14/52: chromedecay: field – demo 1 (bicycle & garage sounds)

This week’s project has been in the works for quite some time, but is just now being picked up again. It’s a demo of some new sound/preset work I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I’m calling this first set of material chromedecay: field.

One benefit of being a teacher is that I have my summers off, and I spent some time this past summer with my Minidisc recorder, binaural microphones, and other recording gear, capturing sounds in my house and garage.

recording bike sounds

One of the sets of sounds I recorded was using my bicycle as a percussion instrument, along with some other random sounds from the garage (like dropping and hitting a plastic pop bottle, and so on). I recorded about 30-45 minutes worth of raw sounds, and then recorded them into the computer as several long, continuous audio files.

14/52: Logic - Overview

At that point (late last summer), that’s where I put the project down temporarily. The work I did this week was to start isolating individual hits and loops in order to turn them into usable sounds. Because I’d recorded the long segments off the MiniDisc into Logic, I started there. Also, I much prefer cutting/editing sound files in Logic compared to Live – Logic’s much more of a traditional audio editor, and I find it works great for that kind of work.

Much selecting, trimming, and saving of individual files was done.

14/52: Logic - Sample Editing

You can see some of the list of files here:

14/52: Logic - Sound List

After I had saved out many, many individual hits and loops, I started loading things up into Ableton Live, my preferred composition tool. Live is the ultimate destination for this material, as I intend to eventually make these sets of sounds & loops available (though that’s a project for another week!).

Here’s a couple views of what it looks like when brought into Live:

14/52: Ableton Live screenshots from sound design/programming

14/52: Ableton Live screenshots from sound design/programming

If you go to the full-size version of those photos, you can see that most of these sounds ended up in Live’s Drum Racks, which is a great tool for this kind of thing.

I then spent some time writing a demo track that would give these sounds a chance to shine.

14/52: Bill Van Loo working on sound design in Ableton Live

Here’s the final product:

14/52: chromedecay: field – demo 1 by billvanloo

All the sounds you hear in the demo track were produced from the field recordings I did, with the exception of the bassline.

4 Replies to “14/52: chromedecay: field – demo 1 (bicycle & garage sounds)”

    1. @Charles – thanks, glad you like it!

      @Joshua – I’m using a fairly cheap set of Sound Professionals binaural mics with a Sharp MiniDisc recorder. They work well, but the cable is getting flaky, so sometimes one side crackles. It does the job, though.

      I’d like to get the Blue Mikey 2 for the iPod Touch at some point – it wouldn’t be binaural, but the ability to record straight to a digital file versus to MiniDisc then transferring to the computer would be nice.

  1. @Bill – I have a Zoom H4n that works really well. It has a few more bells and whistles then I need, but it works like a charm. It actually has some decent built in Mics (two in stereo)… but I was looking for something a little different.

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