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Studio Sounds: Money

September 9, 2009

1.  The omnidirectional polar setting had a constant volume during rotation, but when the microphone faced forwards or backwards there was a range of mid to higher frequencies that were louder.  The cardioid polar setting decreased in volume as the microphone rotated away from the front, and when facing backwards the low frequencies were the softest.  The figure-8 polar setting microphone was loud when facing forwards or backwards and soft when facing sideways.  Compared to the forward and backward timbre, the low frequencies of the sideways microphone were the softest.

2.  With headphones, I perceive background sounds as much louder relative to foreground sounds.  My ability to pinpoint the direction of sounds is also impaired.  It seems like the placement and processing of the sound performed by the microphones changes the perception of sound enough to confuse my sense of direction.

3.  For my studio sounds, I used the theme of money.  I obtained a number of different coins, including pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, silver dollars and several Indian coins, each of which had different acoustic properties.  I dropped these into various bowls, such as a large metal bowl and a small plastic container.  The metal-on-metal interactions varied depending on the type of coin and bowl, and a wide variety of sounds were available, from light pings to louder clangs.  I also dropped coins into water and recorded the plunking sounds produced.  I also used dollar bills to create crinkling and folding sounds.

One interesting and unique sound I created by rolling different coins around the inside surface of a steel drum.  This created a series of different metallic pitches that sounded very interesting, although technically it used a harmonic instrument.

Money Sounds:


2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 12, 2009 2:45 pm

    It is good that coins are sonically more interesting than bills. Otherwise it would quite expensive to explore the sonic qualities of money.

    It would be nice to try to describe the different sonic qualities that we obtain: pitchness, metallicness, roughness, … and it would be good to better describe the physical properties of the objects involved in the actions.


  2. jaykadis permalink*
    September 14, 2009 7:48 am

    Your observations on the polar patterns are good. Low frequencies tend to be more affected as they are more likely to cancel than higher frequencies.

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