Earlier this year, we spent some time with Cleaning Up composers Peter Jobson & Paul Saunderson. Here they demonstrated how they created their sounds for the TV show and better yet, we are lucky enough to be able to share their ‘Kitchen Drumkit’ that they created for the show. Click the ‘download assets’ button below to get the samples!
“The two of us began working together in 2017 on a film by Tom Edmunds called ‘Dead In A Week – or your money back’, followed by Jo Brand’s ‘The More You Ignore Me’ starring Sheridan Smith.
Through these collaborations, we found a combined voice and style by drawing on our musical backgrounds, leading us to create something new and unique. Every day is a school day when collaborating, as each person has their own individual way of doing something — either in their playing and compositional style, or simply the way they record an instrument.”
Peter Jobson (I Am Kloot, Cleaning Up, Dead in a Week: Or Your Money Back)
Paul Saunderson (Three Identical Strangers, Strike Back, Winter Ridge)
“We found common ground in always wanting to create something new that might not have been done before, or at least try to, and aim to keep the music as organic as possible, which in this instance led to recording and creating a whole new sound world for the show.
The important thing is to remember that the process is a collaboration, and to allow each person to demonstrate their own idea and see it through, because by the end of the process, the result is something that would not have been achieved by just one person.”
Spitfire Audio founders Paul Thomson & Christian Henson share their findings and insights on where to start when thinking about getting the right tools to create samples.
A mobile recorder: I use the Sony PCM-D50 which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be available at the moment, although I’d recommend a scour on eBay. Any recorder would work but I found the quality of the Sony to be way higher than my previous two recorders! I’ve used this to grab all kind of crazy noises – to the extent that I actually started keeping it in my car so that as soon as I heard something cool I could grab it and record a few takes.
One thing I never tired of – the sound of a car door slamming in a large car park. But there are a ton of amazing sounds that occur around your home that are fertile ground for sound design.
Subscribe to Paul’s Youtube channel here.
A notepad: I’ve lost track of all the great ideas I had and then forgot. Keeping a notepad handy with a pen attached to it (!) is one way that in the midst of whatever you should be concentrating on if something sparks a crazy idea, you can quickly jot it down to investigate later.
A decent microphone: This can be anything from the Shure SM57, to a small or large Diaphragm Condenser, or even a Ribbon mic (although this may be a little less versatile even though it sounds lovely). Of course ‘decent’ is a movable feast. But where sampling is concerned, if the fidelity of your mic is slightly less than you would have hoped for, make this a feature of what you are capturing and go for vibe and character rather than hi fidelity.
Your imagination: You can make an interesting noise on any instrument – from a student cello to a kid’s giraffe shaker. The trick is to find that interesting sound. If you aren’t a string player, don’t try and make a multi-dynamic vibrato long patch on your student cello. Work out something that sounds really odd and unlike what you would expect, and then deep dive into that.
The more you exercise your imagination, the better you will become at recognising ‘good’ samples and sounds, and the more inventive you will become. One of the key sounds I used on the score for the most expensive show Discovery has ever made was borne from me carrying some plastic coat hangers downstairs. They clicked together with each step in such a great uptight but percussive exciting way, that I immediately walked into the studio with them and recorded them and mapped them out on the keyboard. No-one would ever guess what that sound was but it added urgency and excitement to everything I added it to! Nothing is so mundane that you can’t make a killer sound from it.
Christian says: “For producers and DJs, second hand record stores are their Mecca, their downfall, and the thing that gets them out of bed on early mornings in strange towns when touring; for the ‘samplist’, second hand charity shops, antiques stores, pawn shops and flea markets are your next ticket to sampling heaven. Whether it be a child’s toy, an ancient old family organ, a ukulele with missing strings, other people’s junk is our gold.
The key to sampling is finding character, so finding musical items that bear the scratches, stains and bruises born over eons will always provide you with something characterful and totally unique.”
Subscribe to Christian’s YouTube Channel here.
Toby Gale is a London-based composer/producer, whose work explores the relationship between shimmering electronic textures and full-bodied organic instrumentation.
As a drummer, his compositions draw inspiration from afro-jazz rudiments and polyrhythmic percussion, interlaced into a cosmic array of synthesisers, alongside both sampled and real orchestral summonings.
The last few years have seen Toby collaborate with artists such as Photay and Iglooghost and produce remixes for artists such as Rina Sawayama and Flamingods, along with a breadth of DJ performances including Boiler Room, Great Escape Festival and NTS.
He has released EPs on Tape Club Records and Apothecary Compositions, and with recent support from Worldwide FM and BBC 6 Music, his debut LP returns to the whimsical and ever-experimental Activia Benz.
Catch up with Toby on Twitter.