Vinyl Noise SFX is a free library of vinyl noise and crackle sound effects created by Matoto aka Chia. The library contains 37 audio samples in total, featuring a variety of vinyl record noises.
Chia is a DJ and producer from Oregon who decided to digitize his vinyl collection and came up with this cool set of vinyl noise samples during the process. Read the interview with Chia below to learn all the background info about Vinyl Noise SFX such as what equipment was used and which records have been sampled and then scroll all the way down the page to grab your free copy of the sample pack.
99Sounds: First of all, thank you for releasing this incredibly cool collection of vinyl sound effects on 99Sounds! Can you tell us a bit more about your vinyl sampling process? Which gear did you use, which records have been sampled, etc.? How long did it take you to create this pack? Did you have fun along the way or did it become more of a chore after a while?
Chia: No, please, don’t mention it. Thanks for having me! The recording and compilation for the pack took about seven months between November 2013 and June 2014 in my free time while studying at university.
At first it was just a folder of interesting samples I accumulated and set aside for myself while I was working in digitizing my vinyl collection, but after a while it became apparent I wasn’t using them so I figured they could help out other people’s productions so I decided that once I got enough I could give them away as a free pack. I DJ more than I produce so it was never really a chore for me — just a natural byproduct of using my turntable.
In high school I ran a 31-part DJ mix series, but as uni started eating up my time it got put on indefinite hold. As I started widening both my collection and knowledge of dance music I got more and more into vinyl and ended up with so much of it. In high school I was known as the guy who always had records in his locker. I have milk crates piled upon milks crates, all packed full of vinyl, in my room right now.
I honestly don’t remember which records I used for the most part, however. I probably should have written down more than just t1.aup, t2.aup, etc. now that I consider it. For the first dozen or so samples I used assorted trance and house records circa 1998 to 2005 as I found ones with especially loud runin and runout grooves (which is normally a bad thing!). For the rest, almost all of them came from other 45s and 78s I own, ranging from the 1950s children’s Christmas songs to late 80s pop singles. I know there were some Cher, Eurythmics, Bruce Springsteen and Kiss singles in there though.
On one of the samples it almost sounds like the needle is being dragged across gravel so I was actually a little worried I was going to destroy the thing, but miraculously it still works just fine.
For recording I used a Numark TTUSB turntable with the included Numark GT stylus hooked up to my laptop for recording in Audacity. Only thing I did to the samples after recording was normalization so all post-processing choices are left up to the user as they see fit.
99Sounds: Where can we hear some of your music? What is your favorite part of the music making process? What is your tip for fellow music producers?
Chia: I have a SoundCloud under the name Matoto I occasionally upload production scribbles and WIPs to, but I actually don’t use it all that much for track previews. I think most of my followers are bots honestly.
My failed projects that go nowhere probably outweigh my successful projects ten to one, so that leads to some pessimism when I think I have a good idea but there’s just nowhere to take it and still have it be interesting. I like to make tracks that are acoustically and production-wise complex and detailed, so the best feeling I get from production is that moment I can find some new, interesting, unique element that’s never been heard before that fits perfectly in my track. That sudden “eureka!” moment I’ll get from trying something new keeps me going.
As for tips, a lot of blogs and production tip guides say that under no circumstances should you ever clip anywhere in your track, but I would actually argue otherwise. You can do some pretty interesting things through tactful clipping. Using a limiter to clip lightly (or heavily if you want) over the voiced sounds in a vocal, EQing out subsonic and supersonic frequencies and applying a light reverb and delay can give interesting results as if the vocals are being spoken by a robot or coming out of a distorted megaphone.
While layering synths or percussive sounds I also like to make an extra layer I’ll clip heavily on, cut out all bass frequencies and mix in slightly lower than the rest of the sounds to give a slightly more distorted effect while maintaining the dynamics. Applying these effects either conservatively or liberally, depending on what you’re going for, can add another layer of depth to your sound while coming across as loud without taking up much headroom at all either. Of course this advice applies to some genres more than others, it’s something I love to utilize. I hope you guys like the pack and thanks for having me!
All vinyl crackle samples included in Vinyl Sample SFX were recorded on a Numark TTUSB turntable connected to Audacity. Records used were innumerous, ranging from 78s from the 1950s to 7″s from the ’70s-80s as well as a few modern 12″ dance records.
No samples have been EQed, limited, compressed, panned or post-processed in any way. All samples are available in 16-bit WAV format. All recording, editing/cropping, compiling and graphic design done by Chia. Recorded from November 11, 2013 to June 22, 2014.