Makeshift instruments and recording

Radu-Cristian Perde

Administrator
Staff member
Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
    821
    2,306
    Montreal
    8
    Hello everyone!

    So I wanted to share a bit of what I have been doing. I am deep right now into my production phase and so now I have to record a very orchestral part and want to try to do as much without MIDI instruments or digital sounds.

    So in this instance (see photo below) I have a cheap kick drum that I had laying around and switched the skin to have a coated one. To goal of this is to make a makeshift percussion. Now I have to find the right tuning for it so it's not to dry but not too resonant but yeah the goal is to have a massive and large percussive sound and to help me with that are the sticks.

    See, when talking about drums, I was amazed about how much the sound change depending on the tools you are using and of course different factors. But more specifically about tools, regular drumsticks wouldn't do the trick so instead I got myself a pair of mallets to help me with that!

    I am actually quite happy with the sound that i'm getting out of it. And that's also something that I wanted to share with you all as well: we'd like to think that the sound engineer's job is more technical than creative but from experience, a lot of creativity has to come in play to get certain desired sound and textures! I think you would all be surprised with the amounts of sounds you could produce and use in a composition for layering if you just experimented with different things laying around! No need to necessarily go with all the high end stuff or whatnot... anyone could go very far with homemade experiments and creativity if they tried! A good example of technical creativity is the bell sound in ''For whom the bell tolls''. It's actually from an anvil! No one could guess that without actually knowing that!

    It's something silly that I find fascinating and I wanted to open a discussion about that!

    So then I wanted to ask you all who have experimented with if you have any tricks you want to share or just anecdotes!? Let's talk about it! :syngates: :rock-hand:




    IMG_3647.JPG
     

    Ian Hayes

    Garage band Groupie
    Nov 11, 2019
    10
    51
    Denver, CO
    16
    I think creativity is most certainly involved when engineering or even producing a track. Usually, the job of most engineers and producers will be working to achieve the writers vision for the song and many times, using the same tools to achieve very different sounds. I’m fascinated by that side of creating a song too. It’s so fun to record with other people who can share ideas and create totally new things that you could never have done by yourself.
     

    Radu-Cristian Perde

    Administrator
    Staff member
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
    821
    2,306
    Montreal
    8
    I think creativity is most certainly involved when engineering or even producing a track. Usually, the job of most engineers and producers will be working to achieve the writers vision for the song and many times, using the same tools to achieve very different sounds. I’m fascinated by that side of creating a song too. It’s so fun to record with other people who can share ideas and create totally new things that you could never have done by yourself.
    Yes exactly!! There is so much more when talking about sound engineers/producer than just pressing the record button. My favourite documentary is the ''A year and a half in the life of metallica'' where they document the making of the black album and it's so interesting to see how much Bob Rock worked to give this album the legendary sound that it has!
    amazing Radu! ❤️ 🤘
    Gabby, you are as sweet as usual! Thanks for being here and being so supportive, you are the best! 😊 💜
     
    Last edited:

    Gabby Heafy

    Campfire Attention Holder
  • Apr 5, 2020
    392
    891
    www.instagram.com
    1
    Yes exactly!! There is so much more when talking about sound engineers/producer than just pressing the record button. My favourite documentary is the ''A year and a half in the life of metallica'' where they document the making of the black album and it's so interesting to see how much Bob Rock worked to give this album the legendary sound that it has!

    Gabby, you are as sweet as usual! Thanks for being here and being so supportive, you are the best! 😊 💜
    Your welcome! Awww you are the best!😘🤘🤘
     
    • Love
    Reactions: Radu-Cristian Perde

    Donovan Etue

    Campfire Attention Holder
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
    384
    596
    Washington State
    2
    First off well done for taking something you had on hand but weren't using and adjusting it to fit your needs as well as making a learning experience out of it! That always leaves one with a nice dose of pride and accomplishment that never really gets old.

