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Ring in New Year with Granulated Rattle (MP3)

If bells are are a common and traditional means of ringing in a new year, then what better bell to symbolize the nascent promise of a brand new decade than the rudimentary bell that is a child’s rattle? That was the sound source for one of Marcus Fischer‘s little experiments as 2009 was coming to a close. Titled “Rattle + Hum,” it takes a silver rattle, a holiday gift, and runs it through some basic processes (MP3). As he summed it up in brief in a post at his website,,

“short rattle>contact mic>granular delay recording”

Because the track is barely a minute and a half in length, I strung it together four times in this stream below — even with the track’s fade-in and a fade-out, it makes for fine extended ringing.

The single silver rattle has its own bell-like tones (less hard metal, more soft undulations) exaggerated with echo and repetition. The granular synthesis mentioned in Fischer’s note means that small slivers of sound, “vertical” instances as brief as a millisecond, are used as raw material for the composition. Fischer likely utilized wide swaths of sound in his granulated effort, because it’s fully recognizable as a bell-like tone, even with all the processing.

[audio:,,,|titles=”Rattle + Hum”,”Rattle + Hum”,”Rattle + Hum”,”Rattle + Hum”|artists=Marcus Fischer,Marcus Fischer,Marcus Fischer,Marcus Fischer]

Original post at, from which the above photo is borrowed.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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