Recording with contact microphones is fascinating territory to explore due to the unpredictable results; it encourages experimentation! Inspired by the incredible work of Alan Splet and Anne Krober on Dune (as described in this article) I bought a custom built Trance Audio Inducer contact mic and preamp back in 2001, and have been experimenting with it ever since. A couple of years later I added a pair of Barcus Berry Planar Wave contact mics and while these mics featured in Tortured Piano this library is something else again: it is literally the result of hundreds of hours of experimenting… If you’re interested I have explained some of my experience in more detail in this article
One aspect of contact mic recording that is fascinating for sound design is the lack of acoustic – there is no reverb due to the sounds being recording via direct vibration, not through the air. This feature alone makes for very malleable sounds, excellent as components and layers in complex, composite sounds or for when you need an abstract organic sound but where the actual source must remain concealed…
For more info on using contact mics, check this post at The Music of Sound
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