Sound Devices 702 review. Digital recorder summary.

You may have heard of John Cage's Prepared Piano. Well this is similar, but different. I took an AK47 assault rifle (a real weapon, not airsoft) and made sounds with it, then loaded those sounds into a custom synthesizer and "played" them.




"This is the AK47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of our enemy. It makes a distinctive sound...." So I sampled it - and then it got a whole lot more complicated.

Return of the Prepared AK47 by Michael Oster

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The most famous (or infamous) assault rifle in the world gets a makeover.


Other than a loud BANG what does an AK47 sound like? Well I brought one into the studio to find out. I recorded the sounds of disassembly, striking various parts of the weapon with the cleaning rod, movement of the bolt carrier, dry fires, and more.


Gear used: Sound Devices 702 stereo digital recorder. Matched pair of Earthworks QTC 1 microphones. Edited in Pro Tools, then loaded the resulting samples in a custom synthesizer that I created in Native Instruments Reaktor. What you hear is only from the original AK47 samples.


More on the AK47 used: This weapon is an Arsenal Arms SLR 101s chambered in 7.62 x 39. No live ammunition was used during the recording process and the weapon was safety checked before recording.

* Only the weapon and internal parts of the weapon were used as sound sources:

- bolt action
- cleaning rod striking parts of the receiver and barrel
- dry fire
- recoil spring unit rubbing against weapon
- safety selector
- bolt carrier and bolt against weapon
- varied distances from microphones when recording



More on the Reaktor synth that I created: The synthesizer is based on 6 sample playback modules. Each module contains the following:

- a 16 step sequencer to trigger the sample
- EQ and Delay processing
- variations on where the sample begins playback
- pitch and speed changes
- 84 AK47 sound samples


2 of the modules also feature:

"random" sample selection directed by a 16 step sequencer

Download version is just $2.00

Native Instruments Reaktor synthesizer
Program Time 63:56