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

Razordome: Two razors enter, one sound leaves

Posted: August 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: found sound objects, sound design
These razors were locked in a battle to the death for the sake of sound!

These razors were locked in a battle to the death for the sake of sound!

I think it was Ben Burtt who described coming up with a sound effect by putting an electric razor in a trashcan and letting it vibrate while recording it…sadly, I’ve forgotten where I saw or read this… (if you do, note it in the comments!)

This naturally made me wonder what would happen if you put multiple electric razors in a resonant space like a trash can. I have both a small beard trimmer and a larger hair razor, so I knew they’d create two very distinct sets of harmonics.

What else is there to say, really? I put those two razors in a trash can, turned them both on, and then let the ol’ 702 rip with a large condenser mic. I tried it with the trash can lid open and closed. It was when I placed both of them on the lid of the metal trash can that the magic started to happen. The trash can acted as a resonator, like the body of a guitar.

Here’s the bizarrely awesome moment (unprocessed) when they started harmonizing and turning into a rich, thick chorus of motorized drone-y goodness!

Two Razors in a Trash Can by noisejockey
[Røde NT1a mic into Sound Devices 702 recorder]

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3 Comments on “Razordome: Two razors enter, one sound leaves”

  1. 1 Tim said at 2:22 pm on May 4th, 2010:

    Hi there, just found your site. Enjoying it a lot! What Ben Burtt did was use one razor in a large metal salad or mixing bowl. The trick was moving the razor around the bowl to make movement as it resonates the round bottom vs the shorter sides. He then pitched it down and it sounds like he added a chorus effect. It was used for the floating ships that held the droid army when they attacked the Gungans in the big open field, in on of those Star Wars prequels.

  2. 2 Nathan said at 2:55 pm on May 4th, 2010:

    Tim, thanks for the additional info, insight, and correction, and in such detail! Much appreciated. Thanks for reading and listening!

  3. 3 Tim said at 10:49 am on May 7th, 2010:

    Hey Nathan – I found it!


    At 2:55…


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