Mobile recording Feature MTM
MOBILE RE CORDING
& using found sounds
Mobile recording is now more accessible than ever and it’s a great way to enhance your tracks – you can even create entire productions based on found sounds.Hollin Jones gets on the move.
With each year that passes, huge strides are made in the field of mobile recording, thanks largely to the ongoing miniaturisation of high-quality audio recording kit. Just a decade ago, your mobile recording options were fairly limited. You’d have needed to shell out a chunk of cash for a portable DAT machine or taken your chances with a MiniDisc recorder. Laptops were far less powerful than they are today, their battery life far shorter and USB mics the stuff of dreams. Today, of course, much of this has changed. Small-form-factor laptops and netbooks have solid-state drives and processors easily capable of supporting multitrack audio recording. Portable hand-held recorders are inexpensive and offer astonishing audio quality (with some careful positioning). Smartphones are capable of CD-quality recording and devices such as the iPad are redefining the way we think about making music on the move. When once you had to record
Mobile recording techniques open up awhole newworld of possibilities to today’s producer audio from tape into a hardware sampler then trigger it from a MIDI sequencer, now digital audio is everywhere, bringing with it the flexibility of rapid transfer and editing. Modern
DAWs enable you to do things that could only have been imagined a few years ago, while specialised software instruments can use digital samples as the basis for synthesizing whole new types of sound.
Finders keepers Using mobile recording techniques opens up a whole new world of possibilities to today’s musician and producer, but the history of ‘found sounds’ as they are sometimes known goes back to the 1940s, when French composer and theorist Pierre Schaeffer began to use sound as a compositional tool. The Musique Concrète movement took advantage of advances in recording technology at the time, which included Shellac record players, mixing desks, mechanical plate or spring reverb and filtering, to go beyond conventional recorded music and create magazine February 2011 | 23