Boeing B-17 bomber June 25 2012

A Boeing B-17 bomber “Nine-o-Nine” stopped in Sandpoint Idaho on June 25, 2012 and I was there to record the amazing sound this plane makes with the Sennheiser MKH-8040ST. It was a beautiful, sunny summer day out on the airfield. I had no idea this plane was going to be in town that day. I only found out as I was recording bullet impacts and I heard this faint rumble-drone sound. I looked up and saw a B-24 bomber heading my way.

I quickly grabbed the microphone I was recording with and pointed it skyward and there she was… low and flying right over me. I figured where there was a B-24, there was a B-17. I gathered my gear and drove the 10 miles to Sandpoint Airport and they were there… the Boeing B-17 and B-24.

I waited around and talked to the pilots and they told me they would be taking off around 5PM to give some passengers a ride. I was going to take a ride with and record the flight but since they were going to be in town for a couple of days I decided to catch the flight the next day. I wanted to get some new exterior sounds in HD first as I have not recorded this airplane since 1996 in Seattle.

I was able to get a position directly in front of the airplane as it was starting up and taxiing away. I had enough time to get over to the far end of the runway away from the crowd and do more recording. I was able to record the take-off, a fly by and the landing. All in all it was a good day and some helicopters were flying around also and I will post those someday.

Recorded with A sennheiser MKH-8040ST in XY at 24/96. Enjoy! -Frank

All images and sounds copyright 2012 Frank Bry – Creative Sound Design, LLC

Shotgun Ammo Slugfest

Shotgun Recording 2012

Recording the bullets for my new SFX library called BULLETS HD PRO has been quite an experience. So far I’ve recorded over a dozen guns from a .22 to a M-60 but nothing had sounded as cool or as strange as recording a Mossberg 590 shooting a special shell called the “Bolo”. A Bolo is two heavy duty slugs molded on to each end of a 5 inch piece of steel wire and when fire expands 240%.

I took a short ride up the back mountain and found a nice long shooting range. I wanted to get the microphones at least 300 feet away from the blast of the gun but had to settle for around 250 feet. I’m sure with more time I could get more range but since this was a test it worked fine. The range was not level and had a curved rock face along one side and the other side was open to the valley below.

I brought along a few Remington 2 3/4 buckshot shells to shoot along with the Bolo and in the audio demo and the difference is very noticeable. I also shot a .22 with 710 FPS ammo and fired off many of those and I will write a in-depth blog post about the slow .22 bullets that I’ve recorded over the last two months.

I set the Sennheiser MKH-8040ST down range 250 feet or so away and on the other side of the protruding rock face which was at the bend in the trail. I really did not know what to expect from this set up but I did know I did NOT want to hit the MKH-8040ST rig with a shotgun slug or a .22 bullet. Ouch!

Shotgun Recording 2012

So here is the drill: Get the gun ready to go, walk all the way down and place the microphones, hit record, walk all the way back to the gun, shoot a test shot for levels, walk all the way back to check the recording, make any adjustments, walk all the way back to the gun, shoot a few more shells, walk all the way back to the microphone and make any additional adjustments, start recording, walk all the way back and shoot some more… you get the idea. Yes, I’ve lost some weight and I am back in shape after a lazy winter.

I angled the XY-90 MKH-8040ST microphones so they were facing slightly away from the muzzle of the gun. This worked great because one microphone picks up more of the shot while the other one picks up more of the pass by. In stereo it sounds great but the channels can be used separately if need be. I did notice that because the microphones were slightly behind the rock face, the muzzle blast was really beefy with very little mountain echo.

This audio demo showcases 3 shots first played back at normal speed, then at 50% speed and then 25% speed. You will notice the pass by more with the slowed down sounds and the twirling of the Bolo is very nice. The Remington buckshot shell surprised me as you can hear the individual pellets zipping by the microphone. Some fall short and some keep a straight line path, interesting. The demo is only modified with a transient enhancer (Oxford) with 6dB of gain added and L2 to bring up the level a bit. No EQ was added which is nice because you can really hear how well the MKH-8040ST holds up under extreme pitching. Even at 25% playback speed there is still lots of information over 12kHz.

