Integrating found sound, location recordings or Foley into your productions has become a staple for many producers from House to DnB but what are the techniques and production tips you should be looking out for?! Well, worry not. We’re going to explore some of our favourite found sound production tips to help you get stuck into adding some organic texture into your compositions.
With the ever increasing quality and access to smart phones with great sounding pre-amps the opportunity has never been better for grabbing those quick ‘spare of the moment’ hits or sounds. From the sound of a tube station train passing to the noise and hustle of a busy city square these area defining sounds can easily be at your disposal and add a real unique character to your music that no one else will have.
That being said, there comes a time when you’d like to increase the quality of your recordings so that’s where the trusty location recorder comes in. Easy to throw in your bag plus increased quality, depth and stereo field this handy little device can be a saviour.
Here’s our top few location recorder production tips:
Noise – Handling noise can often get in the way or ruin your recorders so wherever possible look to place the recorder on a tripod.
Wind – Again, nature can strike at any time so purchasing a little windsock opens up the opportunities to use your recorder whatever the weather. The difference in quality is incredible and something that should be kept with your kit.
Remote – If possible try and find one with a remote. This gives you opportunity to stay away from the machine removing the possibility of handling noise.
Batteries – Don’t be silly and run out. Charge it up or bring spares. You’d kick yourself if you didn’t.
Sourcing your Sounds
The world really is your oyster on this one. From everyday household objects like cutlery and kitchen utensils to plastic bags, paper cups to spanners and wheelbarrows its often just a case of getting stuck in a seeing what’s out there. Here are a few ideas:
Kick Drums – Shoe / boot drops, door slams, paper bag hits, thunder, floor stomps.
Snares – Rocks, glasses, table hits, paper bags, rulers, wood hits, trees, snooker cues.
Hats – Glass, lighters, pens, keys, processed wind.
Processing Your Recordings
When processing your recordings you can literally do what you want but here’s something we like to do:
- Our recording of leaves has been stretched in Ableton the fit the size of our loop.
2. We’ve changed the envelope mode in our audio clip to ‘Beats’ Mode, reduced the ‘Transient Loop Mode’ forward and reduced the envelope amount to 44.
This creates a tighter, more rhythmic feel to the leaves samples.
3. This, once warped to your liking can be laid over beats to create interesting rhythmic patterns and percussion. Here’s the final beat with the foley underneath it.
This is just one way to integrate foley into your productions but don’t stop there, try reversing it, throwing it into a sampler, record pitched sounds to create instruments and anything else you could think of!
The Touch Loops team.