Music From A Pepsi Bottle
Written by: John Yonan
Music producer Malek shows how music can be made from anything. He explains that “the human mind recognizes music as sounds that result from regular audible vibrations. These vibrations can be produced from one’s voice, musical instruments, or from many other objects.” As a producer, Malek is often required to create sounds to incorporate into his music. Here he shows that expensive equipment and an elaborate studio are not prerequisites to a great tune.
It all started with a soda bottle, a video camera and an idea. If you asked people if they could imagine making a song from nothing more than a 20 ounce Pepsi bottle, most would think it’s impossible. This is exactly what Malek did.
“I had this idea in my head for a while, so I decided one day to grab the camera and do it” Malek said. He recorded over fifty different sounds using a Blue® brand microphone. These sounds included a kick drum made by hitting the bottle against his desk, and a snare drum by tapping the bottle cap against the opening of the bottle. Malek also blew into the bottle to generate a whistle sound, which was one of the primary melodic elements in the final product. For another important melodic element, Malek tore off the plastic label of the bottle to create a resonating tone. This tone was generated by using a technique most people learn during their childhood…by taking a blade of grass, putting it between your thumbs and making a trumpet-like sound.
Once all of the sounds were recorded, the music producer did some slight tweaking to each sound using equalization, reverb and compression to bring the sounds to life. Then, he was ready to compose the song. He described his approach… “After I organized all of the sounds into Apple’s Logic® ESX24 sampler, I treated the production process like any other song that I’ve created in the past.” He started with the drum samples produced from the bottle and recorded a drum pattern. The melodic elements were then layered and within a short period of time, Malek had created two energized tunes from nothing more than a simple Pepsi bottle.
During the making of the video, Malek accidentally spilled some Pepsi on the floor. His sister was in the room and the microphone was recording. Malek’s sister says “Pepsi on the floor.” Malek decided to incorporate it into the video. It is the only non-Pepsi bottle sound in the recording.