, since it confirms my original thoughts. Last night (well, actually, this morning:), I started to get to something I finally liked. We recorded super-small sounding wood wicker sounds as far as the foley-room allowed us to go from the mic. Playing those really quiet on very tamed down room-hiss seemed to work. 

Mark, the problem is that this stuff is for an interactive game, I can almost never predict if there is a big sounding room in front of it, so I can't use that trick (wish I could!!:) 

Randy Thom: 
In the movie "Contact" we literally put no sound at all into certain parts of two scenes, and it seemed to work pretty well. We were a little concerned that people would think something had happened to the theater sound system, so in the opening sequence we gradually faded the sound out rather than ending it abruptly. 

Edited excerpt from CAS webboard (message thread: small room ambience - no sound) 

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