I was pleasantly surprised to hear an ice cream truck on my block yesterday. I snapped a photo and recorded the melody the truck was playing. It has to be one of the happiest sounds ever created.
We’ve all stolen a sample from a Hollywood DVD right? You know the obligatory Scarface sample or something stupid. We thought if the song gets big enough to be noticed then we could afford the legal fees. Eventually we woke up to the fact that those kind of samples are almost always dumb anyway. In the late 90s we bought and trolled sample CDs full of drum loops, ambient sounds, etc…
The other day I downloaded an App for the iPhone called Ambiance (iTunes link). My wife has been driving me crazy blasting music while she works her fashion business in the other room. I wanted something nice in my headphones to calm me down a bit. What I discovered was for $0.99 I had access to 500 longish (or nicely looped) real world recordings. I know what you thinking. Who want’s wind chimes or dolphin sounds in their music? But guess what? This App is chock full of war/battlefield loops, machines, dogs fighting, etc…
Now two things come to mind. First, chances are these sounds are not license free to use in your own songs. They could be but I couldn’t find anything on the urbanapps.com website that says so. Second, this is how I want my future “sample CDs”. Why on the iPhone? Well because I actually listen to the sounds. Who ever bought a sample CD with 10,000 sounds ever heard more than 100 sounds from it? The iPhone is in my hand and in my ears ready for any bored moment I have. Perfect time to find a nice background war sound for a new EBM track! So much for finding some peace and quiet.
“Block out distractions at work or at home. Choose sounds that enhance productivity such as White Noise and Binaural beats. It really works!” – ambiance.urbanapps.com
For more info: ambiance.urbanapps.com
Well here you have a great example of how touch screens are going to transform musician’s tools. Tapestri allows you to sample a sound and when you touch the waveform it plays it from the location you touched it.
“Tapestri version 1.0 is a sound sample-based synthesizer that uses the iPhone / iPod Touch touch screen interface to crisply control the playback of recorded sample material. With this innovative tool, recorded sounds can be quickly transformed into rap or electronic beats, synthy “clouds” of sound textures, or syncopated, improvised drum beats. Sounds are recorded by pushing the red record button to start and stop the recording process. When a sound is recorded, its waveform displays on the screen, and wherever you touch on the wave, the playback will rapidly jump to that location, allowing you to loop and cut up the sounds instantly!” – huffsound.com
I bought Tapestri and I think it will be a fun way to throw in some quick sounds into my own songs. I like the idea of a few minutes away from the mouse and screen creating a weird unexpected tidbit. Is this the new Casio SK-1?
Available for .99 at: iTunes