Bring to the studio objects whose sounds you would like to record.
Since we’re recording sounds that are not explicitly musical,
avoid making sounds on musical instruments or electronic
devices that play music (or are used when making music).
The idea is to record individual sounds — sound
objects — rather than a musical performance having
prolonged rhythmic and/or melodic features.
Make the following four types of sound with whatever you
bring to the studio:
- a percussive attack, with or without ringoff;
- a sustained noisy sound (can be bumpy and irregular, but
should be fairly continuous), with no discernable pitch;
- a sustained sound having some pitch, such as you might hear
rubbing a wine glass or a prayer bowl; and
- a passage of you reading (or whispering) the newspaper (or
similar) in any language (can be an excerpt from a poem or
novel, as long as it’s in the public domain or you
otherwise have permission to use it in your own music).
When you record source material, get in the habit of making a
series of versions — performances, if you will — that
vary subtly, with each version separated from the next by a second
or two of silence.
Each recording should be 15-30 seconds long, containing several
versions of one sound source.
Please don’t bring fire into the studio (e.g.,
matches, lighters), even if cool sounds might’ve emerged. Be
very careful with water and other stuff that could make a
big mess. Use common sense.