I’m still experimenting with many different types of guns and bullets. Next up for my 12 gauge shotgun is some more crazy ammo called “Terminator” and “Double Mule” and many types of standard slugs. Enjoy! -Frank

Shotgun Recording 2012

Shotgun Recording 2012

Shotgun Recording 2012

Date: July 9, 2012. All images and sounds copyright 2012 Frank Bry – Creative Sound Design

Mountain Fireworks July 4th 2012

Mountain-Fireworks-120704-1_640-240

This July 4th I decided not to attend the city fireworks show like I did last year. I wanted to get a different perspective this time and from two locations. The first location was in my front yard about 25 feet from the house. I set up a pair of MKH-8040 microphones in ORTF at 90 degrees. This location is 5 miles from the city fireworks display at an elevation of 2200 feet. The second location was a few hundred yards behind the house up on the mountain at an elevation of 2700 feet. I used a MKH8040ST setup set at XY 90 degrees.

I got the house MKH-8040 microphones recording with a SD-702 recorder and proceeded to drive up the road and setup the MKH-8040ST rig on a dirt road that was open to the fireworks display with no obstructions. I took video of the show but the camera does not record well at night but the view with all the fireworks going off around the lake was breathtaking. There were dozens of fairly large fireworks displays happening everywhere. To my surprise, the city fireworks could barely be heard from this location and down below at the house the show was just OK sounding. I did notice the wind pattern moving in a South direction and maybe that was the reason the fireworks were so faint sounding. The fun began after the main show.

TWO MKH-8040 Microphones in ORTF at 90 degrees

About a half mile down my street someone started to put on a big show. From my view on the mountain at 2700 feet I could see all the boats heading toward this location and most of the other fireworks around the lake stopped while this show went on. This was a private fireworks display that must of cost some big bucks. The show was 25 minutes long and there were some great booms. The recordings you hear on the blog are from the last part of the show. The fireworks may not have been as big or shot up as high as the city show but the sound was more impressive. Enjoy! -Frank

TWO MKH-8040 Microphones in XY at 90 degrees

Suppressed Gun In The Mountains

SFXRecording 2012

The opportunity came up today to trek high in the mountains (3500 feet or more I think) and record a Barrett 98B sniper rifle into a massive canyon. The guys from Wrenco Arms were kind enough to let me tag along with my gear and do some recording. I brought my MKH-8040ST rig and that’s all I could bring as we were at a rock cliff and the long ride up in a 4×4 buggy was rough. Once there I was able to record many 98B shots and the mountain echo was simply amazing. One of the guns they brought along was a Rock River Arms LAR15 with a suppressor and after using up all the 98B ammo they shot off the semi automatic rifle into the forest below. The bullets ricocheted at times and this sound just blew me away. Because the gun is suppressed there is no loud trailing echo so the ricochets really stand out.

I will write a full blog post on the sniper rifle (which sounded awesome up there) soon but wanted to share this sound now. I did get the chance to shoot the rifle and they shot video and I was nervous as hell but really enjoyed it. More to come!

Here is the sound recorded from slightly off the the side and behind the gun pointed out over the canyon. Enjoy! -Frank

SFXRecording 2012

SFXRecording 2012

Tweetie Bird Feeding

Birds 2012

For a month now I have been hearing this faint and frantic bird tweeting when at the south side of the house. I knew there was a birds nest around there somewhere but could not locate it. The chirping was very quiet and high pitched as they were very young chicks in the nest. I decided to wait until they were more mature to try and record them. Now they are louder and deeper in pitch than before and I was able to locate them in a small shrub very close to the outside wall of the house. Every time the mother fed them they went crazy like they were at a concert or something.

My first attempt at recording the little buggers was a failure I think because the microphone was on a stand and the mother bird thought it was a animal or something and would not feed them. I gave up quickly as to not disrupt her feeding pattern. I then thought if I put the microphone in the shrub next to the nest maybe she would not freak out as bad. Turned out I was right. This morning was very quiet and I heard the chicks as I strolled by and they did not stop. Maybe they were close to leaving the nest and were more mature about having a microphone that looked like a cat next to them (brave!)

Birds 2012

I carefully set the Sennheiser MKH-416 in the shrub next to the nest, set up the video camera, began recording and walked away. I made sure I was no where near the nest as the mother kept a close eye on her nest. In the past as soon as I was within a few yards of her castle she would fly around and guard her babies. I waiting inside the house and watched from a window and hoped a car would not pass by when she swooped in to drop the food delivery off. I was lucky, she came back a few times and I was able to get some clean recordings.

These sounds will be in a new sound effects library called: “Bats, Birds and Bugs” coming out soon. Enjoy! -Frank

Birds 2012