|Scroll III : Sound Sources and Manipulation
- Use unusual sound sources like radio, TV, video, old computer games,
ragga dancehall tapes, records. If you got loads of bucks go for the Portishead approach:
Hire and record a classical orchestra. Cut the session on a dubplate and use it for
- A neat dub technique is to run an AM radio (with a knob) into effects and
slowly tune between stations - really trippy static/pink noise, and you can
get snippets of music or speech.
submitted by davyvelocirapt0r
- Use cheap toy walkie talkies near each other for delay,static, and
distortion. Employed by KMFDM
submitted by davyvelocirapt0r
- For more lively pad sounds: Record several layers of different string, organ
or choral sounds using your sequencer. Then record midicontroller data separately to
modulate the midi volume of the different layers (each layer must have it's own midi
channel number). Thus you can get a permanently changing sound. Record the resulting
string sound on a tape and sample it from there. The tape will compress the signal and
add a very warm distortion effect to the louder parts (tape saturation depending on the
recording level set).
- All samplers offer a method to loop samples and you will have a hard time to create a
natural sounding smooth loop with anything else than a synth wave. So why give a damn?
It's very fun to make bad loops (for example with voices, instrumental sounds or even
drum hits or percussion) and use them as effect sounds or for very strange melodies.
Ever played a melody with a looped snare drum?
- Everybody thinks General Midi sounds suck. So just go ahead and use them in
another way than what they were intended for, for example by transposing them by two
octaves or by editing the attack time. (e.g. A choir sound with a fast attack can be
used in a percussive way)
- Maybe it's time to start recycling those eighties sounds that everybody loved to hate
for the last few years, like for example "ochestral hit", "timpani" or the Simmons drums
- remember the Miami Vice sound track with those pink flamingos?. (PS: 7 years later.. i wrote that on the page
around 1998, by now the idea of recycling eighties sounds is so common that it's hardly necessary to list it here)
- You can sample organ+rythm-guitar chord-hits and filter it with band or higpass and mid resonance for the fat
Submitted by Lone from http://www.sativa-sounds.de
- "..if you take a delay pedal like a Boss DD-5, run a short cable from one output to the input, and
another cable from the second output to an amp, you can get a lot of cool sounds just by tweeking the knobs, i was
able to get a sound similar to a prop plane taking off.."
Submitted by Jon-Paul Wooten
- Use your mixing desk as a sound source (part 1): Connect an effect unit to every aux send of your desk.
The output of each effect is connected to an input channel of the desk. Now you can send any effect output
to any other effect. Use an additional sound source like a rim shot from a drum machine to trigger the whole
system periodically. Adjust the auxiliary sends on all channels used until you hear a continuos sound of constant
volume. Now start moving the auxiliary sends and filter settings to keep the soundscape in motion. Don't
forget to record the whole session so that you can sample the best bits afterwards.
Best results are achieved with the cheapest effect units.
Submitted by Dan D.N.A. (Skrupel, Bio Bonsai)
- Use your mixing desk as a sound source (part 2): Patch the same tape track into two channels on your desk.
Invert the phase of one channel and pan both channels centre. Solo them and balance the faders till you can't hear
anything at all. Then, start messing with the eq on one of the channels. Your mid sweeps are now band pass filters,
and shelving eqs become low and high pass.
If it all starts sounding good, take it one step further and patch in a compressor on one channel, it turns into
a weird kind of noise gate.
All this works even better on a hard disk system, as you dont have to keep messing with levels so much to keep the
Submitted by flo
- Overload your equipment at all costs. While running a simple breakbeat into a jury-rigged Gemini dj sampler, I
somehow managed to turn up everything way too high and the sound that resulted was an absolutely beautiful shatter.
I reccomend adding something like a detuned bass hit from a Mattel Synsonics drum machine, run through too many
intermediaries (mike it coming out of a mildly distorted cheapo guitar amp) to set off the frantic noise.
Submitted by Chad Crawford
- To have some great illbient or trip hop sounds, try cutting up samples. Take a piece of music (for the best results,
try something with distinctive sounds, i.e.,chorus to Hard Knock Life from Jay-Z, White Zombie, old acid house, old
industrial,etc.). Then, for something like a synth line, eliminate any drastic highs or lows. For something different
keep them in. Then just cut one part out, and paste it back in somewhere. Do this randomly for a few minutes. Then try
different effects for different stuff. Cut the treble, boost the bass, add super-echo, play it backwards.
Try this approach with vocals to get Orbital-style cut up words.
Submitted by Milkman Dan from Mindfields
- If you have one of those portable minidisc players, here are some things to try out: record some vocals/ speech directly into
it and index the tracks so that they are about 1 or 2 syllables
long and then hit random and record this output onto tape . this is great
for getting alien speech fx, also try reversing some of the fragments too,
or go the whole way and run it through a ring mod!
for weirder sounds , record some crowd noises or ambient sound in a train
station, do the same thing and you begin to hear strange melodies out of
nothing! (as done by skylab)
Submitted by The Nematod
- For insane cut mad sample manipulation without the painstaking copy and
pasting, approach your favorite software as an instrument, in itself. One of
my favorites is old Cool Edit Pro. Set up a second version of the program
and set the record input onto "Wave Mapper," Window's general monitor. With
this recording, on the original copy of the software, tweek effects
parameters through the Preview function. Time Stretch splices the given
sample up at a frequency specified in Hz, which can be converted to a BPM
speed (1 Hz = 1 splice/sec.) The sound of changing pitch without tempo, in
real time, is limited by the processor and glitches, causing the sample to
skip or "desample," similarly heard on IDM acts like Squarepusher or AFX.
