note: the terms for using the samples and music in this page (entirely royalty free) are laid out in this document.
I sampled one of the “standard” litter bins around town.
Litter Bin Sounds – 725 k in the iPod / iTunes MPEG 4 format, opens in a new window. There are short gaps between the sounds to facilitate cutting them apart and using them in a sample player.
The file starts with two octaves of pitched sounds at semitone intervals. Now we can play tunes on the Cork City Gamelan, in any key – well, the sounds are extremely complex and rich in harmonics which don’t belong to the natural harmonic overtones series, so, the root of the scale is difficult to determine. I tried to tune it to C, but it appears that D sharp seems to sound more like it… and Metasynth, my “electroacoustic microscope”, tells me it is G sharp. Which key works best may depend on the context – I’ll find out soon enough – but I am also going to try and manipulate the harmonics to yield more definitive pitches, and perhaps to stretch the notes a little.
There is also something resembling Castanets – GIANT Castanets, by the sound of it, and some long “Gongs” and swells, made by stretching single beats to between 5 and 25 times the original length.