I was hired to do a bit of sound design this week. It's for a music video, and it was a very short and simple job. The film starts with a clean studio shot of 2 musicians and an engineer operating some vintage studio gear. I was tasked to make the sound of a still, ambient studio space plus the engaging of record button and tape spinning.
The first bit was easy. I turned on every bit of gear in my studio (computers, hard drives, old noisy synths, etc..), pulled up every fader on my console and recorded the about 20 seconds of the room vibrating.
The second part was just a bit trickier. I don't own a vintage tape machine, but I do own an Roland Space Echo. This is an echo box that uses the old-shcool method of delaying the signal via a piece of magnetic tape. So I was able to capture the sound just by getting really close to the tape mechanism using my Sony portable hard disk recorder. The on/off switch was a bit harsh for the sound of the buttons, so I recorded the stomp box button from one of my Danelectro pedals. They have a nice rubbery/metallic sound if you get in there with your hands and really magnify the signal. I had to lower the pitch of the tape sound a bit to match the size of the tape in the video. I compiled all the sounds using Ableton Live and added just a touch of compression.
Here is the final sound...