photo by: http://www.wcvb.com/
“Sound unbound by nature becomes bounded by art.” ~ Dejan Stojanovic
Today I found inspiration in the feat of engineering and mechanics that is the MBTA. It was as easy as taking out my iPhone during my travels and recording some of the sounds I found interesting. Keeping that material in mind, I developed a vague idea of what kind of song I was going to make and produced a groove for it. Then, that production inspired how I would treat the samples. Here is the final piece.
~ Train Sounds
Here are some ways I treated these elements.
This sound is pretty neat already. I wanted to preserve the tune so I didn’t transpose or stretch it all all. Instead, I bandpass filtered the sound at around 680 Hz with a pretty wide filter to make it a little easier on the ear and sent it to a return track with an 8th note Lumit Delay on it.
(photo by: http://www.mbta.com)
These doors make some pretty neat mechanical sounds. I experimented with cutting, rearranging, and reversing the content before sending it to two return tracks, a highpass filtered reverb and an eighth note delay. Then, I automated the pan position of the track to get it sweeping around the field.
(photo by: https://www.schuminweb.com)
Green Line Voice
This sound is sort of the hook of my tune. I used it in several places and did several different things to it. In the beginning, it’s transposed down and filtered with some automation of the cutoff. Later on, I chopped it up into stutters, mixed it with a bit crushed version, and sent it to my reverb return with a highpass filter before it.
(photo by: http://mbta.com)
Red Line Announcement
This sample was quite piercing. It was tough to find the beauty in this one – but with a lot of fine edits and a little compression and filtering – I got something cool. I also sent this one to my return reverb and return delay. The last “ehhh” that you here in the treated audio example was made by time stretching her last syllable.
(photo by: https://en.wikipedia.org)
This sample was very noisy, so I decided to use it in a percussive way, sort of like high hats. I chopped it up into 16th note snippets, transposed some of them slightly, notch filtered some of the noise, and sent it to my 8th note delay.
(photo by: https://wrongsideofthecamera.com)