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Innovative sounds & recording methods

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Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby gryfyx » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:16 am

Few innovative sounds that I've recorded

1. I bought an (ab)used and damaged midi synth. It gives me some very weird noises to record and edit. Its very unpredictable.

2. It had only been few minutes since a massive rain, ambiance was still wet, I carried a hand held sound recorder(Roland) and sat on a wet highway sidewalk, late at night, and I got some beautiful effects of cars whooshing by.

3. Hit the basketball on the solid tiled ground - record it - do the required filter tweaking and get a unique analog kick(Can try other balls and other flooring for better aural response).

4. I once stood on a rail bridge and recorded the passing train(I was dangerously close to the train, hence I'll not recommend this). Anyhow, I ended up not using it anywhere. It wasnt that good.

5. Place a table fan(run it on slow speed)between source of sound(Voice is recommended) and mic(Large diaphragm mic), get a very interesting stutter.

6. Try speaking anything and record it(Can, actually, take any voice. But it must be spoken one, not a sung one.) - take another track of synth melody - place sidechain compressor over synth melody - define vocal recording as the source for the sidechaining - put some subtle(Very subtle) automation on synth filter cutoff - keep resonance low(Not very low) - set the gain accordingly - and finally let the voice modulate synth sound - synth will start trying to say something. Loud and clear vocals will help.

7. Deep Fry something on the pan - and record the noise - get a nice warm sound effect of rain - pass the recording through some effects like reverb(But very subtle. I repeat, very subtle).

Note:- Let the reverb always be a mushy Utopian gadget for 'Enya' like aliens. Less of it is better, but remember less doesnt mean inaudible.

8. Light a match - record it upclose - trim the middle portion of the sample - shape it into a sustain loop - put no effect at all - no compressor even - although, can use filter to take care of few anomalies like background hiss or any click or glitch - turn the level absolutely down - try mixing this sustain loop into any track or song by bringing up the level - raise the level very carefully so that loop is barely audible - and soon fade back in - and continue fiddling level whenever feel required.

9. I once recorded my fart. Never used it though.

10. And snores.

~How about you? ;)
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:36 am

AuralSerenity wrote:
9. I once recorded my fart. Never used it though.

Not myself but if you find track 2 on this EP anywhere then that's pretty much that covered.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:23 am

I'm sure Martin Walker could go for several pages on this!

I once recorded a printer/photocopier at work which when it had run out of paper, would make a very robotic/mechanical sound and then beep in a kind of flatline way. I've used it raw once at the end of an ambient piece but it could do with some manipulation one day.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:27 am

Richie Royale wrote:
I once recorded a printer/photocopier at work which when it had run out of paper, would make a very robotic/mechanical sound and then beep in a kind of flatline way.

Printer Jam by Mistabishi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is-HVxmUELQ

One of the best videos I saw last year with some pretty cool sampling.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:29 am

Can't see TB at work, but I only became aware of that track late last year, but I've still not heard it. Think I got my sample about 5 years ago.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby grab » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:37 am

I've not yet got round to recording it, but I'm currently using a bit of test kit which, when turned on, emits the most fantastic descending filter sweep, probably from the power supply energising. That in itself isn't too unusual, but the odd thing here is that it has a massive rich reverb sound on the sweep as well. I've no idea quite how an industrial PC in a plain metal box can do this - and at the price of this gear, I can't exactly buy one just for the noise it makes! I'll defo get it recorded for future use before I leave here though.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby gryfyx » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:49 am

That was a nice DnB track.

Would be great if any other such innovative skill can be shared. :)
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:54 pm

I do a lot of this kind of stuff, from swinging speakers and mics around on strings, to abusing all kinds of innocent electronic toys well past their maker's intentions. Tiny amps, radios, record players and tape recorders can all be pressed into service.

I have a speaker that I swing between mics, but it seems to have given up the ghost until I can rustle up a replacement. I've used all kinds of percussive noises for drums. An old vinyl car seat can give you an incredible kick drum. Broken speakers, suitably stressed, can yeild some amazing sounds.

All kinds of containers and kitchen-ware are also fair game. Did you know that the 'unscrewing' sound on the 'War of the Worlds' album was two pans being ground together!?

Oh, and layer, layer, layer. Mingle the nice and the nasty.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:13 pm

Welcome to the SOS Forums AuralSerenity! 8-)

And thanks for making your first post such an interesting one.