    I haven't really done much when it comes to experimenting tone wise. The most unique being for my clean tones. 2 of my guitars have a sustainiac equipped. I love how it sounds but I normally want a bit fuller of a tone for my cleans. I found that on my Katana that I can use the harmonizer in unison to fill up more sonic space so to speak as well as giving it almost a slight delay/reverb sound to it. I haven't found a decent sounding harmonizer VST online yet but a free TriChorus effect by GVST that when set on the one and only preset which is labeled warm, it gives me a fuller tone that doesn't SCREAM chorus, it just warms up the tone. It sadly doesn't give me that delay/reverby tone though. Luckily there's more than enough reverb/delay plugins out there to get me close to it.

    I've been getting more and more into learning about the production side of things the last few months and wow has it been an interesting learning experience. I need to go through and watch the Metallica documentaries again since last time I really couldn't grasp what they were doing so I didn't pay as close attention. One documentary I thoroughly enjoy watching is Gojira's The Way of All Flesh Inside. Sadly for only about 8 or so minutes it gives you a glimpse into the recording process for the monster that is The Way of All Flesh. Especially a good glimpse on the recording of The Art of Dying and A Sight to Behold. The drum intro has it's weird pattern going on and about 40 seconds in you'll hear an accompanying pattern come in with a metal twang to it. I figured it was some fancy piece in a drum set that they used in the studio but nope. Looking at it I'm 95% sure it's just a large and old metal sheet/lid. Later on in the song at 4:02 before the start of the hammering mid section of the song I couldn't figure out what was making a distorted noise. It sounded guitar esque but it wasn't picked/plucked nor was it tapped. The sustain was really even as well. In the documentary I finally realized they were using the old Jimmy Page go to of using a violin bow to make that sound. I also learned what a vocoder was while researching online about the interesting noises all through out that album. Definitely a worthwhile documentary/film to watch if you're a Gojira fan or interested in a sneak peak at the recording process for the album. But yeah, reading about all of the weird ways producers/bands would make a distinct sound on the album and what it took to make that is always interesting to me.

    Thanks for bringing up the topic Radu! It's definitely a fun rabbit hole to go down.
     
    • Love
    Reactions: Radu-Cristian Perde
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    Radu-Cristian Perde

    Administrator
    Staff member
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
    821
    2,306
    Montreal
    8
    First off well done for taking something you had on hand but weren't using and adjusting it to fit your needs as well as making a learning experience out of it! That always leaves one with a nice dose of pride and accomplishment that never really gets old.

    I haven't really done much when it comes to experimenting tone wise. The most unique being for my clean tones. 2 of my guitars have a sustainiac equipped. I love how it sounds but I normally want a bit fuller of a tone for my cleans. I found that on my Katana that I can use the harmonizer in unison to fill up more sonic space so to speak as well as giving it almost a slight delay/reverb sound to it. I haven't found a decent sounding harmonizer VST online yet but a free TriChorus effect by GVST that when set on the one and only preset which is labeled warm, it gives me a fuller tone that doesn't SCREAM chorus, it just warms up the tone. It sadly doesn't give me that delay/reverby tone though. Luckily there's more than enough reverb/delay plugins out there to get me close to it.

    I've been getting more and more into learning about the production side of things the last few months and wow has it been an interesting learning experience. I need to go through and watch the Metallica documentaries again since last time I really couldn't grasp what they were doing so I didn't pay as close attention. One documentary I thoroughly enjoy watching is Gojira's The Way of All Flesh Inside. Sadly for only about 8 or so minutes it gives you a glimpse into the recording process for the monster that is The Way of All Flesh. Especially a good glimpse on the recording of The Art of Dying and A Sight to Behold. The drum intro has it's weird pattern going on and about 40 seconds in you'll hear an accompanying pattern come in with a metal twang to it. I figured it was some fancy piece in a drum set that they used in the studio but nope. Looking at it I'm 95% sure it's just a large and old metal sheet/lid. Later on in the song at 4:02 before the start of the hammering mid section of the song I couldn't figure out what was making a distorted noise. It sounded guitar esque but it wasn't picked/plucked nor was it tapped. The sustain was really even as well. In the documentary I finally realized they were using the old Jimmy Page go to of using a violin bow to make that sound. I also learned what a vocoder was while researching online about the interesting noises all through out that album. Definitely a worthwhile documentary/film to watch if you're a Gojira fan or interested in a sneak peak at the recording process for the album. But yeah, reading about all of the weird ways producers/bands would make a distinct sound on the album and what it took to make that is always interesting to me.

