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Coolest "organic" sound you've created?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by anonymous, Feb 20, 2001.

  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    We got to talking around the shop the other day about some of the sounds we've made in nature, sounds that don't really exist, but were conjured up for a special occasion.

    It reminded me of one that was created using the wall treatment of a place I used to work. There were wooden slats on the wall that formed a sort of primitive diffusor. They were angled, and different lengths. Somebody hit one one day, and the next thing you know, we were standing around the piano trying to identify what notes each slat came closest to...and labeling the wall with little bits of masking tape with 'sharpie'.

    We came up with about half a dozen notes that worked well with both the key of 'A' as well as 'E', and seeing as they're good "guitar keys", we were on our way. Each slat was mic'ed with a KM-84, and played like a rather dead sounding 'marimba' with a set of mallets.

    On one occasion, we went *way* over the top, gated the sound, then compressed the living snot out of the remaining tone. The net result was something that resembled "note tuned explosions". It worked exceptionally well as an additional tone to the snare sound, as well as in the 'solo/breakdown' of a couple of songs.

    So...what odd stuff have you found that created a cool effect/texture/tone that was an alteration from something that occurred in nature?
     
  2. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Have so many of this type of thing I don't know where to start. Sound FX are so much fun!

    How about this - Just yesterday, I finished overdubbing 40 or so tracks of a bgv section. There were some "T"'s at the end of one word that didn't all hit at the same time, but fell near to a 1/8 note before the snr. Both the timing and tone of the "T"'s were reminiscent of finger snaps. So, next time I have a song that needs a snap track...
     
  3. emedley

    emedley Guest

    Perhaps this doesn't qualify to the origianl question but it was a similar thing I guess. I was tracking a record with a band and we were doing this moody song. We had tried several not-normal technics like tracking the vocals in a shower stall and whatnot. As usual, there's a fine line between creative and stupid. After a while we were trying an old Air Organ like you used to see all the time in kid's rooms. (you know, they have about 2 octaves and the chord buttons. The power switch was located halfway along the power cord) We fired the thing up and gave it a whirl. The stupid thing's motor was so noisy and squeaky that we gave up. While the group was out farting around with the thing I was in the control room listening to the track. I had actually ran the whole song with the fan noise and had a revelation that the fan noise itself was in some obnoxious way, cool. To make the long story short, the fan noise ended up burbling throughout the whole song and many still wander how we made the sound. I don't know how to describe it but the song 'needs' the fan noise??? That's the story. Anyone else???
     
  4. emedley

    emedley Guest

    Perhaps this doesn't qualify to the origianl question but it was a similar thing I guess. I was tracking a record with a band and we were doing this moody song. We had tried several not-normal technics like tracking the vocals in a shower stall and whatnot. As usual, there's a fine line between creative and stupid. After a while we were trying an old Air Organ like you used to see all the time in kid's rooms. (you know, they have about 2 octaves and the chord buttons. The power switch was located halfway along the power cord) We fired the thing up and gave it a whirl. The stupid thing's motor was so noisy and squeaky that we gave up. While the group was out farting around with the thing I was in the control room listening to the track. I had actually ran the whole song with the fan noise and had a revelation that the fan noise itself was in some obnoxious way, cool. To make the long story short, the fan noise ended up burbling throughout the whole song and many still wander how we made the sound. I don't know how to describe it but the song 'needs' the fan noise??? That's the story. Anyone else???
     
  5. Mixer-man

    Mixer-man Guest

    Let's see, when I got my first sampler in 1988, I sampled everything I could think of, including light switches, doors slamming, pencil sharpeners. I'd use them as percussive sounds in songs.

    Once, I recorded the whirring sound of a Leslie, and left it in the entire song, even though an organ never played in the production.

    Once, the guitar pedals went bezerk, and all this amazing noise was coming out of the amp, machine guns, feedback, crazy beating and syncopation, you name a crazy sound it was happening. It kept going for about 20 minutes, and I recorded it all. In fact I keep a DAT running at all times during sessions for just this reason. I used parts of it for the song.

