In addition to the requisite use of DAWs (Pro Tools is my default audio whip), here are some of the various items I have used, and continue to use to make fun, rad sounds!
I’ve been using this ever since I received it for Christmas when I was 10 or 11. I know its sounds inside/out and love the interesting tones I can generate with the “Digital Synthesizer” on the right. It even has a very rudimentary waveform editor!
Who needs a theramin?!?!? Slide whistle don’t get their propers because of their association with wacky stupidity, but they’re actually a great way to infuse sound design with organic energy and movement. And they sound great going through a tape delay!
1967 Guild Starfire 5
I love this guitar so damn much. It’s the first guitar I ever played. As a kid my Dad would bring it down from the attic a couple times a year and I’d get to flick the strings below the bridge. It still has the same awesome smell and it NEVER GOES OUT OF TUNE. EVER. Plus it feels and sounds extremely rad.
This was the first “4-Track” I ever owned. Purchased it in high school with money made from delivering pizza. The three speed options, plus the pitch control knob (really a playback control knob) are where I first truly learned to use vari-speeding. I still break this out on occassion. Also, overdriving the inputs results in a very cool, VERY NASTY distortion.
If I could score a functional Nagra, I’d use that too, but in the meantime, the Zoom H6 is my go-to device for field recording. There are higher end devices out there, but they’re not as easy and fast to use. Handling noise on the H6 is TERRIBLE, but overall it’s great. Still, I find myself capturing random sounds on my iphone ALL THE TIME… and I use those sounds too!
Toy 3rd Man Zither
I found this in the attic at 4405 Underwood Road back when I was a teenager, I think? The 3rd Man is one of the best films ever made, but I didn’t know that when I used this “toy” to create spooky loops for my NYU film “The Paper Route”. Please hire me to sound design your next horror film so I can use it again.