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Horse effect for patrol
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Poster Horse effect for patrol
Singlestroker





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No. 1 Posted on May 12, 2014 4:21 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
A brass band in which I am playing in a concert is going to play The Cavalry of The Steppes (L. Knipper-Charrosin). I have to make the sound of horses running, throughout the piece. The written music calls for "woodblock". The piece is in patrol-format. As members of the forum might know, this means that the band starts almost inaudible, gradually builds up to thunderous volume, then gradually quietens again back to almost inaudible. This one starts, and ends, with just the percussion.

I'd like to make it actually sound something like horses running, and I don't think that woodblocks really fit the bill. I wondered if anyone had any experience and/or suggestions.



pwc





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No. 2 Posted on May 12, 2014 10:51 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Sound effects people have used two halves of coconut shells for very good horse effects ..... hold one half in each hand and tap one against the other at the edges or as much together as you can. Experiment.


Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
Singlestroker





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No. 3 Posted on May 13, 2014 6:47 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Hi Pete. Thank you for your reply. I'd discounted coconut shells, but perhaps they are worth trying after all. I'm definitely experimenting, but it is always good to hear of others' experiences.


paul

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No. 4 Posted on May 13, 2014 7:33 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Something that might be worth considering is the composer's original intent. Was he trying to accurately recreate the sound of running horses, or did he intend for wood blocks to be used to imply that effect?

How important to the piece is the sound of horses? Will it be the sound of a single horse, or a small herd? If the latter, how the hell do you do that?

Maybe I'm over-analyzing, but maybe it's not an issue worth spending a lot of time on.



The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely preferable to the presence of those who think they've found it. - Terry Pratchett

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OldFart

Mapex



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No. 5 Posted on May 14, 2014 9:59 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Peter's submission of Coconut shells has promise.

The only other thing I can think of would be if you could find wooden beverage cups. If/when found, use exactly as Peter describes for Coconut shells.

Wood block, of course, would be your fallback instrument.

Cheers -



Mapex Saturn * Paiste
Terry Bozzio Single-Ply Coated
Singlestroker





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No. 6 Posted on May 15, 2014 1:22 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Many thanks for the replies guys.

The problem (at my skill-level, anyway) is starting with a whisper, building up to thunderous levels and coming back down to the whisper. I found that difficult with woodblocks (which are specified in the sheet music) and I didn't really think they sounded very horse-like. I also didn't want the clean, bright horse-on-cobbles effect that is usually heard from coconut shells. No doubt, I could alter the sound if I tried tapping them on various surfaces, but that would probably mean I'd have to cart a board around with me. I wanted a rather lower effect, which I associate with cavalry galloping on grassed land.

We practised last night and I used a set of retracting nylon drum brushes with about an inch and a quarter of bristle sticking out of the plastic-sheathed aluminium shaft. I play the whole piece on the snare drum with snares off. I start with the head damped by my hands and play on the edge of the head with the bristles only. I gradually work across the head as the volume increased to beating the head hard in the centre, with bristles and shaft striking the head, then down again.

I still haven't got the true effect of cavalry galloping on grassed land, but it went down well and I'm comfortable with it.

The whole piece is in 4-4 time and played 1&a2&a3&a4&a.


Singlestroker edited on May 15, 2014 2:19 AM

OldFart

Mapex



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No. 7 Posted on May 17, 2014 1:11 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Singlestroker wrote:
Many thanks for the replies guys.

The problem (at my skill-level, anyway) is starting with a whisper, building up to thunderous levels and coming back down to the whisper. I found that difficult with woodblocks (which are specified in the sheet music) and I didn't really think they sounded very horse-like. I also didn't want the clean, bright horse-on-cobbles effect that is usually heard from coconut shells. No doubt, I could alter the sound if I tried tapping them on various surfaces, but that would probably mean I'd have to cart a board around with me. I wanted a rather lower effect, which I associate with cavalry galloping on grassed land.

We practised last night and I used a set of retracting nylon drum brushes with about an inch and a quarter of bristle sticking out of the plastic-sheathed aluminium shaft. I play the whole piece on the snare drum with snares off. I start with the head damped by my hands and play on the edge of the head with the bristles only. I gradually work across the head as the volume increased to beating the head hard in the centre, with bristles and shaft striking the head, then down again.

I still haven't got the true effect of cavalry galloping on grassed land, but it went down well and I'm comfortable with it.

The whole piece is in 4-4 time and played 1&a2&a3&a4&a.


Trying to recreate an organic sound by means of something composed of metal or plastic, or both, can be challenging; and with that in mind, I wonder if hard-milled mallets played against an attaché case, or small carry-on luggage would suit (no pun intended). Or if you have drum cases - put one of those to use.


OldFart edited on May 17, 2014 1:14 PM

Mapex Saturn * Paiste
Terry Bozzio Single-Ply Coated
Singlestroker





Posts: 608
Joined: Apr 7, 2010
No. 8 Posted on May 17, 2014 3:52 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
OldFart wrote:
Trying to recreate an organic sound by means of something composed of metal or plastic, or both, can be challenging; and with that in mind, I wonder if hard-milled mallets played against an attaché case, or small carry-on luggage would suit (no pun intended). Or if you have drum cases - put one of those to use.


Thanks again, Randy. I like the idea. It's a great example of thinking beyond what's sold as a percussion instrument. Almost anything that can be played loud enough can be such an instrument, which is easily overlooked.



Crusher



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No. 9 Posted on Jun 26, 2014 10:12 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
pwc wrote:
Sound effects people have used two halves of coconut shells for very good horse effects ..... hold one half in each hand and tap one against the other at the edges or as much together as you can. Experiment.

I thought of exactly the same thing. But then I thought of Quest of the Holy Grail and if he needs to replicate a cavalry why not have a few people with coconuts like in the movie?




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