So I won last week’s Beat Battle and got to pick the rules and the sample. The sample I went for is Miles Davis – So What.
The rules I went for were any external sounds allowed, but you have to sample whatever you want to add from a microphone. No mic simulations allowed.
There’s a lot to flip in that sample, but I tried to keep myself under control and see what I could do with a few sections to loop and do some change ups instead of straight up chops.
Initial microphone recording tests stunk. Of course, using a lower quality microphone absolutely did not help the situation. Shame on me, I ended up with a bunch of junk content that just clashed with the track.
Drum break was sample in through the mic, and took several attempts to get it at the right level. I wanted the mic to pick up *some* of the room ambience, but not loose out on too much of the low end. For me, the sweet spot on the D880 was about an inch from the mic, and just pushing the gains super high. I got a tiny bit of clipping, but nothing bad.
The Kick just took a lot of patience, and I ended up playing the kick drum sound out of my phone into the D880, and just kept playing it until I got a good hit with a tiny bit of distortion and some solid volume. I think it’s not quite right for the track, but it is what it is.
The snare… hahaha… this was the only element I kept from my sampling expedition with the Bastl Instruments Microgranny. The speaker is tiny, and the sampling engine I believe is 8-bit, but it could be 12-bit. I forget off hand. Anyways, this was part of me running around the house hitting things, recording it, and then pitching the sounds around. This was pretty much the only “usable” sound… at least for this BB.
Vocals… well I ran the D880 into a Plankton Electronics Spice, and used the Korg Nutone tube to drive the vocals. To get what I did took about 30 takes, and was me just about whispering into the mic, and getting this overdriven signal. I had some awesome takes that were super overdriven and sounded cool, but wouldn’t work with the track as it was coming together… I’ll have to save them for another day.
Overall, I played with five or six microphones of varying quality. I’m going to have to say the D880 was my hero this time, because it has very directional sound and needs quite close proximity. Some of the other mics I have can pic up sounds 100 feet away and it nearly sounds like it is right beside you… which is both annoying and kind of creepy when you’re just trying to get a clean enough sample to work with and you can hear the kids shows popping up in the sample.