Field Recording – Pencil

Following up on the HISSandaROAR Field Recording Competition I asked the winners in each category to explain a little about their sound, what were they thinking??

OK what would you expect from a pencil? I thought this would be difficult, and its maybe not a coincidence that there is only one winner in this category. Others submitted what you might expect: scribbling, pencil being sharpened, being dropped and being snapped…. But this is genius!



MANUEL EISL – Pencil Thinks Its A Train


Manuel: “Honestly, I had no idea what I could possibly do with a pencil… so after I tried breaking one, which really didn’t sound very impressive, I started to use it the way it is intended to. I mic’ed it in a very close proximity, and just drew lines on a piece of paper – and it actually sounded quite interesting already!
This gave me motivation to try what else might be possible. I tried signatures, drawings, hatching, transitions / swooshes, … anything that came to mind really, and at some point while I was trying to make a hatching pass by, I realised that it kind of sounded like a steam-engine… So I did a few more takes, switched to circles instead of hatching, tried some movements and speed variations, and that’s pretty much it! None of the takes turned out to be ‘perfect’, so I decided to pick one that’s particularly wonky 😉

How many takes did you do to find it?

A lot!

What gear did you record it with? recorder? mic/s?

2x DPA 4060 (distance ~ 20 cm), recorded with a Sound Devices 702. ”

thanks Manuel!


2 Responses to Field Recording – Pencil

  1. nice discovery. actually you can go quite far with this idea. my wife and I ran a workshop last autumn speculating on how to collaborate through ‘sound and drawing’. this is a sketch (no pun intended) for a kind of performance piece with several people miked up with pencils making different patterns. when you’re actually doing this it really messes with the audio-visual signals to your brian.

  2. Hehe! Great Recording Manuel!! 😉

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