Friday, July 04, 2008

Ample Samples of Found Sounds

Friday July 4, 2008

Greeting and Happy Independence Day! It's a hot summer evening and I'm back with more stuff of interest to computer geeks and artists of all types. The topic for tonight is music and I'm going to discuss recording and using your own simple samples. For this exercise I used a cheap headset microphone, a small plastic soda bottle and the excellent Audacity open-source sound editing program. If you're trying this on your own PC make sure the mic is plugged into your PCs sound card before you begin. I started up Audacity, got the mic positioned and pressed the “record” button from the row of icons near the top. To make the a sound to record I simply blew over the mouth of the bottle to make a nice hollow note. Press the stop button to end the recording and you've got a raw sound file. I was able to trim the sample, tune and adjust the pitch and save it as a WAV file within Audacity. I repeated the process a couple more time with varying amounts of water added to the bottle to produce a higher pitched note. Once I had 3 samples, I was able to import the WAV files into the Orion sampler. The sampler will automatically detect and map your samples to a range of notes. Finally, we're ready to play the samples as an instrument either with a MIDI controller or through step-editing. It's fairly easy, and very fun and you can get some unique and highly usable sounds from this technique. If you haven't done it yet, give it a try.

The picture of the week was created using Bryce.
Click on the image for a full-sized view

The loops of the week were created from the previously mentioned bottle samples.

The book of the week was “3D Toons” by Steve and Raf Anzovin. It isn't a detailed guide to creating toons but it has some excellent and varied examples from different artists. This book was also my bargain of the week, cause I got it at the local 99 Cents Only Store for the princely sum of $0.99!

Send your comments and feedback and I’ll read it all and respond to some of it.
Bye for now!

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