A friend of mine who teaches at Columbia Academy always loves to call me and tell me another student has asked, “Hey, where can I find those classic samples? You know those samples that nobody has sampled yet!” These people are truly FUCKING IDIOTS. If you cant think independently, what are you doing trying to make music? Anyways, here is my answer for those people – samples are everywhere!! And I am going to prove it to you.
Me and my son rented a Zoom personal recorder and went to check out the sounds of Gastown and the Convention Center. So we recorded a bunch of random sounds to take home, format into percussion and instruments using Ableton Live 8.
Microphone Check – 1,2,1,2 is this thing on?
Our first sample to grab was a basic snare sound. My brain was telling me newspaper box so that was where we headed. (side note: this was my son and I’s first time logging our destinations and travels through FOURSQUARE social media app) We got to Broadway station and quickly found a newspaper box. I told Isaiah to go slam the thing shut a couple of times while I got a good mic level. We definitely got a lot of weird looks. But we got the sample (including a little creaking from the unoiled spring in the door) and decided to move on.
The Next Station is………..
We jumped on the Skytrain and headed down to waterfront station to try and capture some staple sounds of Vancouver. The Gastown Steamclock, The Seabus, some buskers and whatever else we could think of. It was already getting close to four and I was under the impression that the steam clock only went of on the hour. So we ran down to the block from Waterfront Station to the clock with minutes to spare. We studied the clock, I armed the Zoom to record and Isaiah steadied the camera for pictures. The steamclock went off, my levels were great and Isaiah was taking some video.
It wasn’t until later till I realized I didn’t actually record the clock. I forgot to hit record after arming the damn thing. I guess it will make for a great extra trip to Gastown!
Lets Get It!
Across the street from the clock was a busker. We politely asked if we could record a song from him and he obliged. It cost me about $7.50for the recording and a CD but that was an acceptable fee for the project. We paid the money, recorded the song and turned around to leave but got hustled into buying some street art from another dude who probably thought we were tourists. We passed by Alife to get a couple of vocal samples from the Homey Jaykin, but he wasnt working on this particular day.
From Alife we went down to the seabus terminal to capture the horn from the Seabus. That was easier done than said and we traveled from there across the low road, to the Vancouver Sun / Province building and caught an freight elevator from the loading bay to the main lobby at street level. We exited the building headed towards the convention centers and passed by an intriguing steady, loud sound that picked my ears. It was the sound of a diesel generator from Sushi King. So we recorded that and headed to the west side of the convention center.
The sounds are my friends, their blowing in the Wind
We got to the west side of Canada Place to find some more sounds. We were both getting tired and this was mos def the last leg of our trip. (We had somewhere to be.) We managed to record a few more sounds, a water fountain, a crackling granola wrapper, some flags flapping in the wind, rubbing caution tape for a shaker sound etc. Once we got all of our sounds, we headed down to the food court, chowed a five dollar foot long and headed to our appointment.
We also got to take some pictures for tourists and in turn they took our photos and we chatted about our individual places of origin and met some cool people.
All in all, a great time out with my son, and a great bunch of sounds that in turn made a great beat. So next time you wannabe producers are dying for that NEXT shit, that next hot loop, remember sound is everywhere and if you wait for that hot shit, you will indeed wait. For a long Fucking Time.
Here is the beat followed by a list of samples and how I used them.
Snaps, claps and snare sounds = Flicking a Granola bar Wrapper
Cowbell (?) = Skytrain ding
Low Pitched pan flute sound = Seabus horn (transposed -12 tones)
Kick Drums = Banging on a Pylon
Organ = Diesel Generator
I think that is all I used form this batch of sounds. But stay tuned for more, and some video tutorials. And here is the link to the picture gallery. Enjoy.