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Recording The Barrett 99 50 BMG Rifle

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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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 and 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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The Making of North Country Water

Water. We have it in abundance here in North Idaho. When it’s moving, I go record it. The massive deep water lakes, the winding rivers, the spring snow melt run-off and the pipes that make sure it gets to where it’s going were recorded during the different seasons over the last few years. This sound effects collection is a close up and personal tribute to the amazing water sounds that can be heard here.

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The Sound of Black Powder

Some video footage from recording the sound of black powder and regular gun powder for Explosives HD Pro SFX Library earlier this year. Black powder and gun powder are basically the same thing but gun powder comes in the smokeless type also. Enjoy! -Frank

Here is some video footage from recording the sound of black powder for Explosives HD Pro SFX Library. The audio track in this video is from a MKH-8040ST. Other microphones I used during the sessions were a MKH-416 and a Sanken CSS-5. Recorded over a 2 week period, I was experimenting with a few different types of black powder to see what sounds it would make separately and combined. As you can hear in this demonstration the smokeless kind produces a nice fat flame rumble while the regular kind makes a bright flash and sizzle.
Here is some video from recording the sound of gun powder for Explosives HD Pro SFX Library. The sound in the video is from a dual mono microphone setup using a MKH8040 and a MKH416. Each microphone has its own distinct sound and when blended, work really well together. The Rycote windjammers look like they are being cooked but they appear closer that than actually were. It was windy when I started and then it calmed a bit so I removed them.

These sessions went very well. Making Ultimate Fire SFX helped in knowing when to back off with the microphones when it got to hot. I did end up getting a new Rycote blimp for my MKH8040ST just in case it melted a bit. Just a precaution, I did not notice any melting or difference in sound, but I did not want to risk using it anymore. Rycote makes their gear to fairly exacting specs with the cloth and plastics used. Better safe than sorry when out recording stuff. Fire is crazy sometimes and the “Fire Gods” were looking out for me :)

All images and sound effects copyright 2012 Frank Bry – Creative Sound Design
Music by Mick Gordon