One of my favourite captured sounds just recently was from an anglepoise lamp - the springs at the angle made a wonderful V'ger style boing when pitched down a little (as heard in 'Star Trek - The Motion Picture' - you can hear the sound I was after at 0:51 in this YouTube snippet www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwLrEcwtFM4 )

Interestingly the sounds was fairly quiet with the mic near the springs themselves, but got amplified beautifully by the conical lamp surround when I moved the mic there.

Folk interested in this thread may also be interested in my 'Warmer Sounds From Digital Synths' feature from SOS January 2010, which includes lots of techniques to add interest to sterile sounds:

www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan10/articles ... synths.htm


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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby gryfyx » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:22 pm

Thanx Martinwalker. I think I'll love my presence among such knowers.

Anyhow, after starting this thread I did a little internet research and found this out -

http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=314644,

Its very interesting but some of them are sincerely mistaken there. For instance
'bananaboy' who said
"Jim Morrison of The Doors recorded the vocals on one of their songs (I forgot which) while a girl was, um, performing fellatio on him."

Now that is wrong. that incident occurred in elevator and Pamela (Jim's chick) happen to see all that. No recording of sound or visual was getting done.

What a preposterous myth!

Well, thanx everyone and please continue leaving some interesting dope.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby gryfyx » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:37 pm

Thanx 'The Elf', thanx a lot. pan thing in war of the worlds was amazing.
And about "I have a speaker that I swing between mics, but it seems to have given up the ghost until I can rustle up a replacement." that you mentioned, could you please elaborate that, I think I'm getting a different picture.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby discomb » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:40 pm

Many years ago in the small hours I decided it would be a good idea to record dripping taps, and got some interesting sounds. water dripping onto shampoo bottles etc, and managed to get the gurgling sound of water going down a plughole by emptying the sink and mic'ing the bath plughole. unfortunately water came out of the bath plughole and drowned the mic. still, I chopped up the drip samples and put them onto sequencer tracks in Fruityloops and made a trippy ambient song, combined with samples of the TV that was going mental - strange fizzing and popping sounds!

More recently I recorded a full washing machine cycle :) most of it was quite boring but the spin cycle was pretty exciting, oh yeah. I put it through scuzzphutt (free rhythmic gate VST) and it worked great.

My top tip for innovative sounds: have a smoke and pick up a mic. :headbang: :beamup:

I don't smoke any more so haven't done this since I bought my zoom H4...
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:34 pm

AuralSerenity wrote:And about "I have a speaker that I swing between mics, but it seems to have given up the ghost until I can rustle up a replacement." that you mentioned, could you please elaborate
Get yourself a space where you can suspend an amped speaker face down on a long string; I usually tie mine to the rafters in my garage. I feed the speaker cable along the string too. Measure the extent of the speaker's swing (I have mine travel around 8 feet) and set up a couple of upward-pointing mics at the extremes of the arc.

Then... either swing the speaker in an arc between the mics, or spin it in a circle between the mics, and feed a signal to the speaker. You'll need to keep the swing going if you want to record for any length of time. I love this effect behind a guitar solo. You can also set the mics up X/Y in the centre and circle the speaker around the mics.

I first started doing this kind of thing because I couldn't afford a Leslie (or a Hammond for that matter!), but now I pull the trick because it's just fun and it keeps people guessing how you're getting this incredible swirly effect! It's a bit of a faff to set up (and not one for the winter months!), but it's worth the effort.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:23 pm

I love using moving mic/speaker techniques like that Elf 8-)

For the less adventurous who want to avoid damaging their mics through accidental string snapping, just set up a couple of mics a few feet apart and then move your source around manually while you record - this works great with bells, percussion, and singing bowls in particular.

Instant Doppler shift if you can do it quickly enough :bouncy:


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Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby gryfyx » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:08 pm

I've recently started doing some circuit bending. Its not a great recording technique if you dont know how to go about it, but can be outright alien technology(I truly mean it) if done with skill. I saw a video on circuit bended instrument, instantly loved it. There are three videos, I mentioned the first one, here it is check it out Circuit Bended Machine: Acid Machine

:)
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby gryfyx » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:12 pm

Martin Walker wrote:I love using moving mic/speaker techniques like that Elf 8-)

For the less adventurous who want to avoid damaging their mics through accidental string snapping, just set up a couple of mics a few feet apart and then move your source around manually while you record - this works great with bells, percussion, and singing bowls in particular.

Instant Doppler shift if you can do it quickly enough :bouncy:


Martin

Wow, it seems lot many are doing this.

would definitely try.

