As you may know, one of the things I like to do are field recordings and sampling of unusual potential instruments. While it’s true that the standard plastic fidget spinners don’t make a whole lot of interesting sounds (unless you like slightly clattering plastic), metal fidget spinners can spin fast enough to create some interesting wind/propeller effects, along with interesting metal ringing sounds as the spinning metal part tends to resonate at a certain frequency (this is especially true of stainless steel ones, which create an effect not entirely unlike a tuning fork or a singing bowl). Also the metal ones provide enough inertia that they can produce interesting audio with a loose or dirty bearing, allowing for some interesting mechanical grinding and wobbling timbres.
I’m considering doing another free sample pack using some metal spinners that I’ve come across here and there (recorded with my field recorder, so probably not studio quality, but useful to do things with in experimental music nonetheless). In the meantime, though, here’s a track that’s basically recordings of a few different metal spinners, processed through some glitch and granular effects to create an interesting little sonic noise-scape:
Step 1: Take the glass top to a corningware dish and spin it upside-down on a tile countertop.
Step 2: Record the oscillating glass noise.
Step 3: Experiment with the clip using various forms of granular synthesis, gating, extreme filter and delay warping, hyper-driven amps, and other fun stuff.
Step 4: Wobble Grind (Maximal) Wobble Grind (Minimal)
Oh yeah, warning: there’s a reason this one’s tagged “earbleed.” Some of the extreme driving produced some unusual side effects that are very shrill in pitch, so you may want to carefully moderate your volume when listening (or listen to the “minimal” version on the right, which has less of the especially hard programming).
This track is somewhat similar in composition method to Fourscore, and was created in an attempt to make a musical “card” for Mother’s Day. In a similar vein, the phrase “Happy Mother’s Day!” was entered into the DAW’s piano roll, in a font style similar to a 7-pin dot matrix display. The sequence is then looped and used with several different instruments, primarily a selection of sounds from the Sculpture physical modeling synth (some processed through the Space Designer reverb) and a custom arpeggiated sequence that I created in NLogPoly. The track is backed with a few drum loops and samples from Logic Pro. It is a little towards the atonal and discordant side, but has a punchy and direct sound that is definitely growing on me.
An ambient experiment involving several different sound sources, including time-stretched samples of city and construction noise alongside several different temporally varied versions of a field recording I did of walking around in a rainstorm with a creaky umbrella. It also features some Logic loops to complement the sound and the grinding, serendipitous feedback glitching that resulted in some of the samples as part of the stretching process. There are also some custom-tuned reaktor sound generators and several drum loops processed through ringshifters and granular synthesis. The result of all this? Well, it’s a sort of ambient/illbient weird thing that I guess could be somewhat relaxing (well, once you get through the grinding feedback-laden introduction, at any rate).