    Once, I made a kick drum out of the bleed from the kick drum track that for some inexplicable reason didn't exist anymore.

    Once, I made a down pillow hitting the floor, into a fully arranged string section for an extended Bridge, but I won't divulge that information, for obvious reasons.

    Mixerman
     
  6. On a similar theme Fletch, I have a peice of PVC drain pipe left over from building my house, about 20' long. We decided it would be cool for experimental miking of things (tube reverb). It is by the way, but while playing around we stuck a mic (hard panned) in each end and played it with sticks, brushes and soft mallets. It was very cool especially with the soft mallets as I remember and you can play anywhere in the stereo image.

    and Mixer man, love the guitar pedals thing. I'm a big fan of running a dat in the background, especially when trying new stuff. I've also picked up some great effects from fuckups.

    Accidents make great sounds.

    Brenton ;)
     
  7. Guido

    Guido Guest

    One of my earliest samplers was the Korg digital delay that couls sample a few seconds and trigger from a DX7....
    Anyway, I was doing a track that was kind of "Hall and Oates-y" and was looking for a cool percussion riff/sample. The console was a very groovy unit my buddy Chris Bauer built ( neve meets api...great sounding console, BTW...) with a noisy metal frame. I was forever bumping into this....I digress...
    I ended up sampling myself hitting the console bucket 4 times with a drumstick...then, in time, throwing 2 empty metal tape flanges against the console! Don't anybody tell Chris!!!!
     
  8. John Sayers

    John Sayers Active Member

    I emptied a can of peaches into a bowl to create the effect of vomiting at the end of the track once. :)
     
  9. KyleSong

    KyleSong Guest

    When I'm in need of a complex synth pad, like the ones Peter Gabriel might use, or the presets in the D50, or such, I will often use a vocoder, making vowle sounds without words, and multitrack the paddy part of the sound, and then have a track of mic'd dry bean pods I manipulate with my fingers. I can gate this track so it only appears when the vocoder pads are playing, pan them out, add reverb bus and compress the whole thing and call it a "synth patch".
     
  10. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Well, I dunno if this qualifies, but . . .

    I was visiting my parents a few years ago and my mom had a new Toshiba laptop PC with Windows 95. I was poking around it and found the soundrecorder app, which is like a really short sample recorder for error messages and whatnot, but it had a few processing tools, so I grabbed my twelve string acoustic that I had with and played some cool chords which I still haven't put words to. So I begin to mangle. The thing can double or half time like a tape deck, with the accompanying octave shift. It can reverse a sample. It can apply a reverb which has a distinct hi frequency character, so applying it at different speeds can effect different ranges when the speed is returned to normal. So, after 20 minutes of mangling (reverse and forward reverbs applied at various speeds doing the bulk of the work), I had the closest sonic resemblence going to My Bloody Valentine's Loveless that I have ever acheived. With an acoustic 12 string, a PC with a cheap built-in mike, and a freebie short recording app. Messed up. I still need to get a copy of it.

    da Bear
     
  11. slantbat

    slantbat Guest

    If I remember correctly, it involved chili and Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer....
     
  12. two weeks ago, I was helping my father to do some works in teh basement, and we have to move a huge metal sheet. It was like 2x4 (meters), and we have to wear heavy gloves to put our hands on it. Well, we took it and rised it up, and it instantly sounded gourgeos. I think you know the sound a metl sheet does, but this one was really big and waves a lot, so I took my father and teh metal sheet to the studio, it is not so far away, and we spent teh entire afternoon recording same incredible noises with it.
    I'm not sure I will ever use it, but it was funny anyway.

    ronnie
     
  13. Kevin F. Rose

    Kevin F. Rose Active Member

    1. micing the broken ceiling fan. 2. Dragging a radio Shack PZM mic on the concrete through a fuzz factory into a guitar amp that was feeding back. 3. Placing a slender pencil under the d string at the 11th fret of a guitar (I prefer acoustic)and plucking on eiher side which yields a Kotoesque and tempered scale (no other place will do).4. Running anything that sucks through an API 560 with 2K cranked and most everything else cut after an MXR Mini Limiter cranked (don't forget the knob on the back).
     
