Make Some Noise! How Sound Design Artist Ali Lacey Uses Bathtubs and Pickaxes for Art
Sound design is an incredibly imaginative, resourceful, and complex art form. The unique process of creating sounds is something that, like all creative endeavors, can't fully be taught in a class or tutorial, but felt, explored, and discovered. Sound+Shelter produced an intriguing profile of sound design artist Ali Lacey, in which we get to see the peculiar method and tools he uses to produce sound, giving us a closer look at the wider world of sound design. Continue on for the video.
If you tend to pick up your sound effects and ambient tones from libraries and collections online, this video might inspire you to trade in your mouse for a pickaxe. Lacey, who is also a folk/indie music artist based in Wales, takes an interesting approach to sound design. He sees instrumental capabilities in just about everything -- a bathtub, an oven, a shovel, even (what looks like) a window shutter.
Using an assortment of wooden drumsticks, bows, sledgehammers, percussion mallets, and yes, a pickaxe, Lacey creates simple sounds that filmmakers could easily use to create the right ambience in their movies. Case in point, who knew that banging a strung-up metal bathtub with a mallet would produce the perfect heavy, dark, and anxious sound effect?
Though Lacey composes a full musical piece from all of the sounds he records in the video (which obviously takes some incredible skill that not all of us possess at the moment), his inventiveness is truly inspiring and will surely get your creative juices flowing. So, grab your mics, raid your tool shed, and take a trip to the salvage yard and make some sounds of your own!
Do you have experience with a similar type of sound design? What kinds of objects do you think would produce some cool sounds? Do you have any advice or tips for us? Let us know in the comments below.