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Any rich, enveloping tone is like audio heroin to me. Why? It’s definitely psychoacoustic, possibly all alignin’ my chakras ‘n’ such, maybe it’s the resonant frequency of my skull…I have no idea. While they’re easy to synthesize, they’re harder to record in the real world, but can be much richer and full of sonic surprises.
In trying to record a set of metal wire shelves in my shed, I started with contact mics, figuring there’d be subtleties to be captured…but putting mics on the thin rods of the shelves prevented them from moving as freely, and it just lacked the character that my ears heard. I ditched the contact mics and moved a large, polycarbonate bear-proof food canister onto a shelf and stuck a hypercardioid mic right at the mouth of the canister. This amplified the sound, added more of overtones, and increased the sound’s sustain.
Today’s sound is an edit of decays and tones from striking these metal shelves with a hammer. I simply edited out all of the transients of the actual hammer falls, and layered many sequences of these resonant tones together, “boomerang-reversing” some of them to get more consistent volume and tone. However, no plugins have been used.
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[Sennheiser MKH 50 into Sound Devices 702 recorder]