From the Team / 2 August 2019

Under the hood: New experimental loop packs!

World Uncommon Instruments Day was 31st July! We’re keeping the party going with two new Loop Packs: the Contact Mic Pack on Mobile, and the Experimental Soundscapes Pack, available now on Web and Assistant.

Hear more from our Audio Engineer Zeek on how he created these awesome sounds, and his tips for using them in your own track.

Hello Zeek! Tell us more about the two new Loop Packs.

Hello. The Contact Mic Pack is for BandLab on Mobile, and uses “contact mic” (piezo) elements to record the vibrations of everyday objects. A piezo sensor is a device that uses the piezoelectric effect to measure changes in pressure, acceleration, temperature, strain, or force by converting them to an electrical charge. So for example, you can put one on a coffee machine and hear all sorts of weird noises that the normal ear wouldn’t catch. Our team created a Looper Pack using this concept.

On BandLab Web and BandLab Assistant, we’re also introducing an Experimental Soundscapes Pack, which is pretty much what it says on the tin. Weird and unusual soundscapes!

The world is your oyster when it comes to sampling sounds, and inspiration is everywhere. With all our Loops, we want to give users more colours for their musical palette. Dive in and have fun with it. Especially in honour of World Uncommon Instruments Day!

What were you guys inspired by?

I took inspiration from the sounds around me. I thought about what sounds are “beyond music” or can be captured in places with minimal human activity. This was a key reference point for these packs – especially for the Contact Mic Looper where the sounds don’t seem super rhythmic on their own, but the elements must gel when put together.

What are some of the ways you’d suggest using the new Loop Packs?

Soundscapes and unconventional sounds can be a key component in creating your own signature sound. A couple of great examples of this are Flying Lotus and Burial

I’d encourage everyone to think about creating new environments and atmospheres with the Loops. Don’t be afraid to get weird!

What was your biggest challenge when designing these new Loop Packs?

The most challenging thing is focusing on the right sound. There are so many possibilities with field recordings, whether as a music element, or as a non-musical recording on its own. Many bands and artists use field recordings differently, from capturing personal mementos to unfamiliar and unique sounds. We tried to design sounds that are broad enough for everyone to use, so let us know if we succeeded!

What are some words you’d use to describe the new packs?

Ambient, chill, atmospheric, lofi.

Sweet. Where can I find the loop packs?

To find the Contact Mic Looper Pack:

  1. Open BandLab on Mobile, hit the + sign to create
  2. Go to the Looper
  3. Hit “Discover”, Search “Contact Mic”

To find the Experimental Soundscapes Pack:

  1. Go to Mix Editor Web -> Instruments -> Creator Kits, “Uncommon Kit”.
  2. Or, just follow this link to try it in the Mix Editor
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