Besides the obvious answer of extinct animals. My first priority would probably be to record ambiences without the presence of human civilization. No cars and traffic, no aircraft, no electrical interference from cellular and radio...just pristine nature.
I once tried (very nervously) putting my zoom H2 in a plastic tupperware box and holding it in a bath of water. You can get a pretty convincing underwater ambience, and also if you run the taps at the same time and place the box in various positions around the bath - even under the taps - you can get some good watery rumbles. Word of warning; check the box ...
I found by quickly running the back of the fingers together (or more so the fleshy middle joint section below the nail) in a fast up/down movement made for a pretty cool insect flight sound when pitched up and octave. Perform a few 'pass bys' at the microphone for added variety!
For the more close-up crackling sound, get your hands on some styrofoam peanuts and a very quiet mic/room. Crank up the gain and gather a couple handfulls. Very slowly squeeze and release the bunches of peanuts — it creates a surprisingly realistic mimicry of the crackle and creak of ice. HERE is a sample. It's relatively untreated, but you could play with ...
I used a box of fruity pebbles and a wood plank to make a scifi grain sound for a logo design last week. good times!
I think I'm going to do a mentos-diet coke record session sometime in the future as well.
Typically, I'll drop a marker and keep moving forward. On most projects that I'm on I don't have the luxury of spending hours on a specific sequence, let alone a particular effect. If it's not coming to me fluidly at that moment, I keep making progress on the rest of the project. Eventually something, a clip down the timeline, a phone call, a daydream, ...
I know: using a violin bow ain't something new, but when I bowed the ironing board of my flatmate some real nice sounds came out of it:
and one thing I still want to build and record is the "jam jar jet"
My approach to this would be:
Search for appropriate elevator sounds. Maybe you will find the perfect sound with everything you need in a library. If you do, then great. If not...
Consider finding an elevator to record. There are still plenty of elevators like that around (at least here in the UK) if you know where to look. Hotels, restaurants and shops ...
For the sound of dog I actually normally just use a kind of heavy-duty gloves I've epoxy-glued paper-clips on. I was gonna try other things as well when it was still just gaffed on, like pieces of horn and different types of wood, but truth be told I found this configuration to be absolutely spot-on for what I needed instantly!
For the sense of weight, I've ...
Business Cards? Post-It Notes? Credit/plastic cards? These are just some ideas, but it also depends upon the action required. Break away from the literal sound playing cards make and think of textures and frequency variances. All the above props offer different tonality, brittleness, frequency characteristics. It's the juxtaposing of various carefully-...
depends on what the moves are.
if they're of shuffling, dealing, etc you may want to bring someone in that's had a lot of experience doing those things. card moves can sound dramatically different in the hands of a pro vs in the hands of an amateur.
As for the horse, you can watch a top artist doing it here.
The dryer, why not record a real dryer drum. Just open one up and spin by hand. I've done this before. Sweeten it with the metal box idea. Usually the simplest idea is the best.
Laser beam...you should probably do something that no one suggests...that way it's original :) Old school method would ...
The basic principle is called double tracking. You can read a good introductory article here: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr09/articles/doubletracking.htm
In the first example there is pitch difference and a strong spatial element being applied.
Well they are harsh sounds...
First make sure that what you do as step number one is to control the source, change material (paper/board type, different pen or chalk etc) until you get a sound you really like.
Authenticity is rarely important, fake it!
Second, mic choice can go a long way, try a dynamic mic. Stay away from regular dialog/boom mics, use ...
To get rid of harshness at recording try the following:
Record with a distance. Rarely do we hear a paper get torn from a distance of 20-30 cm. More so 50cm+++
Go off axis. This will get rid of directional and thus high frequency material a bit.
Try DeEssers or Multiband Compressors to get rid of peaks in the 4000 and 8000 Hz region
Use dynamic mics instead ...
It depends. If I know for sure there are no way anyone would see me, and I'm in my own studio - tee and boxers. In extreme cases also a thick Palestinian scarf (textured with skulls and crossbones for that extra audio push!) covering my mouth and nose to further reduce the risk of accidental breaths or such.
But mostly I use a tee washed with a lot of ...
Usually the smaller more intimate sounds will provide the detail, so you'll have those larger, slower, heavier wave sounds as the body and you can provide movement and texture and detail with smaller splashes, sprays etc mixed in.
I've always enjoyed coaxing unusual sounds out of an electric guitar and then experimenting with processing afterwards. Lots of great/usual tones can be generated by scraping a live TRS cable along the strings and pickups. I've used such recordings for everything from faulty electronics and lights to sci-fi atmospheres. Lots of fun to play around with.
Haven't tried myself yet but I wonder how it would be like if you tape a contact mic to your stomach and record those noises, even though you have to pressure the mic in order to get response.
Also, if you bury a hydro mic in the ground and jump over it you get great lower sounds.
Great suggestions above! Nice topic!
Stick a contact/hydro mic in a plastic bowl of water and put it in your freezer and record the sound of it freezing OR once frozen take it out and pour water on it to have it start cracking. Sounds quite good, did it at University.
even though I don't live in the UK and can't help you with an actual recording, maybe this will help you in case you can't get a recording:
Hope it helps you
Generally when recording you're looking for the best signal to noise ratio possible. If you record something too low then need to turn it up later in post, you're also going to be turning up all the unwanted noise.
Personally I try to record as hot as possible without clipping or activating limiters. This may mean initially backing off the gain a little in ...