Tapping and backspacing tempo parameters to the desired BPM causes an
incrdible glitch stream in fairly reliable time. (For Merzbow, follow this
Preview function trick in CE's Parametric EQ with dB set between +77 and
+4000 (watch your ears!))
submitted by smith502
- Try this: Find a song that has a section that has something playing in reverse.
(Alot of old 60s psychadelic music has this) Then sample it and play the sample backwards making
the forward parts backwards and the backwards parts foward. Sometimes you can get cool sounds.
submitted by Pat Smith
- Take a cheap guitar amp and turn up the distortion all the way so that it
gives off mad feedback. Get a phaser and phase that feedback. You get a
weird revolving sound. Record it, then put reverb(or delay) on it.
Submitted by Dan Bruner
- create different beats using a chorus pedal: "just crank every level or knob on the chorus pedal
as high as they'lll go (ex.effect level, rate, depth, etc) and with no signal you can make a
pulse... i was never able to do too much with it, cuz it'll kill any other
beats, but you can shift the rate and you can make heart beats, foot steps,
etc. if you get it right good for intros and things.
Submitted by dj tuppy (formerly dj gandhi)
- "..i got some cool percussion sounds when i sampled smacking an echo mic (microphone with built-in reverb spring) in my casio
sk-1 and playing two keys an octave apart so that one repeats twice while the lower one plays once.."
Submitted by Jon-Paul Wooten
- put a near dead battery into a phase pedal (or wait until the one in there is almost dead). Then run the
phase to a tape echo unit and/or spring reverb unit and tweak the depth
setting back and forth on the phase pedal to get some really strange low frequency squeals. Since these conditions
are hard to create consistantly, record your experimentation on a reel to reel or other
recording device and add them later where desired.
submitted by Apostle Solomon Jabby "The Dub Revelator"
- This 'near dead battery' effect can also be achieved by using an AC/DC adapter set to a
voltage that is too low, One day I found an adapter where I could regulate the voltage and used this on a
mini marchall ->OEPS<-
submitted by Jeroen
- Excerpts from Barry McEachan's description of his "Small Shit Un-named Keyboard that cost £6.50 pounds
at the Cat Rescue charity shop in Easter Road": [...] It has four drum pads, bass drum, snare, hi hat and a cowbell type thing.
The bass drum sounds nothing like a bass drum [...]. The one trick that I found you can do with this is:
Switch it on. Press the bass drum and turn off the keyboard just after you press it.
The sound pitches down and fades out. Now when you turn it back on quickly enough,
the sound builds back up. This sounds very unique as you can here that it is
something being switched on and then off but the effect you get is amazing. I used
this in a track I did a while back and put it through a huge gated reverb and then
through a flanger, the noise at the other end was huge.
- Open a digital watch and take out the watch module including battery and display. Connect a two phase cable to the microphone
connector of a tape deck. Then pierce a needle through each phase of the cable at its other end. Press the Record button on the
tape recorder and set the counter to zero. Now you can start touching signal lines on the watch module with your two
needles. You should be able to hear some pretty interesting oscillations. Write down the counter value when you hear something
interresting and sample it afterwards (I tried this as a twelve year old with my first
digital watch after the display broke. I was very amazed by the sounds I heard - But unfortunately forgot to record..)
- Don't overlook the toys! Anything made of bright plastic that looks like there's batteries and a
little speaker in it. (Usually to be found in toy stores or near the checkout counter at the
supermarket. Often containing sweets, chewing gum, etc...)
Open, locate the wires leading to the speaker, connect them to a 1/4-inch jack, close again
(you may need to melt a small hole for the wire. A hot nail will do the trick).
Now you've got a new sound source that you can run through any effects you like. Be careful with gain,
though, some of those signals can be pretty hot.
submitted by André Champaloux
- Any old metal detector from the flea market and 3 bucks for the 9 volt it needs can get you some
pretty good siren type effects pumped right through the 3/4 inch headphone jack with volume/level
control.Most have a built in speaker as well. Move a metallic object around under the detector for
variations. Use different types of metal to bug out further.
submitted by the arkmaster, www.blackark.com
- helpful when sampling from vinyl etc: "I just borrowed a Vestax kill switch box off a dj
friend and it's surprisingly versatile. I use it to sample from vinyl etc straight into the
computer/sampler , that way I can separate out the frequencies I want. This is brilliant for cutting
breaks over the rest of a track , and also when used as an insert , as the eq is a lot steeper than that on
submitted by The Nematod
- sample with an old akai or something similar. most 80s samplers are dirt
cheap nowadays, and add a distinct lofi edge to samples.
submitted by Steve
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