  14. Lobstman

    Lobstman Guest

    A few years ago, I was recording a band who wanted to fill the bridge of a particular song with bizzare sounds- smashing glass, untrained ("free jazz") sax, out-of tune keyboard, etc all going at once. It sounded good, but we decided we needed something to hold it all together. At the time, I was working out of a basement which had an old washing machine in the corner. I stuffed an SM57 about halfway in, and the four bandmembers and I kicked the washer in time with the track. Sounded like an artillery barrage.
     
  15. Earl Musick

    Earl Musick Guest

    We were recording a song titled Burning Rain,
    in the process of recording the song, a thunder shower popped up. So I hooked up a pair of 414's and recorded the rain off the porch of the studio. We used it on the end of the track, It sounded just like water hitting a hot skillet. prefect for a song called Burning Rain.
     
  16. alphajerk

    alphajerk Active Member

    no comment until the statute of limitations has expired...
     
  17. took 3 different types of nasty 60hz hum from various sources and used them way in the background like a string pad to create tension during one part of a song, then slowly faded down one layer at a time to create a "release" for the bridge. it wasn't obvious what made you you tense up during that section of the song but you definitely went aaahhhh for the bridge.
     
  18. Solar

    Solar Guest

    Geez, I've gotta ton of stuff like this. Sick weird crap is my specialty. :D

    Usually when I'm listening to a band play in a room, I walk around and look for odd acoustic anomalies happing. I've specifically mic'd up joints where drums squeak, effect pedal switches that click, acoustic guitarist's foot stomping, squeaky floor boards where excited musicians start jumping around. Ambiances that mostly get ignored.

    Of course any of these things could be sampled in isolation, looped, effected and used… but I prefer to keep them in real time… but maybe with four compressors in series to really bring out the subtleties of the sound to a very surreal level… like ummm so they aren't so subtle anymore.

    A fun one is when you are in a room with a ceiling corner where the three umm wall things are all 90 degrees… uhh you know what I mean. Like square and stuff. Anyhow, sometimes drum sound will get stuck up there and reflect around and make this horrid "boing" type sound. You can stick a mic up there and compress the living daylights out of it. Then bring it in here and there for an odd… yet natural occurring effect.

    Another naturally occurring sound that can be hyped up is the sound of a kick drum from outside the room it's being played it. Like you leave the room the drummer is in… shut the door… walk down the hall… and put a condenser mic out there. The room acts as a sort of eq or gate because it blocks almost all of the top end and a lot of mids. So all the mic hears are these outrageous lows that have developed through distance. You can them compress that to hell, gate the puppy to get it under control, and maybe mess around with a low eq… then bring it back up with the "normal" mics. Sorta like the cheesy low-end synth-trigger thing you hear on a Bob Rock production… but not so cheesy. Like REAL balls because it's based in nature and is imperfect.

    I've got more but I gotta go eat now. See ya.
     
  19. mrpoole

    mrpoole Guest

    the coolest "organic" sound i have created or discovered would be the sound of 2 ceramic coffee cups whose bases are being ground together in a circular motion. i used it along with water sloshing in a pan both fed into the "circles" preset of the eventide. it created avery organic sounding pad. it is featured on the song "snowsicle" on the Poole album "alaska days" spinart 1994-ish.
     
  20. gearmike

    gearmike Guest

    One of the coolest accidental sounds I've used came from an old Electro-Harmonics Big Muff Pi pedal. You know, the big giant one. Well anyway the caps in the pedal were going bad and you could hear them discharge if you played a very staccato part. It made this kind of siren in the background / doppler shift / wailing descending drone after each note. Well the guitar player workrd this into the verse of a song we were recording and it was the coolest thing. Nobody could figure out how he was making that noise without playing or doing anything.
     

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