Audio News

Creating Scary Sympathetic Resonance

Hello there, people of a Earth and space.

Every week we will be sharing a little audio news about what goes on behind the scenes of the audio department at Antagonist. Dan, head of audio stuff, splits his time between his studio where he writes and mixes music, the office where he sits to edit and develop the design of the audio, and various locations around and about where he records environment sounds, wildlife, ambience, etc.

This week’s audio news:

Hello! I have spent my lovely holiday playing around with the grand piano. My family have been very patient with me and have let me do things to the poor beast I would not have been very happy with if it were my own.

Of the two pianos at my disposal, one being a very old square piano and one a Hopkinson baby grand, I have mostly been working with the baby grand. The square piano is just too old and valuable to abuse very much.

Audio News

I started off with the usual stuff, putting objects such as coins and screws between and on top of the strings to alter the sound when the hammers hit. I then moved on to cutlery as knives and forks bounce around and give off vibrations of their own that can be useful to record.

Audio News

Ultimately though, what I was most interested in was not playing the piano with paperclips or wooden pegs on the strings, but the sound of the ambience inside the piano itself with the sustain pedal held down and the strings quietly resonating.

If you hold the sustain down and tap the piano under the keyboard, the strings all give off a quiet, ambient sound. There isn’t one note playing, but all the notes at the same time. This produces the kind of sound you would hear if you were to put your head inside somewhere scary. Tap on different parts of the piano and the sympathetic resonance builds and grows into something quite alarming, and this is what I’m most interested in. The simplest thing.

Audio News

I have fallen in love with this resonant sound and I can see all kinds of places in the game where it will come in useful. Sometimes I’m going to tap the piano, edit out the tap itself and just have the strings vibrating. Other times I can include percussive taps. And I can also use the taps as the percussion track itself and record the strings getting louder and more discordant.

This has been a super fun week with family and audio recording, my two favourite things. I’m looking forwards to getting home to Oslo and putting it all together. I’m still planning on getting a Soundcloud page sorted so I will hopefully be uploading a few sounds at some point.

That’s it from me for this week. As always, any questions can be mailed to dan@antagonist.no or you can leave a comment below.

Until next time!

 

Dan

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