Recording a tow chain

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dennisjames
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Recording a tow chain

Post by dennisjames » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:36 pm

Just finished tracking some aux percussion in the form of a damn heavy tow chain. Set it up on a wood riser that I made some time back for something else and just let the chain "crumple" down in a controlled fashion. Used a Cascade Victor into a Neve 517 for whatever that's worth. However, I deemed this event worthy of a post only in that I never thought I'd one day be considering the relative merits of different takes of a chain as to feel, tone, timber, etc. I love music!!!

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curtiswyant
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Post by curtiswyant » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:27 am

One of my bands had lots of fun recording a tow chain during our last EP. The damn thing weighed at least 75 lbs! We dropped it into a plastic bucket and recorded with a 414, then triggered it with the snare mic.

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LupineSound
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Post by LupineSound » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:20 am

I think the first time I heard a chain used musically was on track 3 of the first VAST album. Sounded really cool and matched the labored feel the song. Frankly, I wish there was more foley type stuff in music. The Downward Spiral is probably my favorite example of this. Car doors for snares, chainsaw guitars and whatnot. Anybody know any other good examples of this type of arrangement? It's real ear candy to me.

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Post by Drone » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:04 am

I saw a Chicago artist called Arvo Zylo recently, and he was using a chain live, as well as a large sheet of metal, which as well as wobbling he would attack with various power tools.

Really makes me want to put piezos on all my ductwork :D
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Post by dennisjames » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:27 am

Piezos on your ductwork? I dare you! That would be incredible! Arvo Zylo sounds like Skinny Puppy. I saw them in the 80's in Dallas. Blew my small little mind at the time.

I used some sounds like this on my last cd as well. Namely, an empty 5 gallon propane tank played with a yarn mallet. Kind of had a sonar ping sound to it.

I'd love to hear more examples as well. Going to go check out The Downward Spiral ...

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Re: Recording a tow chain

Post by vxboogie » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:43 am

dennisjames wrote:Just finished tracking some aux percussion in the form of a damn heavy tow chain. Set it up on a wood riser that I made some time back for something else and just let the chain "crumple" down in a controlled fashion. Used a Cascade Victor into a Neve 517 for whatever that's worth. However, I deemed this event worthy of a post only in that I never thought I'd one day be considering the relative merits of different takes of a chain as to feel, tone, timber, etc. I love music!!!
There's an Ohio band called Oak, that uses a chain like that on one of their songs!
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Post by drumsound » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:55 am

Stuff like that is always fun. I have 2 different pieces of rail road track, a kitchen sink, several brake drums, and a bunch of different tubing for hitting or putting mics in.

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Post by vvv » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:55 am

There was a industrial band from Chicago I used to see called Stabbing Westward, hadda great drummer named Dave Suycott (and others) who hadda rack of all kinds of "found percussion" like hubcaps, etc.
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Post by JGriffin » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:03 am

Oh man, I remember Stabbing Westward.

Fun fact: I currently have hundreds of pounds of steel rails and an old cast iron sink in the back of my car, and I'm heading out tonight to make recordings of all that shit rattling around back there.

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Post by The Scum » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:45 am

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Post by Drone » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:30 pm

Thing I remember most about SW is that pneumatic keyboard stand their keyboard player had, he used to spin that thing around.

Before SW there was Silverfish, I remember their drummer had hubcaps, and an old fire extinguisher upside down on a pole, and of course Lesley Rankine of Silverfish ended up in Pigface for a while.
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Post by dennisjames » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:08 pm

I love how it keeps both spheres of your brain engaged to think and feel through the process. Kind of taps into a deeper level and opens up the experience. Plus, it just sounds really cool! :D

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Post by drumsound » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:08 pm

Another Chicago drummer, who played with Fallstaff ( With Ian Schneller form Specimin Products) sometimes showed up with pots and pans, and hubcaps instead of his drums.

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Post by digitaldrummer » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:54 am

for a while I was getting some "Noise" genre bands at my studio, including these:

http://balancepointacoustics.bandcamp.c ... -of-blanco

http://panpanpanaviandistresscall.bandc ... tress-call

"how" to record this stuff was challenging and fun. some of it was amps, but there were things like "garage door springs" and such. or plastic water bottle stuffed into the upright acoustic bass. or metal things banging on electric guitars.. another group used small toy power drills next to the guitar pickups - sort of ebow-ish but even better.
Last edited by digitaldrummer on Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by jgimbel » Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:35 pm

I'm a big fan of stuff like this - foley/field sounds used in music. My example/shameless plug is definitely a lot more subtle than a lot of the great stuff here where it's really focused, but fits nonetheless, especially with regards to being in the unusual position to be trying multiple takes and variations of something you never considered an instrument. Around 4:45 here you can hear my car door slamming under an arch bridge near the Schulkill River in Manayunk, Philadelphia being used as the kick drum for a short break in the song:

https://jessegimbel.bandcamp.com/track/ ... fortable-2
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