Tag Archives: Metal

Field recording

Bike sounds

The last time I visited my parents, I had some free time on my hands. Inspired by Nathan’s post about bike sounds, I borrowed my brother’s racing bike and started recording. I grabbed some random stuff in our basement and tried to hold them against the bike wheel to create interesting sounds. If I had had more time to record, I could have gotten more and better sounds out of this session. At least this experiment gave me a couple of good sounds and more ideas to try at a later time.

Equipment: Rode NTG-3 -> Sound Devices 744T


The plastic flight of a dart made a screaming sound when held against the wheel at the correct angle:
Bike sounds, dart by ThomasAlf


The metal from a tealight:
Bike sounds, metal from tealight by ThomasAlf


I tried combining objects to get more interesting sounds. Cardboard and tealight metal in a metal pipe:
Bike sounds, cardboard and metal in pipe by ThomasAlf


Cardboard from a milk carton:
Bike sounds, cardboard by ThomasAlf

A couple of more samples:
Bike sounds, plastic bottle cap, CD, cardboard in pipe by ThomasAlf

Contact microphone Water

Metal bowl with water and more

This is yet another test of my homemade contact microphone. I used the same metal bowl I did in this post. This time I tapped the bowl with my fingers, filled it with water and rolled objects around in it, among other things.

The homemade contact mic seems to be making more and more noise. Time to invest in a properly made mic, I think..

Equipment: Homemade contact microphone -> SD744T
Metal bowl, water and more by ThomasAlf

Contact microphone

Metal bowl and hand massager


I have been thinking about buying a contact microphone for a while. I’ve seen plenty of blog posts where contact mics are used for recording interesting sounds. Buying a professionally made contact mic is not at the top of my shopping list at the moment, so I made my own using this tutorial as a starting point. I used an XLR connector instead of the 1/4″ jack mentioned in the tutorial.

I have a metal salad bowl that I’ve been meaning to record forever. It became the first subject of my contact mic test recordings. I placed the mic on the outer side of the bowl and put a small, battery powered hand massager in the bowl. The massager vibrated and rotated slowly in the bowl, sounding louder whenever one of the legs passed the mic. When the original recording is slowed down, it kind of sounds like heavy machinery at work at a distant construction site.

Equipment: Homemade contact microphone -> SD744T
Metal massage by ThomasAlf