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

Thrift Store Sounds: Wicker Basket

Posted: September 8th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: found sound objects, sound design
A wicker basket or ancient sailing vessel?

A wicker basket or ancient sailing vessel?

Today’s installment of Thrift Store Sounds features what I swore would never invade the walls of my home: Wicker!

So cliché, so antique-y, so damn…uh…wickery, the stuff can evoke New England and Celtic rituals at the same time.

Wicker’s very worst trait, however – the loud sound of it straining under pressure – finally, and sonically, piqued my interest. I picked up up a small wicker basket at the local Thrift Town. Such fibrous, cracking, and straining sounds have many uses in sound design, from metaphoric strains and stresses to emulating the deep creaks and groans of a pirate vessel at sea. A small basket won’t make loud and deeply resonant sounds “out of the box,” but hey, that’s what computers are for. After half an hour of coaxing sound out of one of these things, by the way, they do break. But there are a bunch more for $1.99 at the thrift store!

Here’s a sample of the wicker basket being manipulated with two hands, then pitch-shifted a couple of octaves for some wickery gravitas. It serves as great reminder of why sample rates as high as 192kHz are your friend, and that Oktava mics – even the OktavaMods – have too high of a noise floor for quiet sounds. :-(

Wicker Basket, Pitched Down by noisejockey
[OktavaMod MK012 mic with cardioid capsule into Sound Devices 702 recorder]

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One Comment on “Thrift Store Sounds: Wicker Basket”

  1. 1 Michael Maroussas said at 12:51 pm on September 9th, 2009:

    like it – with a bit of treatment that could be a very nice DIY creaky forest! I’ll remember that the next time I need one…..

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