Inspired 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.
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]
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.
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.
- Laptop HD
- Compact Flourescent Light Bulb
- LCD Television
- Cell Phone
- Phone Charger
Download Pickup Coil Recordings [.zip]
After yesterday’s post Making Horror Movie Sound FX I began wondering were I could acquire a violin bow and and possibly a cymbal for super cheap. Before I discovered cheap bows on Amazon.com I looked around for some DIY articles.
Most of the homemade violin bow articles I found were of the artisanal variety involving expensive wood, specialty tools and most importantly, skill. Then I stumbled on the Awful Horsehair Bow at Moonmilk.com.
Clever as it is to use such cheap materials, I’d end up spending about the same on the wood, hardware, etc. as I would purchasing a cheap bow on Amazon.com.
Quibbles aside, Moonmilk is a virtual warehouse of DIY din makers. Its purveyor Ranjit Bhatnagar has been constructing instruments of questionable construction and unique timbre since at least 1993.
There is no question that making your own instrument is a great way to acquire some wholly unique sounds. If a little inspiration is required a quick dig through Moonmilk should get the gears turning.
Recently I’ve been looking into doing more sound design. When I was putting together Suffer This Mortal Vessel: An Exorcism I found myself digging for a microphone instead of digging for samples.
Obviously I am interested in creating dark and disturbing sound effects so I was incredibly pleased to find these videos showing how everyday items are used to make gruesome sounds.
The videos come from Tim Prebble’s sound design studio called Hiss And A Roar
but the Website seems to be under construction for the time being.
Vegetable Violence from tim prebble on Vimeo.
Bowed Cymbal recording from tim prebble on Vimeo.