Celebration of Minivan

What to do with a few minutes of free time,  in a minivan?

Every sound heard in the above video, originated from that old minivan.

I had been interested in creating an instrument from found sounds so, when I gave my situation a few seconds of thought, I brought a portable recorder with me and, during my son’s piano lesson, I recorded the sounds of the van’s automatic rear lift gate and side door opening and closing.

Next, I needed software, free software, to help me  transform raw samples in to usable instrument. The workflow I discovered while creating this found-sound-sampled-based instrument:

  • Cut samples using Audacity
  • Use Audacity’s equalizer effect on a number of copies of the sameple, to create a more “pitched” version of the clip that retains some of the texture of the original recording. In this case, I started with the raw sound of the side door, mid-traverse, on its way from fully open to closed. I drew a curve in the equalizer to effect a kind of band-pass filter around a musically useful pitch.
  • Load these samples in the TX16Wx

The role of bass drum, is filled by a clip of the side door settling in the the fully open position. The back beat is actually the latching of the door.

The raw samples are available on freesound.org


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