In this installment of guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production, Frank discusses how he miked percussion sounds for a sample library. If you missed Frank’s previous post, you can read it here.
Recently I was tapped to help contribute recordings of “found objects” for a new VST library called “Momentum” by Impact Soundworks. The goal of the library was to offer a wide variety of unique alternatives to percussion instruments, but also looping rhythms in several different time signatures.
I figured I would seek out anything with an interesting tone to it by banging on everything around the house. I narrowed down the most interesting things to: an empty 5-gallon water jug, a hollow fiberglass bathtub, an empty washer and dryer, a metal stand, a muted China cymbal, a djembe and cajon played with brushes, a card table, and a large sliding glass shower door.
For most of the sessions I used either a stereo AT825, or a BP4073 and BP4027. For things like a card table or glass door, I used a clip-on ATM350 that would retain the low end of the vibration when the object was hit. For the bathtub I put in the ATM250DE. I used a Sound Devices MixPre Compact for the preamps and ran that into my recorder.
As a diverse drummer with a lot of progressive rock and fusion experience, coming up with odd time signature rhythms comes easily, and I was able to offer a lot of them to choose from.
The thing that impressed me the most is how Impact Soundworks was able to take all of this content from all of the contributors and get an absolute ton of variety out of it by cleverly programming so much editing ability, that you can really alter every note of every loop via effects, filtering, panning, reversing, time-shifting, randomizing, and more. It really turned out to be a powerful and creative library and well worth adding to your collection. Whether you need a unique percussive element to your soundtrack, or perhaps something on the industrial or obscure rhythm side, this really covers a lot of bases I’ve not heard other libraries do.
To see more info and demonstrations of this great VST instrument, visit https://impactsoundworks.com/product/momentum/
Frank Klepacki is an award-winning composer, sound designer, audio director, recording artist, touring performer, and producer. He has worked on top video game titles such as Command & Conquer, Star Wars: Empire at War, and MMA sports television programs such as Ultimate Fighting Championship and Inside MMA. For more info, visit www.frankklepacki.com
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