October 7, 2014 – Frank Bry

In this article I will reveal my secrets and techniques to recording decent thunder and lightning. Many, many years and sleepless nights have gone into perfecting the art of recording the thunderstorm and I will finally share. But first, I want to share a little history and tell you how I developed these secrets and techniques. It was not so easy at first and here’s the story I’m still alive to tell. Part 1: Live and Learn.

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Thunderstorm III HD Professional SFX library Update: Three years ago I started recording all new thunder and lightning sounds for this new collection. As you might guess you cannot call up the thunder gods and schedule a recording session or two. Strange I know but that’s the way they work. So, I’ve been slowly and patiently waiting, recording, waiting, recording, editing, waiting, recording, etc during this time and have recorded quite a bit of material.

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Whenever I do a major project around the house I try to record it. Whether I have a new sound effects collection in mind or not, I can’t resist setting up some microphones and rolling. I wanted to open up the back yard to get more sunlight and a better view of the sky and this involved cutting down a few very tall trees. These trees were about 80 to 100 feet tall so I had a friend come over with his tractor and chain saw to make the cuts and manage the clean up. Normally I would do this myself but since I wanted have multiple recorders and video cameras I thought it best to focus my attention on just the recording. This was the safest thing to do since the trees were very large and close to the house.

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Sometimes You Just Roll With it…

Being a sound effects recordist has it’s special moments… moments when you just have to let go and qo with the day. It’s been a while since I have experienced this as running my online business, contract sound design work and all the other things that go along with living life as a self employed maniac take up all of my time and having a structured schedule is a priority. Every now and then something comes up where you just have to throw all this out the window and go with the moment.

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You may have heard a rumor through the social network grapevine that I finally took a Barrett 99 50 BMG rifle out into the North Idaho wilderness and recorded the tiny little sound it makes. Well, it’s true. I did, and it was LOUD… and so much fun capture such an amazing sounding gun. I have never recorded such a large rifle before and was very anxious after recording 15 body thumping shots to get back to the studio and listen to the multi-microphone recordings. In this blog post I will explain to the best of my “spell correcting” ability how I set up and what gear I used to capture the incredible echo this gun produced on a secret 400 acre ranch.

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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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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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