Here’s a free sample pack of glitches from Dennis Harms at Bronto Scorpio Music. To download: click here
“Don’t expect pseudo analog stuff here! You get 120 weird, digital noises with this pack! These sounds are perfect for Autechre, Richard Devine, Aphex Twin like tracks, but can also add some special elements to other tracks. I designed these sounds over the last few months and thought it would be cool to share them with you. The pack contains 120 24Bit/44Khz wave files and a simple Kontakt (3.5 or higher) instrument where the samples are mapped across the keyboard. Mod- and pitchwheel do some crazy things in this instrument too!” – brontoscorpiomusic
I’m lucky to have my own driveway in NYC. I’m also lucky to have a beautiful apple tree that blooms to park underneath. The only problem is hundreds of birds love this tree too. Therefore going to the car wash has become a routine trip. I’m amazed that for $10 you can get a full car wash that includes a full cleaning of the interior too.
My mother is a avid gardener. There were four large planters outside my building that were just dirt and weeds to I asked her to help me choose some plants to fix the situation. You can see the full set of photos of my “garden”: click here
Today I would like to welcome a new sponsor at Wire to the Ear: Wave Alchemy. You can see there advert running on the top right sidebar of this blog. I’ve turned down a lot of advertising requests from companies that were totally unrelated to pro-audio. Why diamond and shoe companies think this is a good place to advertise I don’t know! Wave Alchemy are based out of Nottingham in the UK. They sell sample libraries that are 100% royalty free and every sample is 100% original (not ripped from vinyl or anywhere else). Even if your not ready to buy anything it’s worth a visit to their site because each pack has a free sample set. There’s also a few totally free sample packs such “Club Kicks” and “Odyssey FX”. Robert Babicz (Rob Acid), Chris Lake and Martin Eyerer are a few of the artists using Wave Alchemy’s stuff.
I hope you welcome them as it does help Wire to the Ear stay on your computer screen.
A real analog kick processed by some monster hardware boxes. Record it 65 ways and give it away free. That’s what Wave Alchemy just did. Hey, it got me to their site to look around.
“65 24-bit 100% royalty free kick drum (Jomox AIRBase 99) samples which have been recorded through an A-grade signal chain including devices such as the Thermionic Culture Vulture, Empirical Labs Distressor and API 512c pre-amp.” – wavealchemy.co.uk
Sometimes I like to add the sound of thousands of screaming fans into my recordings. You can find Creative Commons licensed large crowd samples online at the Free Sound Project. Another great place to search is SugarMegs which is a huge archive of free, legal concert recordings. Be sure that there’s no music playing even softly in the background or you risk the possibility of being outed as faker. If possible grab a section of pure crowd that’s long enough to fill the section of your own song in which your placing it because properly looping audience noise can be tricky.
A fun example of a fake crowd placed into a techno track is Slaves to the Rave by the Inferno Bros:
Sometimes I like to start a track with the large crowd fading in. Next I will add a single kick with a ton of reverb on it creating a boom. I then automated the crowd’s volume envelope to jump up after the boom sound creating the effect that the audience is reacting excitedly. I also use this triangular looking volume curve after a few opening screaming vocal sentences. With some careful placement and tweaking the end result kind be quite realistic.
On the other hand experimenting and creating something wild out of the crowd noise also can work. I’ve pitch shifted, flanged and “trance gated” crowd sounds into really worthwhile parts.
Yesterday I took a trip to Ikea in Berlin. To get from Prenzlauer Berg to Spandau takes about thirty minutes on the S-Bahn. I had my camera with me which also takes decent video. However, it wasn’t visual imagery I was after. I hit record but left the camera’s lens cap on. I was only after audio recordings.
There are a myriad of hot flash recorders on the market but I used what I had with me and I think the recordings sound great. Another advantage of recording this way is people aren’t really aware of what your doing. If I had a Sony PCM-D1 in my hand people may not speak naturally. I’m planning on using some of these recordings on my next album but your free to use them too. Remember it’s not the sounds, it’s how you use them!
The audio player will play each sample in succession:
On eBay they usually go for well over $1000 USD so not everyone can afford one. Even if you do own one sometimes using samples is just more convenient. A big tip off to seasoned listeners that your faking it is the Hi Hat sound of most samples. Here is a trick that John Selway showed me on how to make Roland TR-808 samples sound more real.
I’m going to use Ableton Live’s built-in Auto Filter but any filter plug-in should work. This is a very simple trick but once you hear it “fix” the sound you may use it often. I am trying to get rid of it that symbalance, feathery, super high digital sound and replace it with something more metallic and clear. Check out the original untreated samples in action here:
Make sure your Hi Hats are on a separate audio channel and add Auto Filter as an insert. Grab the fluorescent yellow dot inside the automation display and drag it about a centimeter to the left and a half centimeter upwards. The kHz should read about 7.01 and the Q about 1.60. Take a listen to the Hi Hats now:
Now take a listen to what these improved Hi Hats sound like in action. Here they are in a song called Body to Body off my new album Attack Decay: click here
Here are a few places you can find Roland TR-808 samples online. Keep in mind that Roland TR-808’s sound different from each other, have lots of tuning settings and can be recorded many different ways. The kb6 set is free, the Gold Baby set was recorded to tape and my personal favorite is the Wizoo set.
Today I was listening to the great podcast from Sonicstate.com called “Sonic Talk“. The last story of the show made me jump on the internet and start downloading. Nick and the Sonic crew were chatting about German software company Yellow Tools releasing a free gift for all musicians!
“Yellow tools is proud to release a powerful free version of Independence – the ultimate sampler workstation! Independence Free 2.0 is already based on the new Independence 2.0 version which will also be released during this months. Independence Free 2.0 comes with all the powerful features of the Independence Sampler version 2.0 – only the import of audio files is not supported.”
After reviewing the download page I am happy to report that your also free to use the sounds in commercial productions. Most people don’t realize that if you download a Waves demo your not authorized to release any music you create with the demo until you buy the full version. Happily Yellow Tools is allowing this download to be a real “tool”. I also noticed at the bottom of the page they will be releasing three more free soundsets for the free sampler.
full version – no demo or tryout
no yellow tools Authorization Key required
beside audio file import all Independence features are enabled
no time or save restrictions
commercial use is allowed
for Mac OS X (Universal Binary), Windows XP and Vista
I think it’s a great move by the company to help get their name out in the competitive virtual sampler market. Let me know if you download it and try it out.
Last week I talked about the Freesound Project’s great website for free samples. Shortly after I received an email from Tasos Frantzolas from Soundsnap.com. Tasos wanted to let me know about a similar site they have. When I traveled over to the site I realized I have been there before and even downloaded some sounds from it.
It’s another good place to look for royalty free samples. It looks a bit more slick and up to date than the Freesound Project. One difference I notice is in the license Soundsnap samples come with.
– To remix or transform the sounds in any way
– To copy, distribute and transmit the sounds
– To use the sounds in any music, film, video game, website etc. whether commercial or not, without paying royalties or other fees
See that last one? You can use Soundsnap samples in commercial projects. The Freesound Project’s Creative Commons license requires you to contact the sample owner if you want to use the sound commercially. Allthough I never had an issue with getting rights without any fee attached from Freesound Project members it worth noting.
Remember if you have some spare time to give back to these sites. A few samples from your old analog synths, a vocal here and there or grab one of the awesome new portable recorders that recently hit the market.