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Innovative sounds & recording methods

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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Shreddie » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:42 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 8:46 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 2:36 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 2:33 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 10:04 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 10:11 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 12:41 pm

...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 5:59 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 6:17 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 6:34 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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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby ZoeB » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:36 pm

Scraping the backs of two regular knives together can sound a bit like swords when pitched down a few octaves. For a nice synthetic old analogue drum machine style open hi-hat, try spraying an aerosol can. (I spent far too many years tracking before using a proper sequencer, so spent a lot of my teenage years finding weird household sounds to mangle.)
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:47 am

...and don't forget while you're sampling your aerosols to capture the sound of them being tapped with a finger/beater/wooden spoon etc.

Especially when partly rather than completely full, they make wonderful pitch-wobbling waterphone-style percussive noises.

Try it! 8-)


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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby ToxicShock » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:20 am

I once sampled the sound of me hitting a cheap dynamic mic on a loaf of bread, it made a dull thud but with a sharp percussive attack.

Also good fun is saying a sentence (or singing it) into a sampler, Reversing the sample and learning to say it phonetically. You then re-sample yourself saying (or singing) the backwards version and reverse it again. It never sounds like the original idea and sometimes can sound quite cool.

I got my friend to say Cheeky Monkey and went through the process. It ended up sounding like "Sheeky Mogwai"
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby MarkOne » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:06 pm

One of the most interesting pad sounds I made was by sampling the fan on a backup hard drive that I had which was quite noisey, I used a SDC about half an inch from the fan and of centre so you didn't get the air noise.

I then pitched it down 2 octaves, used a resonant filter, an LFO or two. Slow Attack, bit of sustain. Very cool.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:35 pm

Computers can be great sources of new sounds MarkOne. Once you open your ears to sound possibilities happening all around you, the sky's the limit! 8-)


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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Richie Royale » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:57 pm

MarkOne wrote:One of the most interesting pad sounds I made was by sampling the fan on a backup hard drive that I had which was quite noisey, I used a SDC about half an inch from the fan and of centre so you didn't get the air noise.

I then pitched it down 2 octaves, used a resonant filter, an LFO or two. Slow Attack, bit of sustain. Very cool.

My fan oven makes a great (or should that be grating) sound when it's on high and the door is open. If you then switch it off, it makes a lovely wind-down sound. It'll be sampled in due course!
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby The Elf » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:05 pm

Never underestimate the joys of a plastic cup and a good microphone! ;)

I've done everything from a horse race to a tropical rain storm, conga slap to saxophone valve clicks with that combination!
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby geefunk » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:42 pm

I mostly try and use 'real' sounds in a lot of my recordings. From the obvious (rain, wind, etc) to the not so....

so far I have used:

The sound of a slug eating mildew off my shower curtain. great sound - a kind of 'rasping' - very close mic, dead of the night and holding my breath!

Zips

Rulers boinging on a desk (like you did in school)

old water cooler bottles for drum sounds

coin spins

coin scraping on zips

water shaking in bottles

burping

most of the above can be heard in my track 'soundhead is vulnerable' on my soundhead link below....

I spent a bit of time in NY, and wandered around with a mic - got a lot of snatched conversations, traffic noise, etc. All sorts of things can be used to good effect with the right editing. I interviewed an old man once about certain things to do with Bristol. he got more and more impatient, and his last sentence to me was 'I'm not interested in any of it' - great sample!
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Arglebargle » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:56 pm

During one recording session where I had brought all the toys (my big percussion bag), we got great sounds using a kid's toy called 'Spacephones'. Essentially a thin stretchy naked spring reverb with a plastic cone attached at each end. Affixed one end right in front of a microphone, and played with stretching the spring out, hitting it with chopsticks, running them along the length of it, etc. Great sounds. Hit the jackpot by stretching the spring to between 6 to 9 feet out and singing in falsetto through the free end. Got a wonderful etherial vocal sound.
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Re: Innovative sounds & recording methods

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:17 am

There are some seriously good suggestions tucked away in this thread

In my opinion the sign of a good sound designer is one who's ears are always open to new possibilities, however bizarre they initially seem.

And with that in mind, I created an excellent velocity-layered 'bass guitar' last week from tapping a vacuum cleaner plastic hose :beamup:

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