I've heard stories of people re-micing a voice or instrument with certain keys of the piano open so the strings sympathetically vibrate with the sound, thus adding more harmonics and another timbre to the sound.

Has anyone else tried something like this in designing a sound? Would it work well to reinforce a creature vocal or creepy pad or synth with? I'm curious if anyone else has thought of this or done this in the past before I give it a go.


This technique works really well for almost anything, especially if you hold down the keys of notes that are either fundamentals or harmonics. Even order harmonics tend to make the sound more harmonious and odd order harmonics tend to make a sound more discordant. The technique is sometimes called 'Dragon's Breath' and is really fun, especially if you have access to a Steinway D.


It's a cool idea…the closest I've come to that recently is using the Bosendorfer IR set in Altiverb to give certain sounds a musical quality or resonance. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't…but you never know till you try!

  • Wow great idea! I'll test my piano out on some different sound sources later today! – Utopia Nov 8 '10 at 23:46

It sounds like it would work. Of course the sound designers for Treebeard in LOTR re-miced his voice through a wooden box.

  • And a Land Rover :-) – Utopia Nov 9 '10 at 1:54
  • @Ryan, a Land Rover? Is that you joking? I'm asking because I can't remember seeing nor hearing anything about this... – Justin Huss Nov 9 '10 at 16:36
  • Time for a LOTR comedy 'remix' with the invention of 4 wheel drives – Chris Nov 9 '10 at 17:16
  • @Justin Yeah, it was from the DesigningSound David Farmer monthly special: youtube.com/… Check it out! – Utopia Nov 9 '10 at 17:34
  • And my mistake, it was a Land Cruiser. – Utopia Nov 9 '10 at 17:35

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