Field recordings can be a rich compositional tool, but it’s not always easy to know where to start when using them in your own work. Whether you want to document the world around you by capturing a specific place, time or atmosphere, or use effects to turn your recordings into something new altogether, there are plenty of different techniques for using found sounds as distinctive elements in your music.
At the Loop Create event back in June, Dan Keen and Leo Wyatt from LABS by Spitfire Audio presented Organic Textures, a free, sample-based instrument created from field recordings of thunder, rain, wind and birdsong in the English countryside. In this conversation hosted by Lyra Pramuk, they discussed the recording process and demonstrated how they turned these real-life recordings of unpredictable soundscapes into a playable tonal instrument.
Watch the video below to learn more about tuning field recordings, working with granular synthesis, and EQing sounds with a wide frequency range to achieve a more balanced mix. LABS by Spitfire Audio have also provided a free download of the source material they used for Organic Textures so you can try out these techniques for yourself.