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:
So, over the holidays, one of my gifts to myself was to take advantage of holiday sales to flesh out my library of instrument and effect plug-ins, on computer and on mobile (especially to take advantage of the AUv3 instrument integration into iOS mobile DAWs). On the computer side, though, I picked up a couple of interesting effects (Glitchmachines Quadrant and Illformed Glitch 2), and a couple of synths that were different from my standard repertoire, including Wiggle, which I’m not sure I can even quite describe yet, and the most recent synth designed by Dmitry Sches, Thorn.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m more experienced with different types of synthesis now, or the fact that the instrument really is quite intuitive to program, but I’ve actually been getting into some sound design with it. Aside from the now-defunct Vanguard, which had few enough parameters that I felt like I could tackle them all, for the most part I’ve mainly done tweaks to existing synth patches. Something about Thorn, though, makes me really want to just dive right in and see what I can create. I haven’t even tried any of the presets that it came with yet, just starting from a blank preset and going from there, and I’ve already created some interesting stuff, like the following clip, which is just one of my synth programs applied to a simple set of notes:
And just for fun, here’s a version of it accompanied by some effected drums:
A Sequence (Drums)