Sounds from a Contact Mic Frozen in Water Ice

Freezing the mic outside overnight

I just got a note from Dan Pugsley of Radium Audio. regarding their new resource Radium Audio Labs. The site will feature a broad variety of sound experiments and explorations. Dan writes,

“Radium Audio has recently started a blog demonstrating some of our explorative processes, and though it’s very much in the early stages of development we have some pretty interesting pieces uploaded already and I was wondering if any of it might be suitable for Audio Cookbook? We have two new explorative projects in the works at the moment, one of which is based on binaural recordings and the other will be revolving around the use of dry ice to create a variety of sounds.”

The projects posted so far include using a coil mic to record the electromagnetic fields from various electronic devices, like an iPhone and a printer/scanner, and my favorite at the moment, sounds captured from a contact microphone frozen in water ice as it melts.

Frozen Contact Mic in Ice by Radium-Audio

9 thoughts on “Sounds from a Contact Mic Frozen in Water Ice

  1. I’ve wanted to do this very thing (freezing a mic in water) for a long time but have never gotten around to it. That sounds even cooler than I imagined.

  2. this is detailed in the book “Handmade Electronic Music” by Nicolas Collins originally done by: Peter Cusack: “Baikal Ice”

  3. Hey!

    I want to do this, recording the sound of melting ice, as part of one of my projects, but I’m having trouble with getting a ‘clear’ recording.. in the search for help i ran into this site..
    my recording is VERY noisy, sounds like tape hiss, amplified that much that the cracking of the ice is almost not to hear. well, i also cranked the gain up hear something at all..
    nowhere near this beautiful recording present here.
    what can i do to improve? i would be very happy about suggestions. especially quick ones ; ), since I am in the midddle of working process ..

  4. I haven’t tried this technique myself. Perhaps Smyth or someone from radium audio will chime in. Otherwise I do have Handmade Electronic Music and could take a look their for you.

  5. Thanks for the offer, John. Got solved.
    Simply by using handheld recorder instead of sound card, a fireface, which I thought would give better results, since being a nice piece of gear – but didn’t..
    I guess it could be due to different impedance of the inputs. The handheld recorder has probably lower impedance inputs than the sound card which suits the contact mics better ( not so strong signal ). am guessing here.. But, mostly just glad I managed to get a good recording in the end : )

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