A multi-disciplinary journey in music, sound, and field recording.

Playing a Cigarette Machine

Posted: July 17th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, found sound objects, music, sound design
This nicotine-dispensing hulk is as playable as a drum kit.

This nicotine-dispensing hulk is as playable as a drum kit.

When we moved into our new office, there was this huge cigarette vending machine from the late 60’s or early 70’s left in our foyer. It went from monstrosity to curiosity, and now we’re happy it’s around as an ironic objet d’arte. It went from curosity to obsession once I realized that it could open and its metallic guts could be struck, strummed, and otherwise played like an instrument.

This is one of those sessions I’ll redo someday with better gear, and with sound blankets to dampen the super-bright room (it’s far too heavy to move anywhere else!), but these clips still evoke how expressive this machine is. Here’s a 30-second drum loop made from the raw sounds; the only processing is some EQ and compression.

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/5763956″ params=”show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=ee0000″ width=”100%” height=”81″ ]
[Zoom H2, collapsed to mono, made into EXS24 drum kit in Logic Pro]

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3 Comments on “Playing a Cigarette Machine”

  1. 1 Darren said at 2:23 pm on July 19th, 2009:


  2. 2 marty said at 4:01 pm on July 23rd, 2009:

    wow. that’s really cool. I love when that squeak comes in. that could totally be a lead instrument.

  3. 3 Scott said at 8:30 pm on November 30th, 2010:

    I like the ambient room sound. Just my .02

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