unusual instrument tracking- what have you done?
Old 30th August 2006
  #1
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unusual instrument tracking- what have you done?

Tracked Bill Liston on penny whistle last night. e47 to the chandler ltd and rca77 to the ua8110. AMAZING! Bill is absolutley RIDICULOUS on winds and made it sound UNREAL! Hand carved penny whistle set. Best part is he learned to play it when he worked on the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie! He ran scales on it like jazz sax....JEBUS!

PS If you ever get a chance to check Bill out- DO IT! He played lead sax on the second tune and after he was done the client removed the lead vocal permanently! Replaced it with Bill's "blow all the way through" track. Chops...... I love session musicians! They usually make my job SOOOOOOO easy!
Old 30th August 2006
  #2
i recorded jeff sipe performing water percussion for his solo record. he brought a big tub in, filled it 3/4 with water. we opened case after case of his instruments and had them layed out all over the live room. then we just went nuts trying every instrument as a water perussion inst, which involved striking, rubbing, etc, the instruments and dipping them in various ways into the water. pretty fun.
as i recall i close mic'ed with.....and audix dX(?? in case it got wet, i wouldn't be upset), a pair of KM184s just over the water tub. the Km184s are what made the record (as i recall).
ben
Old 30th August 2006
  #3
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I've stereo miced a snorkle with mc-012s.

Snorkle was filled with water to create the sound of drowning.

Cool stuff.

They got wet though...
Old 30th August 2006
  #4
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back in the 80's i did this grandmaster flash hip hop record and he insisted on having the "door ajar" beeping from a caddy on the track. so we run a long string of mic cords out to the parking lot.
grandmaster flash had a BMW and according to him, that "beep" sound just wouldn't do. and no one had a caddy. jags? yes. caddy? no. well the assistant had an oldsmobile and at least that was a GM car. so we mic it up and flash says, "it's close, but it's too low."
enter the AMS delay/harmonizer. i kept pitching it up little by little until flash yelled, that's it! now that's a caddy."

i also recorded gunshots for this hip hop record made by a newark, nj cop. his "posse", (all cops btw), brought a bullet proof vest and set it in front of some sandbags in the studio and they fired away at it. weird.

-d. gauss
Old 30th August 2006
  #5
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I did a Norwegian Folk band about 8 years ago. Besides some 100 year old stringed instruments, the names of which I can't remember - A few of the songs had stereo tracks of Kataupa beans being shaken (those snake like bean pods that hang from trees).
Old 30th August 2006
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d. gauss View Post
i also recorded gunshots for this hip hop record made by a newark, nj cop. his "posse", (all cops btw), brought a bullet proof vest and set it in front of some sandbags in the studio and they fired away at it. weird.

-d. gauss
This begs to start the "which mic for gun shots" thread!!!! What did you use? Stereo room mics? Kick drum mic? RE20? That just sounds fun! thumbsup

I was just thinking instruments but field recording..... Thats got to get interesting sometimes! Keep em coming!
Old 30th August 2006
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studilaroche View Post
i recorded jeff sipe performing water percussion for his solo record. he brought a big tub in, filled it 3/4 with water. we opened case after case of his instruments and had them layed out all over the live room. then we just went nuts trying every instrument as a water perussion inst, which involved striking, rubbing, etc, the instruments and dipping them in various ways into the water. pretty fun.
as i recall i close mic'ed with.....and audix dX(?? in case it got wet, i wouldn't be upset), a pair of KM184s just over the water tub. the Km184s are what made the record (as i recall).
ben

I recorded a ethno-musicologist/instrumentalist (?) guy who specialized in S. American antiquity instruments. Lots of cool fun stuff. Much of it was an attempt by the mayans to recreate sounds of animals and nature. He also had a bunch of big tub/gourd water instruments. The guy brought a HOSE into the studio thru the back door and started filling stuff up. I have never laughed so hard. I was at the Bakery in N. hollywood and thought the studio manager would walk in any second and throw us out on our ears. Cool stuff....
Old 30th August 2006
  #8
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I have recorded some odd stuff.

