Holy Cats!!! I finally completed the RPM challenge.
This album is a 13 “song” collection of my found-sound recordings, drums, guitar and tape loops with effects applied to them.
I consider this to be a WIP for an album I’m releasing later this year – which I’ll write about soon.
I’ve set out to complete the RPM challenge several years running, but this is the first time I actually finished it.
I spent a couple of hours trying to upload my songs to the RPM site, to make it feel even MORE official. You can’t just link out to Soundcloud or Bandcamp. They’ve made it just unfriendly enough that I finally gave up. I can’t seem to delete my account either, but I removed all the information that was up there.
I dig the idea of making a full record in February, but I cannot recommend that site until someone fixes it. What a great idea, though!
I’ve been processing sound files to create a foundation for animation. I’m building on last year’s work around incongruent foley and non-diagetic sound. I’m starting with sound, and then seeing what animation shows up for me based on what I’m hearing.
This post is about some of the devices I’m using to accomplish this. I find inspiration in them, and maybe you will, too.
Years ago, I accumulated and compiled a lot of “found sounds” with a portable mini-disc set up. I used to carry one around, along with a pair of Shure SM-58 microphones, and record stuff. This is before iPhones. The sound on the Mini-Disc is really great, but it’s impossible for me to get the source files off of the proprietary hardware, other than through the headphone jacks. That’s pretty shitballs, but, whatever. I’ve never been much more than a lofi fellow, anyway.
In addition to the many hours of weird stuff from the mini-discs, I dug up some old cassette players.
Now, Lookit this beaut! It has four stereo outputs, which means I can use it to send a signal to four different processors/amps/whatever. I call it the Bell & Howler.
Additionally, I’ve enjoyed using Red Panda’s Particle to add a little English to the tapes. You can hear this in the video below.
I’m also a big fan of Red Panda’s Tensor, which is like a tape loop machine with a hyperdrive.
My buddy Jack Livingston was in Colorado in the late 1970’s, and he attended a series of workshops hosted by Beatnik poet, Allen Ginsberg. We share a love for Beat culture and writing, and Jack loaned me some recordings from those sessions. I’m going to use some of this in an upcoming, literary inspired animation.
Thrift stores are FULL of odd old tapes, there’s no shortage of material to be found on them. These are great for making short loops.
Finally, I use my iPhone to capture stuff all the time. Using handful of devices in this article, there are endless possibilities for making compelling audio tracks and foley.
I’ll explore how the sounds themselves can inform the visuals for animation in an upcoming post.