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

Doom Vibrations

Posted: November 26th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, found sound objects, sound design
That tiny little hand massager created holy aural hell inside that metal shed.

That tiny little hand massager created holy aural hell inside that metal shed.

How could I possibly have guessed that a cute little  hand massager from the impulse-buy bin of our local office supply store would sound like a tool of pure, unmitigated doom?

There’s a motor inside, of course, and its four round, glowing “legs” are for distributing vibrational goodness. Its animal-like appearance made me put it on the floor for my cat’s amusement…and when I turned it on, the entire floor of my dining room groaned. The vibrations went into the long floor planks and just sounded lucious. What else could I put this on for even cooler sounds?

Glowy vibrational awesomeness

Glowy vibrational awesomeness

I quickly was testing this little bugger out on all sorts of things, and then I put it on the roof of our all-metal outdoor tool shed. It sounded like space/time itself was coming apart, or like a 60′ metal automaton was coming to life after hundreds of years of dormancy…the possible uses were many. I used my modded Oktava MK-012 with its omnidirectional capsule – a first for me, in fact – and stuck the mic into the center of the shed on a boom pole, where I assumed most of the sound waves were meeting. My steel wheelbarrow was whining, every surface was vibrating…it was intense.

The unholy racket you’re about to hear is about three layers of this sound, from different takes, one of which is pitch shifted down just over half an octave as a slight thickener. The lowest bass rumbles, however, are from the raw recording.

Who says subtlety and dynamics are always good things? ;-) Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

MassiveVibration by noisejockey
[OktavaMod MK-012 microphone into Sound Devices 702 recorder]


4 Comments on “Doom Vibrations”

  1. 1 Miguel said at 4:46 pm on November 26th, 2009:

    Love it!

  2. 2 Darren David said at 7:46 pm on November 26th, 2009:

    Yay, that fixed my constipation!

  3. 3 Nathan said at 7:47 pm on November 26th, 2009:

    @Miguel, glad you found it interesting, and @Darren, well, we aim to please here at Noise Jockey. Brown Frequencies R Us! :-)

  4. 4 Michael said at 8:19 am on November 28th, 2009:

    I absolutely love this! When can I visit your shed with my Mr. Potato Head Massager?


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