We were approached by composer Christopher Lennertz to build a custom library for a recent animated film. His request – all sounds related to sewing. So, off we went to the craft shop to get our materials.
We got funny looks in Michael’s Craft Shop while we “played” all of their merchandise, but they were happy when we walked out with full carts of everything sewing related!
– Embroidery Hoops
– Knitting Needles
– Tape measure
We ripped cloth and velcro. We dropped buttons and beads, put them in jars and shook them. We suspended knitting needles and hit them. We plucked thread and elastic. We even found out that our 3 pairs of scissors have very different sounds.
From the cloth and embroidery hoops, we made awesome frame drums. From the shoelaces and a guitar frame, we made a custom guitar. We stretched a long suede shoelace across a shovel handle to make a shoelace bass.
Then came the sewing machines! Everyone brought in their family sewing machine – from a vintage 1930 crank model to an ultra modern programmable electronic machine and everything in between. We recorded them at different speeds (when possible) and programmed them to tempo-sync to your DAW.
We included an arpeggiation section in which you can design your own tempo-synced rhythms and an effects page to further customise each sound.
SEW WHAT is made up of three basic categories:
This is where you can select one of the many materials we recorded: anything from metal sewing needles to our homemade frame drums.
1 PRESETS: Loading a preset from the “1 PRESETS” category will change the Rhythm, Effects, and Materials.
– Turn off the arpeggiator by clicking the “ARPEGGIATOR” button. You can increase or decrease the number of steps in the arpeggiator by clicking and dragging up or down on the number box next to the “ARPEGGIATOR” button.
– You can change the note values and note lengths, including the attacks and decays.
– “Beat Sync” enables you to sync the start of your rhythm to the next downbeat.
– “DYNAMIC RANGE” allows you to change the range of velocities. A higher bar results in lower lows and higher highs; a lower bar results in more normalized dynamics.
– Randomize your rhythms with the “RANDOMIZE” button.
– Use the “EXTEND RHYTHM” to extend your custom arpeggiation rhythm beyond the number of steps in your arpeggiator. You will see your newly looped rhythm when you extend the number of steps.
– Randomize the panning and velocities of your loop with the “Random Pan” and “Random Vel” knobs.
-“Sloppiness” creates an element of humanization by randomly shifting note attacks and velocities.
2 RHYTHMS: Loading a preset from the “2 RHYTHMS” category will change the Rhythm ONLY, not the Effects or Material
Mix your sound using the following effects:
3 FX: Loading a preset from the “3 FX” category will change the Effects ONLY, not the Rhythm or Material.