The Fort Worden Snow Covered Sample Set

We had a couple of awesome snow storms in March that gave me the opportunity to make some samples. I started experimenting with different techniques for recording sounds on our snow hikes: rustling snow covered ferns and recording the sound of the snow fall off of them; shuffling feet in the snow; throwing snowballs at trees and recording the impact and subsequent snow fall; or breaking icicle’s with bare hands.

One set of these samples was taken when we were staying at the Fort Worden State Park in March. The day we drove down to the park happened to be the start of one of the largest snow storms we experienced this year. Of course, we didn’t bother to check the weather before leaving, and it snowed the entire drive there. We had the park almost entirely to ourselves; it was partially shut down due to the snow storm. This provided a wonderful opportunity for some hiking in the snow and also making some snow-covered field recordings. There are a couple of gun batteries left over from World Wars I and II that are housed in bunkers at the park. The bunkers had large thick metal doors and were completely covered in snow while we were there. It was eerie and a little creepy. I tried a variety of strategies to get sound out of the metal doors and the one that sounded the best was throwing snowballs at them while Kara captured the reverberant impact with the field recorder. The samples from the bunker doors have a very dark and ominous texture to them. The bunkers are made of concrete and are completely empty so the sound of the doors echoed through them.

All of the percussive drum-like sounds on my upcoming electronic album are from different forest locations and were taken during or right after the snow storms we had in March 2019. The samples I took have a kind of crispness to them that I have not achieved at other times of the year. It might have something to do with how the sound carries when the air is freezing and everything is covered in snow. I’m really enjoying working with this set of samples, they have a lot of presence and character.

Here’s a fun beat made from the snow covered sample set. Enjoy.