Photo: Frank Bry, courtesy his blog The Recordist.

It’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere. For some of us, there’s little need to remind us of snow and ice. But if you fancy adding some frozen sounds to your music, we have both free samples and expert recording tips to help get your cold on.

Frank Bry, a master sound designer, apparently has plenty of access to snow in his home of Idaho, but that hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for the white, fluffy stuff. He’s devoted an entire library to Ultimate Snow with some 300 locations. You can read an interview with him on the superb field recording site Sonic Terrain:

Recording Snow Sounds: An Exclusive Interview with Frank Bry

Now he’s back at it again, turning his attention to capturing the sound of snow falling from giant fir trees, as they shed the weight of the snowfall. He employs patience, ingenuity, and some serious recording gear. The results from the end of November:
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow (also via Sonic Terrain)

Snow Falling Off Trees 2010 by therecordist

If you prefer to use snow and ice for more directly musical purposes, the good folks at sample house Tonehammer have a massive collection of wintry wonders to give away. The 2009 edition is back as a mass-download (WAV/Kontakt/SFZ), and 2010 brings a new sample each day through December 25, advent calendar-style. It’s like a big box of Turkish Delight.

2009 includes drums made from snow sounds, and percussion produced by throwing stones on ice. There are other, non-precipitation entries, too, including a Gnomish Choir (Helium Choir) and toy glockenspiel.

The Bedroom Producers Blog can get you connected with this and many other freebies:

Gnomehammer Samples Free Until December 25th!

And if all of this has made you feel a chill, warm up with a free Windows VST warmth/saturation plug-in from the same site.