I want to sample a pair of those noisy magnet things - you know the hematite ovoids that are marketed under names such as 'rattlesnake eggs.' ( http://www.shop.edirectory.co.uk/pre...ns/pid/2086788 ) You throw a pair of them in the air, and they 'find' each other, making a fantastic rattling sound as they bounce off of each other and are re-attracted.
I'm not sure how to record them though. It's the kind of sound that has a lot of subtlelties, and could do with close micing - but the magnets are extremely strong, and I'm not sure they should be too close to any type of mic. Also the sound is produced as the things ascend and then descend again, and I can't think of a way to avoid the recording being dreadfully coloured as they pass the microphone and go off-axis - it's a bit like trying to capture a bullroarer.
I thought of trying to get the magnets to do their thing on a surface, rather than in the air, and it kind of works, but the friction they experience with the surface causes them to come to rest much, much quicker, with much less of a buzz; also it's impossible to stop them bouncing up and down a little, which creates extra knocking sounds that I don't want. I also thought of trying to tie a thread around them so that I could dangle them in front of the mic, but I just can't get a thread to stay round them, given their shape.
Any thoughts from more experienced recorders would be welcome.