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

The Cries of Mr. Heater

Posted: January 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: found sound objects, sound design

Mr. Heater, the oddest and loudest camping stove ever.

One of the guys at work loves camping gadgets (as do I), and he shared a video of his odd little Mr. Heater camp stove making some weird unholy racket. Naturally, I asked to borrow it and did some recording sessions with it over the holidays.

A metal reflector lets the unit be used as either a heater or a camp stove. This ring of steel doesn’t make much sound when it’s running (all you hear is the hiss of gas emission, much like this recording), but it sure resonates when the stove fires up, starting as one tone and diverging into two separate tones, creating a harmony. Very effective or driving away bears, or as a means for summoning the dead.

The only processing applied to this sound is some noise reduction to minimize the gas regulator’s hiss, to pull the resonance forward. Recorded at 192kHz, a clip like this is ripe for pitch shifting for even scarier tones! (Mic placement was tricky; placing the mics right in front would melt them instantly.)

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/9154382″ params=”show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=ee0000″ width=”100%” height=”81″ ]
[Sennheiser MKH 50/30 pair, rigged for mid-side stereo, into a Sound Devices 702 recorder]

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5 Comments on “The Cries of Mr. Heater”

  1. 1 Mike Niederquell said at 11:44 am on January 20th, 2011:

    That’s sweet, Nathan!

  2. 2 Joel Corriveau said at 11:44 am on January 20th, 2011:

    Very cool!

  3. 3 Colin Hunter said at 1:52 am on January 21st, 2011:

    I think an exorcism is in order!

  4. 4 Ryan said at 2:18 pm on January 29th, 2011:

    That sound could totally work for one of those “shell shock” moments.

  5. 5 Miguel said at 1:37 pm on February 6th, 2011:

    So great!!! Love it :)

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