Barriers 1: Grenzmauer '75 - I scraped a contact microphone over the Berlin Wall

After the quiet Compression album, I’m now publishing some noise (don’t worry there’ll be more ambient/drone in the future).

A year ago I had a chat with someone at the Berlin Wall. The person (Mexican-American) argued that the difference between the Berlin Wall and the Trump Wall is that the latter is good because it keeps people out (in contrary to keeping people in). I didn’t understand the reasoning, but it inspired me to start this project… and I still don’t like walls.

Just like “Compression” is a first in the Info series, “Grenzmauer ’75” is the first in the Barriers series. Barriers is a project on various political barriers, physical and virtual, and of course I had to start with the Berlin Wall. The proceeds of this project will be donated to charities dealing with migration, first off being the amazing Sea-Watch.

Process
I scraped a contact microphone over both sides of the wall. In post I hard panned the audio and applied some aggressive filtering, because, hey, that’s what walls do (and to add some movement and highlight some of the amazing timbres.)

Tech
Recorded with a simple piezo contact microphone, a BigAmp Piezo preamp and a Sound Devices Mixpre recorder in 32 bit, so I could capture the extreme dynamic range of the contact mic. I used Sox and Flucoma command line tools to remove silences, extract layers and sort the audio. Mastering was done by @Gregg (Perhaps you want to share some insights, because you did such an amazing job?)

It is free, pay what you want, and all proceeds will go to Sea-Watch.

I’ve also 3d printed some stone sculptures, if physical artworks are your thing :wink:

Hope you enjoy it!

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Amazing piece of music. Not sure I have any insights to share, just tried to make it sound good, same as always. :wink: Was memorable for being the first 192kHz recording I have ever received for mastering (my poor 10 year old PC…) Good luck with the release. Have shared it on my FB mastering page, and am just about to post it on my Insta too.

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Hello @lijnenspel

Nice piece - I like the lowfi source with the hifi gear, very much in line with the subversive agenda… and sounds fantastic! Good to know that the FluCoMa tools are used in yet another way I never though they would!

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Thanks for the compliments @tremblap! I see you’re involved with FluCoMa? Thanks for creating such a cool toolbox! I’m planning to get deeper into it for an upcoming project on organised sound and will drop by the FluCoMa forum soon with some questions.

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