:shock:
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Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby gryfyx » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:27 pm

Hey guys whoever is keen to learn circuit bending can check this out: http://www.anti-theory.com/soundart/circuitbend/

Another nice recording technique, although this might turn out to be a bit pricey-- Take a "pressure zone microphone" and attach it to any percussion instrument's body and then see the magic of clarity in the low frequencies. Can make some really, really bouncing and heavily pounding kicks.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:42 pm

AuralSerenity wrote:Hey guys whoever is keen to learn circuit bending can check this out: http://www.anti-theory.com/soundart/circuitbend/

That's an interesting one thanks.

Another nice recording technique, although this might turn out to be a bit pricey-- Take a "pressure zone microphone" and attach it to any percussion instrument's body and then see the magic of clarity in the low frequencies. Can make some really, really bouncing and heavily pounding kicks.

It needn't be expensive - I seem to remember Tandy (Radio Shack) having some very reasonably priced Pressure Zone Microphones some years back that people were using to record all sorts of stuff. Here's a thread from our previous (version 2) forum on the subject:

http://sound-on-sound2.infopop.net/2/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=215094572&f=884099644&m=830106272

...and here's a useful history of the PZM:

www.uneeda-audio.com/pzm/index.htm


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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby gryfyx » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:33 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
AuralSerenity wrote:Hey guys whoever is keen to learn circuit bending can check this out: http://www.anti-theory.com/soundart/circuitbend/


That's an interesting one thanks.

Another nice recording technique, although this might turn out to be a bit pricey-- Take a "pressure zone microphone" and attach it to any percussion instrument's body and then see the magic of clarity in the low frequencies. Can make some really, really bouncing and heavily pounding kicks.


It needn't be expensive - I seem to remember Tandy (Radio Shack) having some very reasonably priced Pressure Zone Microphones some years back that people were using to record all sorts of stuff. Here's a thread from our previous (version 2) forum on the subject:

http://sound-on-sound2.infopop.net/2/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=215094572&f=884099644&m=830106272

...and here's a useful history of the PZM:

www.uneeda-audio.com/pzm/index.htm


Martin


Thanx Martin.
I dont know why but out here in India PZM's are not all that cheap.

Off-topic query removed and replied to by PM - MW
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby The Elf » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:00 pm

Martin Walker wrote:It needn't be expensive - I seem to remember Tandy (Radio Shack) having some very reasonably priced Pressure Zone Microphones some years back

I still have a pair of Tandy PZMs, bought way back in the 80s, modified for balanced connection and phantom power (thank you Paul White). Can't say I use them often, but they were a revelation at the time. We got some amazing drum recordings with them taped to the walls of the live room.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Shreddie » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:42 pm

I've done alot of stuff like this including many of those posted... Not always using mics either!

I've recorded industrial machinery, squeaky gates, almost everything in my tool shed (well worth doing) and kitchen, my dogs grumbles and barks, animals birds and insects etc. I've recently taken to setting my H4 to record, popping it in a pocket then going about my daily activities as usual... Me spitting out toothpaste makes a pretty good snare! Regarding the recording of insects, I have a cheap (and not that good) tie clip mic that I got from Tandy about 15 years back. I've attached that to a thin aluminium bar and poked it into ants nests as well as attached it to flowers to capture the sound of bees and other feeding insects very close up. That mic really is good for getting into inaccessible places and capturing quiet sound sources at close quarters... I really must get a better one though.

Another thing I do is use an electro-magnetic pickup designed for recording phone conversations (a guitar pickup works just as well) and hold it near all sorts of electrical equipment. Computers and digital gear can provide all sorts of strangeness, some very useful and playable when assembled into patches. Small battery powered electric motors can also sound amazing when captured this way with a bit of chorus and reverb.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby gryfyx » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:46 am

Shreddie wrote:I've done alot of stuff like this including many of those posted... Not always using mics either!

I've recorded industrial machinery, squeaky gates, almost everything in my tool shed (well worth doing) and kitchen, my dogs grumbles and barks, animals birds and insects etc. I've recently taken to setting my H4 to record, popping it in a pocket then going about my daily activities as usual... Me spitting out toothpaste makes a pretty good snare! Regarding the recording of insects, I have a cheap (and not that good) tie clip mic that I got from Tandy about 15 years back. I've attached that to a thin aluminium bar and poked it into ants nests as well as attached it to flowers to capture the sound of bees and other feeding insects very close up. That mic really is good for getting into inaccessible places and capturing quiet sound sources at close quarters... I really must get a better one though.

