MAW Kids on Bikes

Thursday was my first outing with Minneapolis Art on Wheels (MAW) and my first opportunity to project my work on the GMS in a public space. The sheer scope of the event was impressive. My friend Kevin could hardly believe all of the equipment that was transported by bicycles to the location. There was some really good work on display, some bizarre random events, and exhaustive video documentation that I expect we’ll see on MAW soon.

After the outing, on the ride back to base, everyone was giddy from the nice weather. We get a bit cooped up during the long Minnesota Winters. In not one of my finest cases of judgment I decided to dig out my PCM-D50 from its protective case and record the proceedings while riding my bike. I don’t necessarily recommend this sort of behavior, but I held on tight and threw caution to the wind. Here’s a segment of audio from the bike ride back.

MAW Kids on Bikes

Mendota Springs Sparkling Water Can Being Opened

Hi, my name is Graham O’Brien and I’m a drummer, audio engineer, and composer living in St. Paul, MN.  I play in some really fun bands around town (including Keston & Westdal!) and specialize in drumming and writing for sequenced music.  And having gotten a recording degree, I do some work recording and mixing radio commercials at Marketing Architects ad agency in Mineeapolis.  I also am building a drum recording studio in my basement that’s coming along really well and I’ll be posting plenty of really cool stuff from there.  Now, for my first post to Audio Cookbook.

This is a short but pristine recording of me opening a can of Mendota Springs Sparkling Water (Lemon flavor).  I recorded it at the radio production studio I work at, and the recording chain is amazing.  First we tuned and sound-proofed the recording booth down to -32dB of isolation.  Here’s the recording chain:

Neumann U87a  (cardiod pattern, hi pass off)> Great River Electronics MP-2NV Mercenary Edition Class A Mic Pre > Langevin Electro/Optical Compressor/limiter > Pro Tools HD via 192 i/o interface

This recording was done at 44.1Khz, 16bit.  The only processing I used is the Massey L2007 Limiter to make it louder: mendota-springs-can-loud

Mysterious Laundry Sounds

This sequence of sounds includes dragging a plastic laundry basket on a cement floor, opening and closing of the dryer, loading and unloading clothes, and so on.

Doing the Laundry

The Janitors Sink

Until now the sounds presented on ACB have included just about everything except the janitor’s sink. So here it is, recorded in the Grandpa-George building, just outside their studio space. This is the sound created by the plumbing resonating as the hot water runs through the pipes. Apparently the sound doesn’t happen with cold water, and it takes a minute for it to happen with the hot water turned on. For some reason the pipes don’t resonate unless they have hot water running through them. Derrin played the sink while I recorded the results on the Sony PCM-D50.

Janitor’s Sink

Giant Light Bulb Tone

I’ll have to do another session down at Grandpa-George sometime soon, because I have gotten a lot of mileage out the the sound possibilities in their space.

They didn’t know it, but their office is virtually a Foley studio. I doubt they’d let me lay down some sod, sand, and gravel to record footsteps though.

Douglas, Matthew, and Derrin all tend to collect interesting objects including a pair of giant light bulbs, probably for street lamps. This is the tone produced by flicking one of the bulbs.

Giant Light Bulb Tone