Making Use of Unwanted Sounds
All sounds from the natural world will contain some form of noise.
As composers, artists and musicians continued to explore sounds, they soon realised that to ignore noise sounds meant to miss out on some exciting possibilities.
Why should we ignore or reject noise sounds just because they are different?
P1-1 (Noise Excerpt)
Where Do Noise Sounds Come From?
Some of the most common noise sounds are glitches, feedback, and hiss.
Noise sounds are often generated through a faulty connection, error or by a malfunction. But we can also create them deliberately.
Activity – Noise from a Faulty Connection
When the plug is half in we make a connection, but a faulty or bad one. The noise comes from this fault.
Headphone Glitch Sound
Here is a recording of the type of glitches that you might hear from a plug and socket.
Fact – Glitch Sounds
Glitch sounds are created because of the way that electricity can very quickly turn on and off.
Sounds produced in this way have the most sudden start and finish. This makes them almost unique, because it would be impossible for such sounds to occur naturally outside of an electronic system.
Activity – Noise from a Feedback
Create Your Own Feedback Loop
!!!TAKE CARE!!! Feedback can be very loud.
It is very simple to create a feedback loop. You simply connect the output into the input.
You can use any device with an amplifier.
If we connect cables, then we won’t be able to hear the loop (because it will be entirely inside the electronic system). To hear it we need to split the loop and send some of it to a loudspeaker, so that we can hear the sound we are creating.
If you have a small mixing desk, you can create a few of these simple loops and the sound quickly becomes more and more complex as the different loops interact.
Electric guitars are also famous for their feedback. They use a combination of electrical and physical means.
The guitar makes a sound and the amplifier boosts it.
This causes the strings on the guitar to vibrate and so more sound is sent to be amplified by the amplifier.
The more sound that is amplified, the more the strings vibrate… and so the cycle goes on.
A short clip of guitar feedback.
Not all noise sounds need to be loud.
Rickshaw by Dushume
This sounds quite different, doesn’t it? Can you hear the different colours? The different pitches? The rhythms? Listen to it again and try to explore this world of sound.
What Is Noise? What Is Music?
We can use noises to make music, they often sound interesting, unique and exciting.