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:
I’m not sure why, but I wanted to make something both painfully chaotic and relatively synchronized. Luckily, there happens to be an app for that, and it’s called BitWiz, a unusual program that essentially lets you program in a mathematical formula, and it will turn it into very intense digital-sounding noises. The underlying sound in the track was generated from a modification to one of the preset sequences, further disassembled with some Sonic Charge effects, accompanied by some of my favorite Reaktor ensembles until I got the level of sound I was looking for.
The result is… marginally listenable, but for some reason I really like it. Listening to it makes me feel… synchronized, somehow, especially when I put it on loop. Although I can’t listen to it for too long because then my ears start to hurt…
Also, the title was originally going to be Kabang for some arbitrary reason, but then I removed the G for an even more arbitrary reason. The removal, however, does not appear to objectively affect the sound quality.
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).
Sometimes, when I’m testing out a synth and trying to learn it, I just hook up my keyboard and start playing around with them live, tweaking every knob I can get my hands on and seeing what happens. Sometimes, if something interesting happens, I record it. The following are some of the results. Warning: some of these amp up unpredictably – make sure your speakers are set at a safe volume before continuing.
This is actually a visual pattern exercise rendered into musical form. Each of the notes start out playing in sequence, then slowly move, one by one, into different phases in relation to each other’s positions. The first iteration of this track was rendered using a bunch of loud bells, but it didn’t seem quite… interesting enough. This version switches over to Logic’s venerable EFM1 synth, and adds slowly varying modulation amounts to the mix. The result is a track that I find both intriguing, and at times almost unbearable to listen to all the way. If you are able to listen to this track all the way through, you have my full permission to remove the letter F from the title should you so desire.