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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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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Creating an Experience with Sound Effects – Interview with Frank Bry

This is a interview I did with my good friend Paul Virostek from Jetstreaming.org

How can you record great sound effects?

Field recording well requires using gear properly, having a solid recording sensibility, and knowledge of acoustics and signal flow.

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Two years ago I asked myself the question “How can I record the sound of explosions without breaking the bank” After months of research including many hours of watching You Tube videos I asked my local gun shop if they would be able to help me. “Yes we can” was the enthusiastic answer. So, a little over a year ago during the first M-60 machine gun recording session I was able to finally record what is known as “Tannerite”. For those who do not know, Tannerite is a binary exploding target that contains two elements that are sold separated and when mixed together and shot with a high powdered rifle makes quite a loud noise. These sessions came out great even though we got rained out later in the day and had to scramble to get the equipment under cover.

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Slow Motion Bullets Part-2 Article

Image: 29 Grain .22 on the left. 40 grain .22 on the right

Earlier this year I wrote an article about recording the sound of subsonic bullets using 40 caliber ammunition and learned a lot about the physics and technical aspects of these bullets. Since then I have recorded hundreds of subsonic bullets using smaller 22 caliber ammunition. Keep in mind I am no physics or ammunition expert but since talking with many knowledgable people about subsonic ammunition and actually recording them I have learned even more.
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