A multi-disciplinary journey in music, sound, and field recording.

Playing a Ruined Pickup Truck

Posted: August 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, found sound objects, music, sound design
This sweet ride sounded better than it looks.

This sweet ride sounded better than it looks.

I live near miles and miles of public open space trails, and there’s a ruined hulk of a blue pickup truck a couple of miles from my house. I see it whenever I hike, run, or bike by. It’s been there for years; someone drove it up incredibly steep fire roads and left it.

Some time ago I dragged a field recorder and a windscreen-protected shotgun microphone up those hills and spent an hour milking the rusting chassis for sound. As you can tell by the picture, it doesn’t look like there was much left, but I did get some pretty cool sounds out of it. Like the cigarette machine percussion loop from an earlier post, I’ve assembled the raw sounds into a drum kit. Here’s a quick sample for your  funky, semi-industrial percussion pleasure. No processing other than pitching 2 samples down a bit in the sampler and some compression and EQ in the final mix; it’s rendered as a usable loop, hence the sudden start and stop.

Ruined Pickup Percussion Loop by noisejockey
[Røde NTG-2 mic into Sound Devices 702 recorder, played in Logic Pro]

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Playing a Cigarette Machine

Posted: July 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, found sound objects, music, sound design
This nicotine-dispensing hulk is as playable as a drum kit.

This nicotine-dispensing hulk is as playable as a drum kit.

When we moved into our new office, there was this huge cigarette vending machine from the late 60’s or early 70’s left in our foyer. It went from monstrosity to curiosity, and now we’re happy it’s around as an ironic objet d’arte. It went from curosity to obsession once I realized that it could open and its metallic guts could be struck, strummed, and otherwise played like an instrument.

This is one of those sessions I’ll redo someday with better gear, and with sound blankets to dampen the super-bright room (it’s far too heavy to move anywhere else!), but these clips still evoke how expressive this machine is. Here’s a 30-second drum loop made from the raw sounds; the only processing is some EQ and compression.


[Zoom H2, collapsed to mono, made into EXS24 drum kit in Logic Pro]

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