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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!

So, the universe dropped another awesome recording opportunity in my lap and it was very close by, just a three minute drive up the hill. Later that day I visited the construction site and talked with the powder-man and he gave the OK for me to record the blast. He informed me it was scheduled for mid afternoon the next day if all went as planned. It turned out all did not go as planned. Fuel ran short and there was a delay of a few hours which worked perfectly because I had to be away at the time they had planned to blow the rock. I gained a few extra hours and at 5:00 PM on August 14 2013 I was able to record something I had wanted to do for a very long time.

I only had ten minutes to set up all the gear so I had to move fast. I was only able to get the MKH8040-ST and MKH8040-ORTF microphones in place before he yelled “Fire in the hole!” I placed the ORTF rig closer to the blast than the XY rig which was just up the hill ten meters away. I set the input gain on the sync locked Sound Devices 702 recorders about 16dB up at the Normal Gain Range setting. The limiters did not kick in which I was very happy about. I was not sure what I was going to get but after listening back I was very pleased with the sounds. Enjoy! -Frank


All images and sounds copyright 2013 Frank Bry – Creative Sound Design. All Rights Reserved.

1 reply
  1. Anders
    Anders says:

    Awesome! Are you gonna filter out the debris and seperate explosion sounds aswell? Cause I really like both, but its better with seperate sounds to me. 🙂 But I guess its hard to do. 😉

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