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Metal spinning is a metal forming technique by which three-dimensional shapes are made from sheet metal, using a lathe with designed moulds. It consists of rotating a flat disk, a cone or a cylinder together with a form of the desired shape, and gradually working the metal against the form by pressure of blunt tools. Check the video below, as the metal is formed it almost appears liquid…

I became interested in this technique when researching the design of resonators for a musical sound instrument. Luckily there is a metal spinning company in Seaview and after discussion with them, I borrowed this collection of prototypes so I could test out their resonance, and record them with the aim of clarifying the type of metal, shape and thickness that would be most useful.

What I discovered was a collection of sound props, each with unique response & spectrums due to their rigidity and perfectly symmetrical ‘spun’ nature. Played at half speed some sound like complex gongs, while others bloom with strangely beautiful harmonics.

Mallets used include: hard wood, heavy rubber, woven vibraphone & fluffy wool for soft thumpy attack.

Along with striking each spun metal object with mallets I also captured alt takes, damping the decay of each with my hand.

Recorded 32bit 192kHz and released 24bit 192kHz this library includes the Sanken CUX100K pair and the MKH8050 for tight mono image, at times with the MKD8050 inside the resonating body for maximum bottom end.

Approximately Ten takes per file, spaced by 1 second of silence for auto-slicing

Preview is example sounds at real speed, half speed then quarter speed:

An example of the metal spinning technique

NOTE: this sound library does not include any lathe recordings.
Please see SD022 MECHANISM for workshop machines.

Metal Spinning Process

ALUMINIUM – 2.5mm – large scooped bowl shape



ALUMINIUM – 2mm – very large industrial lightshade shape



ALUMINIUM – 3mm – rigid form, flat rigid base – great pure bass note



STAINLESS STEEL – 1.5mm – half sphere orb shape



ALUMINIUM – 2mm – flat dish shape



STAINLESS STEEL – 1.5mm – rigid flat dish



STAINLESS STEEL – 1.5mm – cone shape with lip



STAINLESS STEEL – 1mm – cone shape with lip



STEEL – 4mm – cone bowl with lip


STAINLESS STEEL – 0.5mm – lightweight – flexes & wobbles



STAINLESS STEEL – 1.5mm – lightweight – flexes & wobbles



ALUMINIUM – 1mm – shallow dish – rigid



STAINLESS STEEL – 1.5mm – dish – rigid



COPPER – 1.5mm – dish – rigid