Using “Found Sounds” for Music Production

Did you know that there are instruments all around you?

Whether it’s a bottle, a coin, or a salt shaker, all of these objects make unique sounds.

These sounds can be integrated into a musical production.

I created this track using the sounds of a bucket and a bowl. The bowl produced a ringing sound which I used harmonically. I hope you enjoy it!

Step 1. Record

Do you have a smartphone? If so, that should work perfectly for your recording needs. Try capturing some sounds using a recording app. Experiment with the position of your microphone and see what gives you a better sound. Now email yourself the files so you can download them onto a computer.

Step 2. Process

Download the sound recordings onto your computer. Next, you’ll want to isolate the sounds you captured into individual files.

This means that only the start and finish of your sound is in the audio file, and that there’s no silent space before or after the sound.

To accomplish this, download Audacity. Audacity is a free sound editing program.

Drag and drop your sound file into Audacity, and it will open the recording. It might look something like this…

Now, find the piece of sound you want and select it.

Copy your selection and paste it into a new project.

  1. Select the edit menu
  2. Click copy
  3. Select the file menu
  4. Click New
  5. Then select the edit menu again
  6. and click paste.

Now you will have an isolated sound that will look something like this.

You can now export your sound by going to the file menu and selecting export.

For a more comprehensive tutorial on how to use Audacity, check out this video.

Step 3. Make Music

Use Audacity or another software to begin piecing together your sound samples. It’s a fun opportunity to create lo-fi rhythms and beats.

I love the idea of using found sounds to create music. It’s the perfect mix of resourcefulness and creativity.