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I have some contacts in and around the Library of Congress, and a blog post from the American Folklife Center showed up in this morning's e-mail. I've heard about this project before, but never really followed it up. It's about making music from sound snippets, not uncommon these days, but not what I do, nor is it something that I understand beyond the very basics. But in the 10 minutes it took to watch the introductory video here, I was impressed.

The Library has vast collections of sounds going back 100 years or more, many of which are now in the public domain and can be incorporated freely into any composition. Citizen DJ provides on-line access to several of these collections. In addition to sounds, there's a set of tools on the web site (they run out of your web browser - no software to download) for creating mixes from those sounds. You can also freely download the sounds and use your own tools if you choose.

If you're into incorporating sound samples in your music, you might find some real gems here. Or if, like me, you don't have any idea of how people work with this genre of music, a little time playing with the on-line tools will give you some insight. If this is something that you do, or want to try, poke around. Lots of deep rabbit holes to go down if you wish.

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Bookmarked, thanks Mike!!!

I have a small but decent collection of Sound Effect CDs, found them at thrift stores.
I didn't look yet but a pile of public domain sounds I can access free would be awesome.

Besides composing music from sounds - which is something I've done a couple of times - I think of Ray Stevens and the string of goofy hits he had in the 60's with all the sound effects that helped tell the story.

Here is a mix I did on Metapop. We were given a few cat sounds, I went to a friend's home where they have 4 dogs and a cat. The cat remained resolutely silent (cats never willingly cooperate!) but one dog in particular made disgusting sort of grunting sounds that ended up in my mix. If you find it horrendous and nerve-wracking, that was my intention. Some of the sounds came from my effects CDs. I added drums. Not my best effort but fun and a learning experience.

https://metapop.com/opossum-apocalypse/tracks/cats-n-dogs-opossum-apocalypse-production/97388


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Sorry, but I just don't get it. But then, some people think all old time fiddle tunes sound the same (some banjo tunes actually do).

What you might find interesting in those Library of Congress collections are little vocal snippets and the street and industrial sounds that could work as percussion instruments. That's what I was playing around with, using a drum machine as a timekeeper and then gradually getting rid of its sounds as I fit noises into the pattern. Nothing I though worth sharing, though someone who gets the genre better than I do would probably do a much more musical job.

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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Sorry, but I just don't get it. But then, some people think all old time fiddle tunes sound the same (some banjo tunes actually do).

What you might find interesting in those Library of Congress collections are little vocal snippets and the street and industrial sounds that could work as percussion instruments. That's what I was playing around with, using a drum machine as a timekeeper and then gradually getting rid of its sounds as I fit noises into the pattern. Nothing I though worth sharing, though someone who gets the genre better than I do would probably do a much more musical job.

Well, I had no idea what I was going to do in the first place and my only intention was to annoy because I found it amusing. The provided cat sounds were all "cute" and "nice kitty" sounds so I knew I had to strike terror into the hearts of all felines. I love cats but they are jokers so the joke was on them for once.

In other words, I don't get it either. Now Ray Stevens recording Guitarzan - that I get. The Streak was pretty funny. I won't mention others, don't want to ruffle feathers or offend somebody's delicate sensibilities.
I'm of the opinion that all humans are absurd and should be ridiculed. I do not exclude myself. It's not very PC of me, so it goes. They had some good sound effects on the Benny Hill Show too.

And, I do own a banjer, it was a Bell kit for a Boucher fretless banjer that went way too cheap on eBay. Fortunately for the world, I can't do much with it - yet.


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That's really interesting, I can imagine great multi-sampling possibilities. Thanks for posting!

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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Sorry, but I just don't get it.

Think of it as collage, not painting. Some collage can be pretty cool.

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Nice interface. The interesting thing about the Library of Congress archives are the really old recordings of classical artists, who display what I think is a particular style of vibrato/ornamentation that might have descended from just a couple of generations from the baroque era.


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