Talking Tech: What’s The Strangest Sound You’ve Sampled?

Asking what’s the strangest sound you’ve sampled is risky business, but thankfully the MusicTech audience gave some inspired examples. We’re proud of you guys and girls. Most of you anyway…

strangest sound

Palle Svensson: My girlfriend snoring. I think I pitched it down, filtered it and made some sort of percussion out of it. I had to cut out the small giggles I made while recording it.


Steven Diedesch: As a project, I once composed an abstract sonata allegro to be performed on a full refrigerator. Well, recorded and sampled to death. I don’t really go in for that avantgarde anymore though.

Benjamin Phillips: Bold and the Beautiful…Ridge and Stephanie, a whipper snipper, the toilet flushing…the list goes on. I’m very au fait with the found sounds movement…No sound is too strange or off limits.

John Lee: I put a mic into a piece of drainage pipe that had a corrugated extension on it. The pipe went up to a roof. An airplane flew over. The weirdest swirling, flanging sound I ever heard come out nature.

Ross Nockles: I recorded Mole Grip adjustable spring locking pliers releasing the spring to simulate the sound of hand gun being cocked. The plastic ‘widget’ a ball from a ‘draught guiness in a can’ rolling around inside an empty glass honey jar.

The winder on a wind up torch light as a rhythm/percussion element. The sound of the airlock de-pressurising on the International Space Station off NASA TV over the internet during a space walk broadcast. Slapping my stomach as a percussive element. The Zipper on my jacket as a rhythmic element.


Nick Price: A vacuum cleaner starting up, whacked some extreme EQ and compression on it as well as a multipressor and some reverb and got an intense and aggressive lead synth horn/siren type thing going on. Was pretty cool.

Ian David Jones: One of these into my beloved Emu E6400 Ultra back in the day.

Jon Schilling: Washing machine cycle buzz and then the running water going through the hoses. Turned it into a cover for welcome to the machine

Idriss Nadi: Earthquake (Ac blowing wind), Walrus’ sound (rubbing a pick with a low octave grand piano string), Whales’ sound (rubbing one finger against high octave grand piano string with sustain pedal on so you get that huge RT60).

Cheston Roulain: I sampled an EVP of a man’s voice, eq’d the crap out of it and ran it through a compressor and then I ran it through a guitar amp simulation with lots and lots of reverb haha

Django Müller: I realised that brushing my teeth can be quite a good shaker.