New Toys for the Studio!

Fall and winter of 2013 saw a few new instruments enter my arsenal at Studio Sublime. The strangest one came first. My wife bought me something called a Sonic Forest for my birthday. I must admit my initial reaction when she showed it to me was not very enthusiastic as I didn’t really know what to make of it or how I would incorporate it into my music. However, when it arrived I quickly fell in love with it and the experimental, hands on approach to music making that it invited. Basically, the Sonic Forest is a wooden box with a contact mic inside and a 1/4″ audio output. Attached to the box sprouts a forest of guitar and bass strings of various lengths that you can pluck, rasp, bow or otherwise molest to produce a variety of sound textures. It also has a Mute switch and a tone switch that functions as a high-pass filter. I made a short song using only the Forest and effects from Ableton Live and you can listen to it below. You can also check out Electro Lobotomy’s other esoteric creations here: 

I received a generous bit of birthday money from my Grandpa so I decided it was time to pull the trigger on an instrument I’ve been obsessing over for a while now: A Hank or Steel Tongue Drum. Hank drums are propane tanks modified into beautiful musical instruments. Continue reading “New Toys for the Studio!”

Audio Trademarks

This is an interesting article from the Vancouver Sun regarding the recent move by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) to allow the trademarking of sounds:

When I was working on the concept audio for the Chevy Volt, there was a tremendous amount of thought and discussion that went into the emotional impact that the sounds within the vehicle would have on the driver. They wanted to convey the power of the Volt, but at the same time make it feel welcoming and not agressive. They also wanted to highlight the green technology of the car. I experimented with synthetic and natural sounds like water and wind to zero in on the tones that best suited what they described. I recorded spinning magnets, my breath through a conch shell, and a plucked cello and layered them together for one cue. The whole project was an interesting challange and a fun process. I’m glad to see that CIPO is taking audio trademarks into consideration and I hope it means that more companies will consider audio branding.