Key Secrets: Grime Pays

Keyboard insider tips from David Battino
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One of my strangest audio gigs was running the boom mic for the horror film 976-EVIL 2. Standing six feet from the action, I learned creative tricks that are easy to extend to music. For example, before the scene shown here, the set decorators smeared dirt around the light switch. That subtle grunge added realism that made the horror across the room even more visceral. Similarly, adding samples of “room tone” to your electronic recordings (or miking speakers) can add an evocative ambience far beyond digital reverb. For another movie project, I set my keyboard to trigger a layer of noises and squeaks in a narrow Velocity range, adding messy character to the melody I played.