a HISSandaROAR Competition

I had an idea for a fun competition, as a creative challenge to field recordists, but first I need your help. I was having a conversation with someone the other day about how just having a field recorder and mics does not necessarily mean you can record interesting sounds – that part comes from you, your sensibility, creativity, lateral thinking… and performance.
Just as musical performance varies between people on the same instrument, the same theory applies for creating sound effects with props. So heres what I am thinking for the competition:

1. Choose a prop – it has to be a single prop which anyone anywhere in the world can access

2. Record as much as you want with it, but submit 3 sounds recorded with the prop.

3. The winner of the competition is whoever I deem to have captured the most interesting, inventive, creative sound

NOTE: There can be no processing or digital manipulation of the sound at all – this has to be raw field recordings.

The reward will be for your recording, performance and selection of the three submitted sounds.

The winner receives a free copy of HISSandaROAR COMPLETE

But before I launch the competition, what is the prop?

It has to be universally available and standardised – the first idea that came to mind is a coca cola can, but there is no way I am doing anything to support or promote sociopaths…. So what springs to mind? Something you could walk into a dairy/conveni/711 and buy, for not much cost at all?

Soon as we find the best prop I’ll launch the competition!

– a soda can?
– an egg?
– a carrot?
– what?

38 Responses to a HISSandaROAR Competition

  1. Jeff says:

    A rubber band

  2. tim says:

    a tennis ball?

  3. Zebbyz says:

    A pencil

  4. Jonathan says:

    A Bic lighter.
    A Bic ball point pen.
    A Bic Runga ?

  5. tim says:

    via Facebook
    Richard Eigner: a cash card
    Varun Nair: a bulb, socks, zipper, coke can, rice, lentils, carrot, pencil, mic cable
    Jako Sonus: any vegetable
    Raquel Luis: a kitchen pot

  6. tim says:

    via Twitter
    Andreas Usenbenz: a traffic sign

  7. HenriqueORB says:

    +1 for soda can.
    – a candle?
    – plastic bottle
    – plastic bag

  8. Ben Sinclair says:

    A shoe.
    Your fingers/hands.
    Egg or lightbulb could be cool as well.

  9. ab-arts says:

    – an empty pringles box
    – a kitchen roll

  10. David says:

    Preferably something that can be smashed without mercy (E.G. no credit cards :D)

  11. Mathieu F says:

    A soap ?

  12. tom says:

    How about a crown cork?

    A good reason to get your favorite beer out. What can I say. I’m a Belgian!

  13. sirenka says:

    +1 pencil
    +1 book
    eyeglasses wooden case ?

  14. sirenka says:

    Car Wipers?

  15. Tobias Nilsson says:

    a Friend
    Ahh, the sounds you can get from an unexpecting friend… 🙂

  16. Matous says:

    a door?

  17. EMV says:

    A stapler?

  18. micha says:

    your own body! something obviously everyone has available within reach! and household item sounds are mainstream

    • tim says:

      I have no intention of listening to burps and farts, thanks

      And re mainstream, that is exactly the point – to find an object so common that it will take some clever lateral thinking and experimenting to bypass what some people consider ‘mainstream’

      • micha says:

        haha you are right!

        ahh now I get the idea,
        this is a nice challenge!

        how about defining two objects that have nothing to do with each other, like a light bulb and a toaster? a bike and a cat? spagetti and a toilet? 😀

  19. insect of one’s choice ?

  20. Luis says:

    A window, a celery, a paper clip, a needle.

  21. tim says:

    I’m thinking five sounds, one from each of five props:

    An apple, a rubber band, a soda can, a pencil and your hands

    Seem doable?

  22. tim says:

    I’m thinking competition start July 1st, finish July 31st

  23. David V says:

    Hi Tim,

    Again, great idea !!

    One question, as we need to excite the props, what about the “exciter prop” ? For ex, the pencil goes with paper. But if we don’t mention “only paper”, i’d do some pencil on piano’s strings and it’ll sound great without puting too much effort. Maybe if we have 5 prop, only the props themselves can be used as exciters ?

    So pencil is a prop that can only be used on/with
    – and apple
    – a rubber band
    – a soda can
    – my hands

    Also, can we used several mics (i’m thinking contact+external mic and balance it afterwards) or should we restrain it to just one external mic ?

    A last question, what if we use a prop, let’s say the apple, tortured by a can on a table that is a bit resonant. If the resonance is part of the sound, it means we can also use it on a very resonant empty wooden box. or in a unusual empty resonant space … I guess that’s allowed ?

    • tim says:

      hey David
      I think the point of the prop is that we should be able to recognise the prop in the final sound, so eg a pencil on a piano is mostly going to sound of the piano & not the pencil.

      re mics I think it should be one mic

      re resonance, this is definitely allowed – for the hands prop if someone delivers a hand clap recorded in the CERN particle accelerator building I think I would be fairly impressed, although thats presuming the reverb inside there actually sounds good 🙂

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