Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Fog Horns

I've got a pair of these noise makers, plastic horns attached to spray cans. They are named fog horns, but people mainly use them to get deaf at sport events. These can be truly instruments of doom, as the noise is overwhelming. Obviously, I had to try to get them into sampler. I recorded a handful of sound samples in two sessions, one using portable Zoom recorder and the other in my home studio setup. I've got some sustained tones, some short horn noise bursts and some strange sounds, achieved by blocking the horn tube opening with various objects. Got me quite an ear ringing...

Later, I made experimental scripted interface for this in Kontakt, based on a kind of button matrix, which can be used, to quickly create sound combinations and play them in round robin.

Here's a sound example, generated by single instance of Kontakt instrument, changing sound clusters with mod wheel while playing...



And here's how interacting with the Kontakt device looks like...


Well, this can sound quite horrible and it sometimes gets way of of tune. It is the nature of these toys, pitch is constantly drifting along with changing air pressure and  temperature. These cans can get quite cold after longer periods of decompressing. So, this instrument has a lot of character.

Getting to the point, I've got a crooked deal on this little devil. First off, the pack of samples, 35 samples, plain wav, normalized, 44.1 kHz, 16 bit, mono - this is free to get right here. It weights 6 MB zipped, use them as you please, or as you displease. Now the other twist, Kontakt instrument based on these samples, is available at Sampleism. It comes with raw unprocessed samples, 96 kHz, 24 bit, Kontakt patch and a confusing manual in funny English. It requires full version of Kontakt 4.24 or newer to make it work. Take your pick.

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