My sampling material collection – Aztec Death Whistle, haunted baby and more!

posted in: Creativity, Gear | 2

Hello and welcome once more! Today I have something a little different for you. I wanna show you some items from my sampling material collection. At first I thought I could name today’s post ‘my acoustic instruments’ but the things you’re gonna be introduced to today aren’t really instruments you’d have to learn for the most part. Instead they are things designed to make a specific sound, gadgets so to say.

Before we get into it though, I want to talk a bit about why it’s useful as a producer to have a collection of stuff you can sample at hand. So let’s get started!

My sampling material

I don’t only have these 5 things you’re going to see today in my room but also lots of other small items too, most not even being designed to make sound. Some are just toys or random items like a tin can, a bone, coconut skin, metal chains and so on. They are not there for me to play them but to sample them! Almost every item makes a unique or weird sound that might help me create my own samples for a certain song or maybe even a whole sample library.

For example I used a piece of coconut skin to make a Hi-Hat/Shaker kinda sound. You can hear that in this Instagram post I made for Jamuary 2020.

Metal chains are great material for percussion sounds in Future Garage and other experimental music for instance. Especially rattling them creates a rich, bright and crisp sound perfect to edit and throw a huge reverb on it later. I could go on like this with plenty of other stuff but that’s not what today’s post is about. These examples are just here to show you how nice it can be to have random stuff at hand when producing to create your very own original samples (which will later also help you create your special signature sound, but that’s topic for another blog entry).

Let’s now get into the 5 things I wanna put the spotlight on today as they are all pretty cool in their own way. Get ready for some weird stuff and audio examples!

Rainmaker

Some of you might know this thing from elementary school. I have one at home. A rainmaker is nothing more than a tube with nails on the inside reaching into the tube. It’s filled with small balls of I don’t know what kind of material so that when you flip it over the balls fall down the tube, hitting the nails on the way. This is how it looks:

Rainmaker (my sampling material collection)

And this is how it sounds with just two to three FX:

I used this sample in a piece I worked on for the video game project ‘Pentaquin’. It’s still one of my favourite works for the project mostly because of all the cool sounds making up this mystical atmosphere.

Wooden something

Wood Thing sample (My sampling material collection)

Don’t ask me what this is called, I have no clue. I bought on a flea market for 5 bucks specifically for my sampling material collection and it’s really just wood but the idea behind it is pretty cool. The ball inside this circle of small wooden plates hits one plate after another once you get it moving. Due to the different lengths of the individual plates you get 8 differently pitched sounds which the ball can hit. It’s a rather experimental sound but I used it in a track I never released.
Here’s the isolated sample with effects:

I don’t have the original recording anymore but here is what it basically sounds without any editing:

Another whatever it’s name might be (with a spring!)

Spring thing

So this item is super cool. It’s another tube but this time it’s totally hollow. On the bottom end it’s open and on the top area there is a thin plastic sheet with a metal spring attached to it.

Springthing

If you now move the item so that the spring starts doing it’s thing, springing around and therefore also moving the plastic sheet, the air pushed through the pipe produces a super eerie and thunder-like sound. Have a listen:

Haunted baby:

This next one might be haunted.

Haunted baby (My sampling material collection)

But either way the sound is super dope because it can cry too!
Check this Instagram post from almost two years ago to see what I mean.

Second slide 😉

You can flip it over and whatever mechanism there is in it makes it sounds like it’s crying! Of course that’s the perfect sample to make weird melodies out of.

Such as in that unreleased track I still have rotting on my hard drive. Here’s a sneak peak with the baby sample in it:

Aztec Death Whistle – f*** yeah

aztec death whistle (My sampling material collection)

Last but definitely not least I got this Aztec Death Whistle I bought online. The people producing them are on Etsy, so you can get your own if you want to here.
This thing is incredible. You blow into it and just because the interior is designed for the air to flow through it in a specific way you get this sound:

And yes, you can use it in a piece of music. Snippet of my next big project but don’t tell anyone!

Fun fact: These Aztec Death Whistles were used for the production of dragon sound effects for Game Of Thrones!

This is easily the craziest thing I have in my sampling my material collection. Plus it looks super awesome!


Have fun sampling!

That’s it for my sampling material collection, maybe it inspired you a little to start collecting things and sampling them yourself! I hope you enjoyed today’s post, make sure to check out other blog episodes, especially last week’s, where I presented my new EP ‘Falter’. Until next time!


2 Responses

  1. Noovez
    | Reply

    Definitely inspired brother! Thanks for this post!

    • Lars Grages
      | Reply

      Nice to hear! More content to come!

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