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The strangest thing you've recorded Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 8th June 2003
  #1
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

The strangest thing you've recorded

We can all get 'creative' trying to find that elusive 'something'.

What the strangest thing you've recorded which actually made it into the finished product? (without any clients knowing -even better)

First things that come to mind: Filing cabinets being kicked for extra bass drum oomph...An empty water dispenser container (huge) dropped from a great height to add weight to a tom...cardboard boxes...long cardboard tubes....fan heater....marbles down the stairs....filling snare drums with rice....your friends dog barking slowed down...stuff sampled from Oprah but then reversed...on it goes
Old 9th June 2003
  #2
Gear Head
 

Many years back (about 25 of em), I recorded 4 aluminum cups filled with different levels of water. when struck lightly with a metal spoon they produced a metalic vibrato like pitch. Each cup had just the right amount of water, so as to have a series of intervals between them. And by lowering my hand into the cup I could raise or lower the pitch to create some strange pitch bends. A little delay, reverb....and I was both walter and wendy carlos..(HMMMM???).

That was back in the fun days of music, can I still spell creative?
Really miss them days, tape loops running through the apartment around door knobs and mic stands........youth.

Renshen
Old 9th June 2003
  #3
Gear Addict
 
mdbeh's Avatar
 

It's not too wild, but for stuff that actually made it onto an album...

I had some sampled dialogue from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, heavily processed, in the background of an instrumental.

When the album got picked up, I figured they'd ask us to take it out, but they just asked, "Who are those chicks talking in the background? Are they friends of yours?" So we left it.

Now here comes my nasty letter from Fox...
Old 9th June 2003
  #4
I miked up a huge (500 gallon) oil tank outside a studio I used to work at with a couple of 421's. The artist (on a REALLY long headphone extension) went outside and kicked and pounded on the tank in rhythm and we mixed it in for the big, climactic ending of a song.

I've sampled a tea kettle boiling and tuned the sample for a pitched part. Lots of other sampling adventures....plastic tubes, street signs, etc,
Old 9th June 2003
  #5
Gear Head
 

Old 9th June 2003
  #6
jho
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Hehe good ones!

Used empty 5 gallon plastic water bottles and put upside down on mic stands. We dampened them with duct tape and tissue for tuning. Played them with drumsticks for an ending percussion climax thing. Album release date is June 17.
Old 9th June 2003
  #7
jho
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Quote:
Originally posted by renshen
Many years back (about 25 of em), I recorded 4 aluminum cups filled with different levels of water. when struck lightly with a metal spoon...

...and right after this experiment, you and your friend Albert Hoffman did another experiment. I looked back and found an old thread you wrote describing the experience:

"I suddenly became strangely inebriated. The external world became changed as in a dream. Objects appeared to gain in relief; they assumed unusual dimensions; and colors became more glowing. Even self-perception and the sense of time were changed. When the eyes were closed, colored pictures flashed past in a quickly changing kaleidoscope. After a few hours, the not unpleasant inebriation, which had been experienced whilst I was fully conscious, disappeared. what had caused this condition?"

Old 9th June 2003
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Twenty years or so ago, I was recording an album at Producer's Workshop in LA. One night I wandered into another part of the studio, and someone was working on an album of duck calls back there. They had the monitors cranked pretty good, so every minute or so this enormously loud duck call would echo through the halls. I snuck into an adjacent office with a phone and started calling friends so they could hear the quacks. It was hilarious.

-K
Old 9th June 2003
  #9
Gear Head
 

I once recorded a P-bass played with a big pink vibrator, through an EM big muff into a cranked Fender Princeton. That poor amp sounded like it was about to die. The guy got the speed just right on the vibrator so it was in tune with the song. Added a bit of reverb for taste and it made a great drone for the bridge.
Old 9th June 2003
  #10
Gear Head
 
archtop's Avatar
 

The paper bag as a casaba, worked quite well,
and 1969 bmw 2002 cranking over with the coil unplugged.
Recorded rain once but everyone thought it was the sound of bacon frying
Old 9th June 2003
  #11
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Thermionic's Avatar
 

A studio I once worked in had a tree 10ft from the window. We stuck a shotgun-mic on a boom into the tree and recorded a crow's call. The sound quality was amazing, it sounded seriously scary...

The monitors were cranked up and we started playing the crow's call back to it, whereupon it started to reply, having a "conversation" with itself in the Kurzweil...

