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Did you ever have a pop gun as a kid?
I don’t remember having one but while cleaning out my parents house I came across an old school wooden pop gun in mint condition, so I figured it was worth recording. Apparently toy popguns were first invented by American Edward Lewis and they use air pressure to fire a small tethered or untethered projectile (such as cork or foam) out of a barrel, most often via piston action.

Coincidentally I noticed one of my percussion mallets makes a similar sound, not by hitting things but due to the rubber handle coming loose. I really like ProMark FPC20 percussion mallets as they have a cord-wrapped head that enables soft attack on drums, marimba, vibes & props.. They also have a handy second use, in that they have synthetic handles with a rubber grip and I often reverse the mallet, holding the cord wound head and playing drums etc with the rubber ends. But one day when getting a bit frenetic, the rubber handle went flying off one of the mallets. I retrieved the handle and considered glueing it back on permanently but I tried pulling the handle off again, and the vacuum created makes a great pop, similar to my toy pop gun!

A third variation was also performed by pressing a finger against the side of my mouth, and flicking it out.

Apart from firing the popgun freely in the studio, I also started messing around firing it inside objects and discovered I could vary the pitch of the pop, by varying the size of the object and the cavity. So the popgun was fired into a glass jug, a metal pot, plastic bin, a metal rubbish tin, a large trash can and the tumbler from TORTURED DRYER.

While these sounds are related to the UFX011 Cork Pop library, the tonality is of course different with these and captured with the Sanken mic at 192kHz these are very fun to detune by an octave or two – check the previews for examples.

Recorded 32bit 192kHz in a dry room using four microphones:
– Sennheiser MKH8040 LR
– Sennheiser MKH8050 C
– Sanken CUX100K C

These recordings are output 24bit 192kHz multitrack and unprocessed, with full dynamic range intact and plenty of headroom. Approx 10 takes per file, seperated by 1 second of silence for auto slicing.