A Gu Chin - an ancient Chinese lute -so quiet, it was made for an audience of one. The musician would sit down at a small table and play it for a single guest sitting across from him. Need a good preamp for that.

A trumpet made from a human femur bone, and a drum made from a human skull for some Tibetan Buddhist chanting.

A conch shell trumpet - part of a Vodou drumming ensemble.

A khamak which is either a drum with a long string attached, or a string with a drum attached. Think of it as a cross between a cuica and a one-stringed banjo. Or maybe a tenor washtub bass.

A manumba-kind of a bass kalimba the size of a kick drum. Each tine is an inch or two wide and 5 or 6 inches long. Great for deveolping your calluses.

Water drums- made of various objects filled with water and tilted when played.

A xlylophone made up of fire alarm bells from various schools and public buildings.

and of course all the "usual" unusual instruments like kazoos, toy pianos, alarm clocks, frying pans, mixing bowls, zippers, rubber bands, vacuum cleaner hoses, cows, cats, dogs, parakeets, automobiles, and yes, firearms that somehow become necessary for people's musical goals.



I too, once filled a kiddie pool in the studio to do water stuff. We put a mic inside a condom to try and get the underwater version. The results were so-so, and we ended up using the "air" mics.
Old 30th August 2006
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
A xlylophone made up of fire alarm bells from various schools and public buildings.

Hey, wait a minute...
Old 30th August 2006
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Hey, wait a minute...
I thought that might get your attention, Bob!

Old 30th August 2006
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
We put a mic inside a condom to try and get the underwater version.
Now THAT, my friend... is BRILLIANT!!!

I don't know if this counts, but every year in a tiny town in northern Vermont called Canaan, they have what's called the "Canaan Moose Festival." Well, the 16 piece big band that I do sound for has played at it for the past 4 years or something like that. Anyways, to make a long story short: every year they have a moose calling contest (yes, that's right, a MOOSE CALLING CONTEST) and since the contest is done right in front of the tent where the jazz band plays, they use the jazz band's PA. And, seeing how I happen to be the engineer for the jazz band, means that I get to engineer the moose calling contest too. I must say that a moose calling contest is quite possibly the strangest thing that I have ever had to engineer.
Old 30th August 2006
  #12
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Early eighties punk bands..
Large wooden box into which empty beer bottles were thrown with accompanied screams
Same project with a wireless mic out on a busy street, engaging people in embarrassing conversations and an occasional fistfight..
Avant-garde jazz band..blowing trumpet into a bowl of water.
An old, mechanical typewriter banged in odd time signature pattern for percussion sound.

there is more..can't quickly think of them..

later
Old 30th August 2006
  #13
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Well,

I've recorded more than a few acoustic instruments that aren't 'run-of-the-mill' types, but here are some highlights:

nose flute
slide trumpet (early/medieval instrument)
oil drum (as percussion)
metal gas can (unbelieveable when compressed-to-hell-and-back!)
marble spinning in metal bowls
female choir performing modern compositions (lots of odd sonics/techniques not often heard)
erhu (chinese 2 string upright violin - by an absolute awesome musician!)
fire alarm bells/metal rods
steel pipes
baby cries (easy to do when there's ones you live with, and within earshot of the studio/mic's!)
chainsaw
footsteps on snow (at -40 deg C: has an unbelieveable squeak to it!)

OK, not all of them are instruments, but every one of them made it into some production (audio and/or video) at one time or another...

Keep 'em coming! heh
Old 31st August 2006
  #14
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I tracked a virgin once.
Old 31st August 2006
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post
footsteps on snow (at -40 deg C: has an unbelieveable squeak to it!)
MAN! We were just talking about this today. One of the tracks starts out with someone walking through the snow and opening the door to a club. The client was discussing (he's from Montana) how he recorded the tracks at his house in the mountains, and had to wait till it got cold enough to make the right crunch/squeek noise! I had no idea but he said basically the same thing you did- its got to be a certain temp and it will sound super cool!
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