Another thing I do is use an electro-magnetic pickup designed for recording phone conversations (a guitar pickup works just as well) and hold it near all sorts of electrical equipment. Computers and digital gear can provide all sorts of strangeness, some very useful and playable when assembled into patches. Small battery powered electric motors can also sound amazing when captured this way with a bit of chorus and reverb.

Thanx Shreddie. Please share some more.

Well, Motor of the tooth brush can generate the noise of mosquito buzzing around your head. You need to touch it on any surface to make variations.

Best bass sound I ever made was through the couple of PZM's sticking on the drum's body and a couple of small diaphragm mics in xy position near hats. Feed through the pzm was on a separate track and when I checked it later, I was amazed by the loud, crisp and much bigger kick sound, even a part of the snare was almost kick like. Entire bass seem to have more depth. Fascinating thing was, I still had quite a headroom available. :)
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Shreddie » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:36 am

AuralSerenity wrote:Thanx Shreddie. Please share some more.
There's not really much more to share, besides, I don't want to give away all my secrets! Although I usually record at 96k when I fancy getting creative with something, that means I can slow it down without loosing as much quality.

The way I see it, just experiment and keep an open mind. Nothing is out of bounds when you're getting creative with sound IMHO.

Speed stuff up, slow stuff down, whack it though strange effects, pop it in a synth and mangle it up, layer another sound alongside it, record that then start again if you wish!

Just think about it, a ten minute recording of you just hanging around on your local highstreet on a busy Saturday could yeld 1000 sounds. If you take just one of those sounds and put it into a synth you can come up with a million permutations.

When you're getting creative with sound, the world really is your lobster!
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Fibes » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:33 pm

This thread is bang-on, there are a lot of sounds out there, it's simply a case of knowing the best way to capture, and then utilize those sounds. Sometimes the process of capturing a sound (as in the swinging mic idea, or sustaining a particular portion of a sample) can reveal fresh sounds and harmonics that were previously hidden.

Not a new idea by any means but I use Guitar Rig a lot to manipulate sounds and loops, the GUI is perfect for experimenting with complex effects chains, albeit largely limited to guitar stomp boxes and amp models.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Richie Royale » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:04 am

Not something I've used that much, but these days most phones have the ability to record, and some of them are low quality enough to change the tone of a sound. You can get some interesting percussive tones from random sources. I've also used one of those little sampler mics, a gimmicky toy, but again they change the tone into something unique.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby discomb » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:11 am

Over the weekend I took my zoom H4 to my old parents house and recorded the sounds of doors opening and closing. very strange hearing sounds I used to hear for 20 odd years of my life coming out of my monitors!

I was in the garden waiting to record a tube train going past and a police helicopter appeared and hovered literally overhead! that sounds pretty good.

Recently I also sat at the back of a bus on the journey home from work - some very interesting harmonics in a powerful diesel engine :)
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby The Bunk » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:41 am

...a wooden spoon on the rim of a saucepan gives a lovely soft percussive sound; you know, when you've just stirred the contents and are tapping what's left on the spoon back into the pan. It helps to soften the sound if the spoon is old (which I guess means its soaked up a lot of water in its time) and the saucepan needs to have something in it - seriously! (usually chicken curry in my case)
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:59 pm

Hi The Bunk!

I hope you're creating your hi-hat sounds from breaking papadums as well.

The kitchen is a wonderful source of audio possibilities, from the saucepans you mention to cutlery, metal trays found inside the oven, glasses used as percussion/bells, and of course cutting up vegetables 8-)


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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby The Bunk » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:17 pm

Martin Walker wrote:Hi The Bunk!

I hope you're creating your hi-hat sounds from breaking papadums as well.

The kitchen is a wonderful source of audio possibilities, from the saucepans you mention to cutlery, metal trays found inside the oven, glasses used as percussion/bells, and of course cutting up vegetables 8-)


Martin

hmm, not tried those yet, but it's a little-known fact that the famous "aaaaaaargh" in Comfortbaly Numb is in fact taken from someone sampling my chicken vindaloo....
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Zukan » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:34 pm

The Bunk wrote:
hmm, not tried those yet, but it's a little-known fact that the famous "aaaaaaargh" in Comfortbaly Numb is in fact taken from someone sampling my chicken vindaloo....

I too had your vindaloo and am the source for the final impact moment in the film Comet.
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