We take a look at how these Egyptian producers delve into the weird and wonderful art of recording their environments and inserting them into their music.
There are various ways of generating music, synthesis, real instruments, and recording audio, among others. A method that was essential in the creation of many genres is Sampling. Many purists argue that it is preferable or more original to start from scratch using synthesis or audio recording. However, sampling gives an advantage where you can use a sound someone has previously used and take it further, mending the audio in different ways such as re-sampling, using fx, and rearranging the audio in time. This can give a feeling of nostalgia, slightly reminding you of something else, with the added value of being innovative enough to take it further. Some producers like to record audio; going out and taking field recordings of unusual things or habitats. This can give an interesting layer to productions. We gathered nine prominent electronic music producers in the region and asked them what were some of the most unusual samples they used in their productions, and how they processed them with effects.
I used the laptop charger for clicks sounds. I was untying it and then I heard an interesting sound. I then recorded it with the microphone on my laptop, and not a real dynamic or condenser microphone, which added some interesting distortion. You can hear it on my nervous funk tune.
Listen to the track here :
The craziest sample I ever recorded...hmmm.... I rely a lot in my productions on crazy samples that I record using my old microphone. But if I was to choose one [that I've done] recently; my friend Jorg & I had a jamming session at my place, and Omar started playing around with this piece of paper. I instantly thought that would sound really good, so I brought out my mic, and started recording. I also mess around with random effects. And it was used in the whole track as a background filler. Unfortunately the track is unreleased.
I once went out in Berlin to take field recordings for school. I decided to hit [a steel staircase with my ring], which had a nice reverb to it [because it was a five story building]. Different parts of the stairs made different timbres, so I decided to make a small sample pack out of it for future use in my productions. I then imported the whole audio file, chopped it up into percussive one shots and used them as toms in many of my tracks. I once inserted a chord resonator on them and made nice dubby chords out of them, with different textures. It sounded interesting. In the same field recording, I recorded the sound of a park, which included the sound of small children playing, birds, the wind in the trees, and a nice gate screeching, which worked well as an atmospheric tool. All these elements are heard in my track Ignorance Unfolds, but unfortunately it is still unreleased.
The tuk tuks. I was waiting for Asem to buy credit for his telephone in Etisalat and then these takatik came and parked near me. Their engines sounded really cool so I took out my phone and started recording. I used two of them: a moving tuk tuk and a parked one. For one of them, I slowed down until I got a nice consistent rhythm, did a bit of heavy EQing and some automated gating, then sent it to a resonator on a return channel. The other, I sped up until the motor sound was kind of self-oscillating and hence produced a note. So I treated that with an equaliser, chucked it into a2 sampler and tuned it.
I was messing around with Ableton and I dragged the audio from a Lil Wayne interview on an MTV TV show. I then reversed parts of the conversation, added distortion and pitched it up. It ended up being the hook of my first ever release. Sounds like 'you better like it'.
I recorded the most unusual sample with the Zoom field recorder. I processed it with the Ableton Sampler to be able to stretch it out on the keyboard and have more control over the sample.
Also, there's this less than 10 second drum loop that I recorded with my phone from this sound check in a parking lot. I chopped that up, processed the shit out of it and made the chorus drums from my track Singah.
After recording so many interesting samples, I decided to put up a sample pack of these sounds found in my album for free download.
I do a lot of finger drumming on different surfaces to create some strange percussive sounds. I processed it with compression and saturation, a frequency equaliser, and some effects, if necessary…
I don't know if it's a 'weird' recording, but my favourite one was a broken laptop CD-rom. It made the weirdest sound whenever I tried to load a CD into it, so I recorded that. I then sent it through a modulated delay and did some minor EQing and ended up with an interesting rhythmic pattern. Unfortunately, the track is unreleased.
That noise solo at 2:24 is actually me playing with a fork and a steel plate, after I finished eating. I thought to run it through a delay, and saturate the signal from the microphone. I actually played a noise solo that matches the song with my fork and steel concave plate, that was basically it.
Listen to the track here:
Main Image by @MO4Network's #MO4Productions.