To this day it remains the most disturbing sound I've ever recorded...
Old 9th June 2003
  #12
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
On one of my first engineering jobs for a metal band (late '70s), we needed an explosion sound. After a long, unsuccessful search the drummer (always the drummer) found the EMT echo plate in the attic of the studio. We set up 3 tape machines, all with different recording levels, and then the drummer proceeded to tip over the echo plate. We got a great explosion sound, but the mix turned out kind of dry.
Old 9th June 2003
  #13
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pounce's Avatar
 

i have some tapes of kind of industrial or noise sounds for a soundscape kind of thing. the weird sounds of the freight elevator near the stage at a large venue i do sound in will make it into a recording of mine in the near future. it's a woosh followed by a motor noise and a weird hum. very cool actually. i think i'll pitch it down a little, or use my subharmonic synth to really make it surreal.


ps: this is a -very- cool thread.
Old 9th June 2003
  #14
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littledog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
...and then the drummer proceeded to tip over the echo plate. We got a great explosion sound, but the mix turned out kind of dry.
really nicely written, mw! heh heh heh
Old 9th June 2003
  #15
Gear Addict
 
Beezoboy's Avatar
 

A PICKLE JAR -

I have a friend that drums on everything, and one day picked up a pickle jar (big glass Mt. Olive Dill) . He started playing on it and cupped his hand inside it and it somewhat resembled a Tabla sound.

I decided to make an electronic song around it as a composition projects in school.

www.elohsa.com/beezoboy/Tabla.mp3

You can download and the first sound you hear is the pickle jar. I miced it with a 441.

Beez
Old 9th June 2003
  #16
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littledog's Avatar
 

strangest thing I ever recorded wasn't really a thing... it was just strange.

...it was the music track for an Indian pop video (which can be pretty strange)

...the song was "Old MacDonald Had a Farm"

...with a raga/disco beat

...sung in Hindi (with a "quack quack here and a moo moo there" loses nothing in the translation, I can assure you...)

...by an Indian soprano vocalist (imagine a taped oboe played back at double speed)

(and there are people around here complaining about having to record hip-hop????)
Old 10th June 2003
  #17
Han
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I've recorded a Zippo with a Neumann, great sound, you could even hear the flame.

We recorded a shanty choir, the song's about a ship that went down. We needed the sound of airbubbles in water, so one of the guys put a small pipe in a bucket, filled with water and blowed during the whole song until he almost fainted. A 421 is perfect for this job.

A crash cymbal on a rope, a firm whack and let it down in a pool of water. Great sound!


Where can I get a quiff sample?
Old 10th June 2003
  #18
Moderator
 
Tim Farrant's Avatar
 

The strangest musical instrument I have recorded is a Washboard. This one was steel (or aluminium). It was quite hard to get it sounding real due to the metallic nature. In the end I used a TLM170 at knee level angled up to the player (standing) about 1 metre back.

Also, I did foley on a beer commercial and had to record the sound of a fizzing bottle just after it was opened. We did this by opening the bottle(s) and gently lowering into the neck a little Countryman pickup.

Of course, we had to do a dozen takes to get it right, so the rest of the day was spent emtpying all the opened bottles of beer !! Free beer and $200 later.....

Cheers
Tim
Buzz Audio
Old 10th June 2003
  #19
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pounce's Avatar
 

now i know where you got the name buzz audio.

apprently you had to do many takes of the beer bottle opening "to get the sound right" - yeah, that's the ticket.
Old 10th June 2003
  #20
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Some kooky things I've recorded:

I did a piece called "Found Sounds" on my first solo album (a 4-track cassette project). It has Washboard, two plastic water bottles, eight or ten brake drums for melody, and a kitchen sink.

As a professional I had a percussionist bring in a slide from his kid's swing set. It was also used to record rain to get a tin roof type sound. My old control room had a tree right outside the second story window. I got some great wind sound through that one evening. I did another song with rain. This time I opened the window in the live room and had the singer sing. There was a car that drove by right before the lyric "Time goes by" or something to that effect. And on the same project discarded ductwork hit with a piece of rebar. Tons of reverb was added in the mix on this one.
Old 10th June 2003
  #21
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One of the things I do is record sound FX for movies, so my list would be pretty long. One favorite that comes to mind was, I was recording construction sounds in Berlin a few years ago. I was several stories up in a cement building that had been completely gutted, and it was raining, and the rain was dripping down inside the building. As I moved around I noticed off in one corner a metallic "ploink, ploink" sound- it turned out to be water dripping onto an empty soda can. I went around & found a bunch more cans, & set them up under various trickles of water in a nice stereo field, & recorded them with a Neumann 190 MS mic. It was a beautiful sound, and then after a few minutes a cement pump up on the roof started working, making this very eerie, loud moaning sound behind the stereo field of ploinks. I've yet to use it, but sometimes I like to dig it up & just listen to it.
Old 10th June 2003
  #22
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as a kid I wanted to record breaking glass, to use it instead of drum sample. I was at the holiday with a friend and I borowed a small tape recorder (dictaphone), put it on the road and throw an (empty) bierbottle pretty near to it (you know the built in microphone isn't very sensitive ;-). I was idiot ;-))))
Old 11th June 2003
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
Stizz's Avatar
Hmmmm.... fun thread, this -
Have recorded a lot of strange things for , now that I think of it:
Prying open oysters (although for the life of me I can't remember why we needed that sound)
A pseudo-tibetan monk chanting that was used as a drone...
A vocalist lying down because he was too drunk to stand up
George Clinton rapping on a 24-track Otari with an accidentally half-seated card that produced about 45% THD (he insisted we keep the track as it was the best sound he had ever heard) Also he had me turn the VSO back and forth between the rails as fast as possible while a guitar soloed through the whole tune.(try it - its a good workout for your fingers)
I once was able to talk a rapper out of going out to the parking lot to record his Uzi (Thank God for good sfx libraries)

Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Old 11th June 2003
  #24
Dot
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I produced a punk band in the early 80's. The song was somewhat sexual and I wanted some moans and groans in the mix. But I wanted them to be authentic. I asked the male lead singer and the female keyboard player - who were living together - if they wouldn't mind going into one of the rooms and having a good shag while we miked it. They each got a pair of headphones so they could hear the song and their own "vocals".

The girl really got off on the whole thing and became very excited as her boyfriend serviced her.

The song had the excited sounds of a real couple ****ing in the mix.

Another strange one was some Foley work I recorded for Sesame Street. There was a cartoon of a chrysalis becoming a butterfly - and it was decided that the sound that would best express that was to get someone to chew on and bite small pieces off of a styrofoam cup. Actually, I think the guy who did that won an Emmy.
Old 11th June 2003
  #25
Gear Addict
 
Robotnik's Avatar
 

A hungry growling belly.
Old 11th June 2003
  #26
Dot
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robotnik
A hungry growling belly.
HA! I was on a soundstage at Los Colinas near Dallas years ago on a commericial shoot. When the set was quieted to start shooting, there was this strange faint, intermittent growling sound that kept coming over the audio system.

It took a whole crew over a half an hour to figure out it was one of the talent who's stomach was growling and getting picked up by her lav mic.
Old 11th June 2003
  #27
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In about 1981 in Houston, Texas, I recorded an entire album on a 13 piece Contemporary Christian show band from Vietnam, complete with a Vietnamese Catholic priest chaperone. The fact that such a thing could exist had never crossed my mind. You just had to see it in action to get some scope of the sonic trauma.

All vocals were in Vietnamese. No one besides me seemed concerned that the various indigenous 14 tone/octave Vietnamese instruments did not seem to set well with the sax, piano, guitars, etc from our 12 tone western world. They just happily played it all together in one big mess, with the vocalists often landing in the cracks, as far as I could tell, on purpose. Quarter tones aplenty.

It was so freaky bad that no two studio employees could be in the CR at the same time. Otherwise, it was impossible to avoid laughing like fools. Nice people, though.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 11th June 2003
  #28
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In the early eighties I worked for a while at a place that produced corporate training & promotional videos about computers & networking. The head of the audio dept loved to tell me about one big setup they had once, a presentation & panel discussion with a highly reknowned expert in the field, with a live audience, teleconferenced to audiences in severeal cities, & recorded to several 1" video decks. The "expert" was miced with a wireless lav, & of course during an intermission had a rather noisy session in the bathroom with his mic still feeding out to the audience, & broacast live around the country.
Old 11th June 2003
  #29
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Dot
I produced a punk band in the early 80's. The song was somewhat sexual and I wanted some moans and groans in the mix. But I wanted them to be authentic. I asked the male lead singer and the female keyboard player - who were living together - if they wouldn't mind going into one of the rooms and having a good shag while we miked it. They each got a pair of headphones so they could hear the song and their own "vocals".

The girl really got off on the whole thing and became very excited as her boyfriend serviced her.

The song had the excited sounds of a real couple ****ing in the mix.

Another strange one was some Foley work I recorded for Sesame Street. There was a cartoon of a chrysalis becoming a butterfly - and it was decided that the sound that would best express that was to get someone to chew on and bite small pieces off of a styrofoam cup. Actually, I think the guy who did that won an Emmy.
Recording everything from sex to Sesame Street. Now that's a wide-ranging resume! thumbsup
Old 11th June 2003
  #30
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

Just the thought of chewing bits of styrofoam cup makes my teeth itch
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