Contact Mic Field Recordists

Following on from previous post of Toshiya Tsunoda’s work and my own brain dump of experiences using contact mics are some great recordings by two sound artists, both doing very interesting work with contact mics – take a break and have a listen:

Australian recordist Martin Kay has been doing some very interesting ambience recording via contact mics at Docklands Stadium in Melbourne. Conceptually the idea of the metal support structure resonating with the energy of the crowd at a sports venue is interesting, but the tonality of the resulting sounds are fascinating and almost dreamy – have a listen here

Martin Kay recordings

A second set of Martins recordings involve power pylons at Merri creek – listen here

Martin Kay recordings

Korean sound artist Jiyeon Kim recently completed artist residencies “in Italy during June/July. I spent three weeks in total at three different places and throughout three places, I focused on wire recording, for example, with vineyard wires and an abandoned metal cable in the mountain”

Jiyeon Kim recordings

Jiyeon posted an outline & some sounds from her work with wires here and here and comments “One of recordings that I liked was metal wire in a small village called Topolo in Northern Italy. I tried to mix resonances of metal wire by nature forces (wind, rain…) and by oscillator/feedback system. After the residencies, I had a sound performance in London, which used recordings from Topolo… You can listen to it through Touch radio streaming here or you can also download it via iTunes here

Jiyeon Kim recordings

Inspiring sounds, thanks Martin & Jiyeon!

I just received my new contact mics and while I’m on holiday at my parents house for a week I will do some first test recordings & post a review early next week… stay tuned!

8 Responses to Contact Mic Field Recordists

  1. ab-arts says:

    Do you know details about the brick shaped contact mics? I only know the piezo disc types…

  2. bassling says:

    Cool! Most recently I’ve been using homemade contact microphones to record playground equipment to make EDM samples.

    There’s an example of the sound of a passing lawnmower resonating a metal support pole at http://bassling.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/central-park-revisited.html and at the top of that page is a tutorial for making your own contact mic.

  3. bassling says:

    I remember you linked to that earlier and it seemed to confirm my opinion that piezos sound a bit tinny. Sometimes they sound like the recording is coming off vinyl!

    I’ve been using a Fishman transducer, which also has an EQ and it improves them. The homemade piezo sensors work better than the cheap pickups I’ve picked up on Ebay but, yeah, they’re still lacking in the bottom end. Which hasn’t been so bad since I’ve been heavily manipulating the sounds.

    Very tempted to buy a Barcus-Berry while the Aussie dollar is worth more than the US but am told they don’t travel well. Have you heard this?

  4. Pingback: ‘music of sound’ blog « Jiyeon Kim

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