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Asphalt Compactor July 26 2012

Resurfacing Header

I love the unexpected. Especially when it comes to sound effects recording. On July 26, 2012 I was down in my studio working when I felt a strong rumble. Usually a rumble around here is someone blasting rock or a distant thunder boom. This time it was long and steady. I thought… Earthquake. OK, those are rare here so I ran outside to see what was going on. I heard a metal rolling and rumble sound from the yard and saw a compactor heading my way. I realized the road was being resurfaced with hot oil and small crushed stone. I grabbed the MKH-8040ST rig (it’s ready to go most of the time during thunderstorm season) and walked out to the end of my driveway and waited. I knew it would eventually roll on back up the hill and it did.

The resurfacing crew had completed one side of the road so it was just a matter of time before they would hit the other side. The whole crew of equipment and trucks rolled on by as you can see in the second video.

Road Roller 2012

I was able to record four pass bys of the roller… medium, distant and close up. I don’t know what I will do with these sounds but I’m glad I have them for future use. I’ve used heavy machinery sounds before in SCIFI spaceship and vehicle design so I hope you can use them also. When pitched down it sounds cool, so have fun and have at it. Two of the sounds are free at the original 24-bit 96kHz sample rate and in BWAV format. Enjoy! -Frank

This is really cool synchronized road paving crew action during the resurfacing of my street. Recorded with my iPhone and a Sennheiser MKH-8040ST matched stereo set in XY at 90 degrees.

Road Roller 2012

Road Roller 2012

Road Roller 2012

Please Note: The Soundcloud demo is downloadable for free at 24Bit 96kHz.

Note: The standard single user license applies to this free sound effect.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

This work is made and given to you under license. By accepting this work, you agree to the following terms and conditions. Your use of this work is limited and restricted solely for the purpose of synchronizing recordings there from in timed relation with films, training or marketing presentations, radio and television presentations or commercials, and any other multimedia, audiovisual or computer generated displays, programs or presentations. Neither you nor anyone else may make any copies of any of the recordings on this work, except as may be designated to a single stand alone workstation for the purpose of specific audio and/or visual synchronization at your own facility. Transfer, copying or duplication of the work in whole or in part for any other purpose is expressly prohibited unless specifically authorized in writing by The Recordist. *** Transfer of one or more sounds to any format allowing network or remote access by two or more end users requires a multi-user License. Contact The Recordist for details. In the event of a breach of these terms, action may be taken against you directly by the owner of the copyright.

End User License Agreement

All images and sounds copyright 2012 Frank Bry – Creative Sound Design

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The Wall Comes Crashing Down

As a sound recordist, one of the best things about living in a small town in the middle of nowhere besides fresh air, clean water and quiet is sometimes you get to record things that would be very difficult or impossible to record anywhere else. Some of those things are recording a M-60 machine gun in someones back yard or getting the powerful sounds of a building being ripped apart by an excavator. Well, that has been my life experience for the last two days and now I have a slight headache.

While I was driving through town on the way to record the M-60 for a second time yesterday I noticed that a wrecking crew had started tearing down the old Chevy dealership to make way for a new development. They had a few very large excavators with the claw and were having at it with the building. I stopped and strolled around outside the fence they had erected to keep people away and safe. I happened to meet one of the operators and asked him when they were going to be tearing down the other half of the building. He told me that it takes some time because they had to separate out the materials for disposal and they were using the last half of the two story wall as a dust shield facing the main street. He could not give me a time that the final blows were going to occur so I said goodbye and headed for my gun session.

A few weeks ago I noticed all the fencing around the old dealership site and knew at some point it was going to be ripped apart and there were plenty of places I could hang out with my gear and record something, anything. So at the spur of the moment I decided to take a chance this morning and head over there with the MKH-8040ST rig on a long boompole and see if I could record at the site. When I got there I walked around the outside fence and tried to record the general background sounds of the guys working. Since the main highway runs on one side of the site I really did not expect to get anything isolated and useful, maybe just some construction site ambience.

Well, as luck would have it, the guy I talked to yesterday saw me with the gear and stopped his excavator. The next thing I know he yells out to me “Want some glass breaking?” I quickly gave him a thumbs up and he proceeded to ram the claw through a huge window. OK, now I was on to something so I gave him the thumbs up again and walked around to the other side where there was another excavator smashing wood debris and moving metal girders around. There are all these signs on the fence that say “Hard Hat Area”, “Danger, Keep Out” and “Stay Away”. I stood outside the fence for a short time and decided it was time to walk through the opening of fence into the site. I figured the worst thing that could happen is they would tell me to leave.

Once inside the site I could get clean backgrounds with no traffic noises and position myself right in the middle for a good stereo image. Well, luck stuck again and the excavator drove right by me with a massive steel beam and dropped it over in the corner. The operator stopped the machine and came over and sked me if I was collecting air quality samples. I told him I was recording sound effects and he said “OK”. I briefly explained to him what I do and he told me it was OK to hang out here. I asked him if he was going to tear down some of the tall walls and said maybe later because he had to separate things on the ground first. He gets in his machine and drives by me again on his way back to where he was working. I recorded some incredible tread squeaking ans squealing.

The next thing I know he is moving the claw high in the air over the wall and I ran into position and recorded him ripping the wall apart. Now it was happening, the goldmine! The excavator was on the other sie of the wall so the engine noise is minimal and when the wall gets torn apart some of it falls to the ground. I got some great recordings today, maybe once in a lifetime, I don’t know, all I know is I sure had a great time and I have a slight headache from all the loud sounds I’ve been recording lately.

Enjoy!

Frank

Note: The video is from my iPhone 4 and i’m concentrating on holding the mic steady so the video is jerky, Oh well….

PHOTOS

Wall Destroy Photo

Wall Destroy Photo

Wall Destroy Photo

Wall Destroy Photo

Wall Destroy Photo

Motor Grader Recording June 27, 2011

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June 27, 2011 – Sagle, Idaho USA – Every year the county grades the dirt roads here in North Idaho after the spring run-off from the mountains. I heard the grader pass by the house so I went down to the dirt road below my ranch and here is some of what I recorded.

These BIG machines sound really cool. Diesel engines, air hoses, dirt scraping and high speed passes with the transmission whining and whirring. After some digging around on the web I found out that a used grader at 5 years old costs around $400,000. I can only imagine what they cost brand new.

The grader operator had a very “colorful” description of the Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Stereo Pair of microphones inside a Rycote blimp system on the boom pole. I was really happy with the results from the 8040ST rig. There were lots of birds and crickets and the microphones rejected them from the side very well. I did use the low cut filter on the SD 702 at 40hz because or handling rumble so the low end is good but not as heavy as without the low cut.

Equipment used: Sound Devices 702 and a Sennheiser MKH 8040 Matched Stereo Pair of microphones.

Motor Grader Recording 2011-06-27 by therecordist

Here is some video footage from my iPhone. Please excuse the shaky cam as I was mostly focused on getting the take and I was wearing my sunglasses and could not see the screen very well.

Some photos from the session:

Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06
Grader 2011-06