How to get the most from your various contact mics
I use them with drum brains to trigger automated sound effects. Giving the performer a interactive performance space. This can be done most effectively using ableton. I also use it to heighten live accidental sound on stage such as door slams footsteps etc.
Interesting experiment using a contact mic and ableton live....
Take a contact mic and attach it to a desired object, glass jar for example. Then plug this via a sound card into and input on ableton.
Next drop in a ping pong delay and a vocoder. Next thing to do is take a sound, piece of music or anything you'd like to be triggered when you hit the glass.
On the vocoder choose audio form as external and choose the input of the sample you have.
Turn the monitoring off the sample and hit the jar, you'll have a mix of organic glass sound bouncing out and your sample mixed in. Lovely trick for sound installations. This can also be used just to trigger your sample if you don't have a drum brain.
Drum brain with contact mic.....
Take your contact mic and plug it into any input on the drum brain except hihat, hihat control or kick!!!!
Now go on to ableton and select your sample.
Click on to the sample then on the midi (top right) tab.
touch the contact mic and they'll be a midi command that will appear written over where the audio is.
Un press midi and now every time you hit, press of the mic picks up a vibration you have you sound effect or whatever you choose.
This technique is extremely effective in scare mazes etc instead of expensive and unreliable sensors
Why just use them on instruments when everything in a performance space can feed into each other?