Using found-sounds as main instruments: The only waves I heard

Using found-sounds as main instruments: The only waves I heard

I’ve been playing around with this for ages now and would love some external feedback. Not at all a ‘mainstream mix’ and quite long, so all feedback gratefully received.

Very nice :wink: The sound effects seem to work great for their intended purpose.

The only suggestion I’d have (and it’s a minor nuance) is maybe use automation to drop the sound effects a little more just in the places where they start to compete with the vocals. But keep the automation subtle enough to where the listener never consciously thinks ‘hmmm that faded in and out’.


What a beautiful song! I haven’t had a chance to listen on my studio system, but I really enjoyed it on my speakers at work.

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Hi Jonathan,
Thanks heaps for listening and commenting. Good point with the sound effects… I have spent a ridiculous amount of time on this project and although I have re-worked things heaps, have not been back to check the major sound-effects just to check how they are integrating. It always seems funny to me, eq’ing sound effects but I become ridiculously detail conscious with some of these things to the point of stalling myself!

Yay, thanks so much Andrew… I had bewildered myself to bits on this one. Have been only just able to return to music after some major upheavals so it’s great to get your positive words. It can be so challenging, translating concepts into sounds…

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From your description I expected John Cage but this is smooth and tasteful, traditional really unless I pay attention and wonder ‘what are those sounds?’ Many bits to enjoy here, the understated harmony/unison vocals I like especially, unisons with a mind of their own I think.

The ending was too abrupt for me, we could have wandered on for a bit, some bird song perhaps or . . . ?

Should be popular this one.

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This is a pretty song. Very nice!

I like the worldly ambient sounds that you seasoned the song with. It helps paint a picture and tell the story.

The background vocals are loose but suit the song and this style very well.

This is a really enjoyable listen. Great job, Emma!

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Hi Ingo, thanks heaps for your words…
I had really overcooked this one in terms of endless mixing so it’s great to get some detached feedback! I enjoyed your description of the ‘unisons with a mind of their own’. I was thinking back to when I was first recording onto tape and had to always do a tracking vocal and how sometimes they just worked and other times they were SO challenging. I’ve always liked unpredictable harmony and invariably producers stopped me from any unison stuff whereas I love the slipperiness of harmony, the weaving and the contradictions. Hmm, I feel a thread coming on…

And yeah, the ending is possibly a little unworked, thanks for that. It is a weakness of mine, abandoning things and fading away. Ta!!

Hey there Wicked - thanks a bunch!!
It’s funny thinking back how this evolved as it feels like a sort of ‘country song’ to me but felt simply cheesy when I instrumented it with straight drum/bass/keys so I played around and then had an ‘aha’ moment with the road sounds. I just love integrating sounds with songs, it’s becoming something of a compulsion. Hurrah for having the opportunity to keep creating! Thanks so much for your positive words. I really struggle with listening to myself and build up a bunch of angst damnit!

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