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The Recordist Article 2013

Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013
By DAVID GUNTER Feature correspondent for The Daily Bee

SANDPOINT – Frank Bry hears things. It’s his job, actually. Where most of us might detect a twig breaking underfoot — if we notice it at all – Bry’s ears snap to attention, fully alert to the myriad ways a twig can be broken and how it might sound from dozens of different angles.

For Bry, the crack of ice on a frozen lake is only an overture to the symphony that follows. It might be a deep-bellied echo from the depths below, or a sparkling chorus of bubbles rising up to answer the initial fracture, but he hears every note, registers every subtle aspect of the soundscape.

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Rock Smash Debris

CRAZY SOUND OF THE MONTH for November 2013: Rock smashes. Recorded with a Sennheiser MKH-8040ST at 24-Bit 96K. These rocks weathered by millions of years of wind, rain and snow break apart completely when tossed onto a solid concrete surface. During the recording sessions for the Ultimate Rockslide collections I gathered these “soft” granite chunks and stored them in my garage. My wife was always asking about them and why I was keeping them. Well, now she knows I smashed them to bits.

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Recording The 6311 Locomotive

In August 2013 I had the opportunity to record a rare diesel powered train from the 1950’s. This was a long time coming but it finally happened thanks to a few friends and the really cool guys who were tasked with making the machine operational. Here is the back story. In 2011 during the recording of North Country Trains sound effects library I stumbled upon the old locomotive parked along the switching tracks in Ponderay Idaho. It look as though it was being refurbished but I was not sure. A few days later I asked around town and a friend of mine actually knew about the train and who was working on it. He told me he would look into it. A few weeks later he called and told me it was going to start up very soon and would I be available to record on short notice. Of course I said “Oh yeah, I can be ready at a moments notice!”

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Rock Blasting Explosion

Recording the sound a large rock explosion on a mountain overlooking Lake Pend Oreille in North Idaho on August 14, 2013.

I was sitting on my deck enjoying a peaceful summer afternoon the other and then it started… It sounded like a machine gun shooting far off in the distance but it was actually a blasting and drilling machine on the mountain directly behind the house. The location is approximately 200 meters away. I have recorded many sounds up there before and was excited to hear some noise from there again, especially this type of noise because I knew what was going to happen after the drilling stopped… Blasting!

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Explosions The Alloy-oZone Way

I have been trying out two iZotope processors for a few days now and discovered they can really enhance raw sound effects recordings in an exciting way (for me anyway). I’m tired of the same old stuff from the mainstream plug-in companies and want to spice up my life a bit. For this blog post I ran some explosion sound effects I recorded in 2012 in various mountain ranges in North Idaho. I was messing around with Alloy 2 and Ozone 5 in the Soundminer Pro VST Rack and came up with two explosion sounds that really got my creative juices flowing.
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