My Dog The Cave
Using animals to create sound effects has a long history and often you’ll find sound designers using recordings of their own pets to do so. In “Terminator 2” Gary Rydstrom used his dog, Buster, eating puppy chow as the crunch of the T-1000 spiking a guys eye out. No eye-spiking sound effects were called for when I worked on “Aladdin & His Winter Wish” this past Christmas at the Pasadena Playhouse, but I did recognize a cue that I thought the sound of my dog, Otis, would be perfect for. Act 1 Scene 7 of the show was set in a “Magic Cave” and on page 39 of the script the stage directions read “ALADDIN STEPS IN CAVE, A GROAN IS HEARD AND ALADDIN JUMPS OUT”. As soon as I read the word “groan” I thought of Otis.
Maybe your dog is different, but after a hard day of barking at door bells my dog will sigh, yawn and groan loudly as he lays down to rest. He’ll groan again if you happen to be sitting on the only spot he felt he could find that rest and then continue groaning as long as you disturb his hard-earned sleep by fidgeting beneath him. I just happen to have a recording of Otis groaning so I used that to create the groan heard in the cave.
The original recording of Otis:
That sound edited to contain just his groan, pitched down a couple octaves, played in reverse and some reverberations added: