Homemade Stereo Sound Generator

in Blog

16 October 2008

A DIY speaker system built to generate and process background sound for a documentary.

The producer wanted a professional, serious documentary-style soundtrack. I imitated the echoey-piano-and-string-pad cliches found in too many documentaries at the moment. More and more levels of processing creeps in and the soundtrack becomes less tonally-grounded and more Electronic (with a capital ‘E’) and eventually indistinguishable from the beginning.

Central to the sound world was electronic sounds. I built a couple of kit amplifiers and connected poor quality speakers to them. The bare circuit boards where used to generate electronic interference sounds by shorting the circuits with my fingers, whilst at the same time processing the stereo sounds using the rotating microphones.

The speakers degraded the sound in a pleasing way, and the rotating microphones added some spaciousness.

Excerpts

Some unedited and uncut examples of the background sounds I made.

Echoey piano

Reversed piano

Interfering resonance

Interference

Electronic screaming

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