Posted by & filed under Sound Design.

Various metal objects arranged on a tableInspired by my research into horror movie sound fx and DIY instruments I decided to gather up an assortment of metal objects and start recording.

Scrounging around the house I had no trouble quickly locating several candidates for my ‘metal session’ \m/ (ascii devil horns are optional).

The metal sound makers would be a soup can, beer can, metal ruler, knife, and two pot lids of different size. I also fashioned a homemade violin bow but to compare it to the real thing would be an insult.

The homemade bow was made using a metal yardstick, masking tape, and heavy cotton thread/twine like that which you might use to tie up a turkey before roasting. Tying a string to two ends of of some sort of stick so that there is a bow in the stick is so basic I won’t bother explaining how I did that.

With everything prepared I began recording and discovered some truly horrific sounds: the squeals and screeching of tortured metal.

The pieces of thin beer can aluminum dragging across stainless steel pot lids proved to be a notable combination.  Sadly, the bow was a little disappointing but I believe my choice in thread and lack of rosin was to blame.

All in all my Metal On Metal experiment was a success. I will likely be revisiting this again in the future so don’t be surprised if you see a Metal On Metal II.

SndBnk_Metal-On-Metal_Sampler

The samples have been consolidated in a .ZIP file for your use. There are 72 recordings in two folders (straight & percussive) in .WAV format recorded at 44.1KHz/16bit.

Download Sound Bank – Metal On Metal [.zip]

Posted by & filed under Sound Design.

Train going by on tracks.The other day we had some unusually warm weather here in the Midwest. I took the opportunity to get out for a walk among the mountains of thawing snow and ice to collect some sounds.

My neighborhood is in close proximity to quite a bit of industry and the train yard servicing that industry is also close by. The sources of these sounds are trains, bridges, trucks, cars, puddles, and drains.

My field recording hardware admittedly has its drawbacks but the results are still worth sharing. I’ve edited the recordings down to some of the more interesting sounds.

SndBnk_Industrial_Sampler

The samples have been consolidated in a .ZIP file for your use. There are 9 files in .WAV format recorded at 44.1KHz/16bit.

Download Sound Bank – Industrial [.zip]

Posted by & filed under Sound Design.

Pickup coil attached to digital audio recorder.

A short time back I was reading an article about using a telephone pickup coil to record EMFs created by everyday electrical devices.  The article on the Radium Audio Labs blog comes from the brilliant sound designers over at Radium Audio and if you haven’t checked out their award winning work I suggest you do for instant inspiration.

I wasted no time in locating and ordering a telephone pickup coil for next to nothing to make my own recordings. Walking around my place I quickly found a half dozen electrical appliances to try it out on.

It’s also interesting to note that while a pickup coil can record usually unheard EMFs it is equally capable of recording the EMFs of stereo speakers only without the background noise associated with regular microphones. I discovered the latter recording method lends a certain thin sound to music and voice while recording my alarm clock radio.

I have compiled a short example of the sounds I was able to gather around my place.

Pickup-Coil_Sampler

The longer recordings of each individual device have been consolidated in a .ZIP file for your use. There are 6 monophonic recordings in .WAV format recorded at 44.1KHz/16bit.

  1. Laptop HD
  2. Compact Flourescent Light Bulb
  3. LCD Television
  4. Microwave
  5. Cell Phone
  6. Phone Charger

Download Pickup Coil Recordings [.zip]