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Author Topic: The sounds you hear in your head vs. what ends up being recorded  (Read 3715 times)
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« on: October 23, 2014, 03:14:21 AM »

I know most people have this issue and it's a constant struggle for anyone that makes sound, but I want to hear various perspectives.

Often times, you might have a specific idea that you don't know how to translate to sound, but compared to the dilemma of achieving the sounds you hear in your head, that seems like a small speed bump. I'm assuming that most people making noise and industrial-related sounds are the sort of people whose minds' are always going off on some sort of sonic tangent, the way a catchy song will get stuck in your head. I know that my mind is going on all sorts of tangents, audio and otherwise, no matter what. How does one put the sonic aspect of this sorta hyperactivity to use? I basically have to stick to my originally-imagined sounds and use this as a template for any composition, or else I'm lost forever in the land of experimentation and "jamming."

Tommy C./Treriksroset (sp?) said something about this in SI #7, and I came across it the other day, found it particularly moving. I would personally continue that line of logic, admitting that each track I compose is probably just another step further on the unnavigable path toward the sounds in my mind. On that train of thought, I would say it's impossible to ever fully reach the goal, but that aspect just makes the journey more worthwhile.

On the other hand, I do sometimes have great success in translating vision to reality. Basically makes the whole process in every aspect not only worthwhile but make sense. How often does this happen for other people? Are there some of you who  never actually hit the target?

« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2014, 04:49:12 AM »

this idea interest me. some times i hear a awesome sound at work or driving thinking "oh it would be cool to sample this" or "i know i can make my synth sound like that" but my add and ocd keep me from ever remembering what i heard & trying to recreate it.

but usable sounds that i can think of have been:
-Tool stand at work vibrating against a table in awkward way.
-Truck's, with too heavy of a load, bummer scraping the concrete as he drives
-Radio at work cutting in and out because of a welding machine
-Echo of apartment complex

also since i went modular it seems "best" for me to start with no idea what im doing or going for.ive noticed that i have been making recordings louder since working at a fabrication shop. you wouldnt think aluminum hitting the ground would be so loud...
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2014, 11:52:49 AM »

I have a very clear vision of what I want my pieces to sound like; texture, layers, sounds, pace... it's all in my head. But my simple and rather shitty gear sets the rules. I've never fully reached what I was after, but although my gear is very simple and limits me to great extent, it has lead me to results I actually enjoy more than what I had in mind before recording. Lucky accidents I guess.
And I suppose one would get bored quite fast if everything turned out exactly how one planned it. No challenge = no fun.
Andrew McIntosh
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2014, 12:51:50 PM »

It's interesting to know that people have a concept of what kind of sound they want, because I usually have a very vague idea to begin with and prefer to see what can be achieved that either fits it or, in many cases, is better than it.

Mind you, it depends if the sounds I'm thinking of are electronic or acoustic. For example, the sound of dry bark being crunched under boots (is a truly delightful sound and) is pretty easy to imagine and to obtain. The kinds of sounds one hears when one is out and about are only truly obtainable with a recording device, and even then you can be confounded.

When it comes to using synthesisers, I often have a fairly concrete concept but not necessarily an exact sound in mind. It becomes more pleasurable to spend some time fiddling with my knobs and discovering something I can use.

One thing that defeated me for years is the classic Harsh Noise sound. Having never seen anything like it live before hearing it I had no idea how it was achieved and it took me a long time before I was able to record anything even approximating it. Fortunately, by then, I had developed a language of sounds (if you'll excuse the term) that was more personal and more pleasurable. Still, it was nice to be able to get something that I thought could at least be compared with the usual HN stereotypes.

I think there is still an "experimental" element to creating your own sounds, in that your taking chances trying to come up with something. It's not necessarily aleatory, but it's never totally straight from the mind to the final product.

"Unless suffering is the direct and immediate object of life, our existence must entirely fail of its aim." - Schopenhauer.

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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2014, 08:24:54 PM »

I usually don't even want to have an 'idea' about the sound in my head, i'd rather 'find' thru experimentation some amazing sounds i could have never anticipated. Usually when I do try and re/create some particular intended sound it turns out different somehow, but most often in a good way :)

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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2014, 10:40:41 PM »

I always hear and plan everything exactly in my head before recording anything. I plan the tracklist, the lenght of tracks, the lyrics, everything before ever stepping into rehearsal room. I rarely write anything except lyrics down because I find it from difficult to impossible to write notes on something as abstract as this. I simply cannot start making any form of sound without having a reason or context for it, a reason why this particular sound and release exists, usually trying to make it also relevant on personal level.

Greatest frustration I regulary encounter with this kind of working method is that I can plan something for months, I am sure that it will be awesome but then reality rears its ugly head and when I start working on it I realize that it doesnt work at all, despite my imagination making it to be the greatest thing ever recorded. Even more frustrating is the fact that sometimes I deliberately finnish working on the material even when I know it will suck and end up listening to some shitty recording, thinking, man, why the fuck did I waste hours and hours on this bullshit?

Not sure if this is related to the topic at hand at all but hopefully it is, hah.
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2014, 04:38:46 PM »

I tend to go for a sound that fits a concept or lyrics that ive been given, usually the sound doesnt fit, so then begins the task of trying to make it capture the 'vibe' that the lyrics evoke.

Usually it goes through that many fx/amps/4 track that it doesnt sound like what i started with anyway, but it now fits so i always wonder why i bother starting with a sound i think works if i can (probably) manipulate most sounds to what i need.

But no, it must be THAT rumble that i need...........

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