    Thanks for bringing up the topic Radu! It's definitely a fun rabbit hole to go down.
    Aaaah yes I freaking love your input!

    I love the sustainiac as a clean pickup! I think it was in the making of of ''exist'' that Syn said that he used it because it had a nice bright clean quality to it and when I tried on my own, sure enough, I loved the way it sounded. But I think it's great that you went steps beyond and experimented with different sonic textures on your tone. That world in particular is pure infinte possibilites of how many effects or plug ins you can put together to create the sound that's in your mind! Really great journey though!

    And yeah adding to that, I love this clip from the black album metallica documentary:
    The creativity behind those experiments is great and, for myself, I will be using the tambourine trick Lars did where I put a ride cymbal under to have some reflections! There is so much to be learned if you pay attention!

    Thanks for the Gojira recommendation, I'll try to check it out whenever i have a second! I love these documentaries and there is so much to be learned!

    My pleasure Donovan! 😀:rock-hand:
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Donovan Etue

    Donovan Etue

    Campfire Attention Holder
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
    384
    596
    Washington State
    2
    Aaaah yes I freaking love your input!

    I love the sustainiac as a clean pickup! I think it was in the making of of ''exist'' that Syn said that he used it because it had a nice bright clean quality to it and when I tried on my own, sure enough, I loved the way it sounded. But I think it's great that you went steps beyond and experimented with different sonic textures on your tone. That world in particular is pure infinte possibilites of how many effects or plug ins you can put together to create the sound that's in your mind! Really great journey though!

    And yeah adding to that, I love this clip from the black album metallica documentary:
    The creativity behind those experiments is great and, for myself, I will be using the tambourine trick Lars did where I put a ride cymbal under to have some reflections! There is so much to be learned if you pay attention!

    Thanks for the Gojira recommendation, I'll try to check it out whenever i have a second! I love these documentaries and there is so much to be learned!

    My pleasure Donovan! 😀:rock-hand:
    I absolutely love my sustainiacs, even if I rarely turn them on for their specifically designed function haha.

    Looking around on YouTube I can't find the documentary anywhere. I've got it on DVD since I bought "Gojira's The Flesh Alive" DVD set off of amazon. You can buy it for about $20 USD at the moment. It comes bundled with 2 full live shows and a 2 or 3 songs from other gigs on one dvd. The second dvd has the documentary I mentioned. As well as a live CD from their show in Bordeaux. I initially bought the set for the concerts to add to my collection but that I've rewatched that documentary several times now. So as a big Gojira fan it was a worthwhile bundle to me anyway.
     

    Radu-Cristian Perde

    Administrator
    Staff member
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
    821
    2,306
    Montreal
    8
    I made this mix with opening lot's of youtube videos looping and changing the speeds. Does this count? I thought the drums kind of sounded like fireworks
    Of course! Good old sampling! It's nice that you experiment!
    I absolutely love my sustainiacs, even if I rarely turn them on for their specifically designed function haha.

    Looking around on YouTube I can't find the documentary anywhere. I've got it on DVD since I bought "Gojira's The Flesh Alive" DVD set off of amazon. You can buy it for about $20 USD at the moment. It comes bundled with 2 full live shows and a 2 or 3 songs from other gigs on one dvd. The second dvd has the documentary I mentioned. As well as a live CD from their show in Bordeaux. I initially bought the set for the concerts to add to my collection but that I've rewatched that documentary several times now. So as a big Gojira fan it was a worthwhile bundle to me anyway.
    Thanks Don, I'll keep an eye open for it! :)
     

    Donovan Etue

    Campfire Attention Holder
    Legend
  • Nov 11, 2019
    384
    596
    Washington State
    2
    Here's a quick screenshot oh whatever it is he's using @Radu-Cristian Perde am I right that this is just a bit of sheet metal, or am I just uneducated enough not to recognize the fine piece of drum equipment he's using? Going through one Gojira's shows from that period I see that he brought it out on tour but never seemed to use it, not on camera anyway. It's absolutely blank on the front besides maybe some marks/scuffs/dents on the front.
    mariometalsheet.png
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection