Welcome to chapter 4 of the greatest thunder & lightning sound show on earth. Thunderstorm 4. Included in this collection are some of the finest thunder sound effects I’ve ever recorded. During the last five years I set up my gear to record so many times I lost count. Not really knowing what these crazy North Idaho storms will produce in terms of aural goodness can be exciting and frustrating. When a good storm arrives, which usually means a system that brings lots of wind and rain, I cross my fingers that I can get at least something decent recorded. Five times out of ten it means I recorded nothing worth keeping.
These storms can sneak up so fast that sometimes I have no time to set up the full compliment of gear. I have just enough time to set a PCM D100 out on the front step and roll. But every so often I get “the one” or “two” claps, strikes, rumbles, whatever you want to call them. When a storm skirts the edge of my area is when I get the best dry lighting. Cloud to cloud lightning is also amazing and the sound is produced high in the clouds for perfect gentle claps and rumbles with little to no rain. And of course the heavy downpours… They can flood the driveway and make some fantastic splashing rain and thunder sounds.
Multiple microphone setups were used during some of the storms (when I had time to set them up). I use a few weather/lightning Apps to track incoming storms and when I have time I can get the most coverage. I have a few locations around the yard that allow me to place microphones or hand held recorders such as the PCM D100 facing South, North, East, West. With these sets I was able to cover 3 directions at once. I had the ST-450 MK2 Ambisonic out there a few times but because of the short cable length and not so great storms I only used a bit of the recordings.
This collection contains the best thunder North Idaho has to offer during a five year period. Includes a few of “the one”. Does not include the few I missed… Enjoy! -Frank
Sound Devices 688 | Sound Devices 744T/Mix Pre-D | Sound Devices 702 | Sennheiser MKH-8040ST XY/ORTF | Schoeps MS Pair MK4-MK8 | Sony PCM-D100 | Soundfield ST-450 mkII
2023 Update: UCS Categories added, metadata refined.
|2.94GB (Library: 3.64GB)
|Stereo • Ambisonic BWAV – 24bit, 96kHz | Mac-Windows
|PDF Sound List
|XLS Sound List
All Images and Sounds Copyright 2019 Frank Bry – Creative Sound Design, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
A couple of true stories about my life with thunderstorms.
Back in 1984-85 or so myself and the family were watching a Boston Celtics game on the big screen TV and suddenly out of nowhere came this crazy close lightning strike right outside the house around 50 feet away or so. Split a huge tree right in half. It was one of the most frightening sounds I ever heard, shook the 180 year old New England house and rattled the windows. I was a musician at the time so I never thought of recording sounds like this. I’ll never forget that day.
Fast forward to summer of 1999. I had just purchased my cabin in the woods and was sitting out on the front lawn having a cup of coffee on a beautiful North Idaho afternoon. Within minutes the sky turned dark but there was still sunshine beaming through the clouds, no worries right? Wrong. Crack! Boom! 300 yards or so away a dry lightning strike hit the ground and I jumped out of my chair and ran for cover. It was so loud I tossed my coffee and covered my ears as I ran inside just in case another strike happened. It was by far the LOUDEST sound I ever experienced, my ears rang for days. From then on I started recording thunderstorms as much as I could. I even wired up a pair of XLR jacks on the outside wall of my studio so I could quickly plug in my microphone that was out under a few trees. I had 75 feet of cable to the microphone and sat comfortable inside my studio with a FR-2 and headphones and recorded the storms.
Hope you enjoyed this! -Frank