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 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
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Tweaking Sounds That Go KaBoom

Morph Pic

Here are some of the cannon shots I recorded last week with just a little plug-in love added. Some “White Lightning” explosions at the end also with some Pro-Tools plug-in love. The source I used was from the Sennheiser MKH-8040ST in XY at 90 only. Enjoy! -Frank

Plug in Screen grab

Explosion Recording 2012

Explosion Recording 2012

Explosion Recording 2012

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


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.

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

Explosion Recording October 2011

I’ve always wanted to record explosions and while I was recording a few guns recently I had my chance. Explosions are not something you can record everyday. I takes some planning, a good location that allows this kind of loud stuff and a very good shot. Since I have the gear all I needed was the above. It all came together after months of planning with the local gun shop. After recording a bunch of guns it was time to set off the Tannerite. If you don’t know about Tannerite, it is two (legal) substances that when mixed together and hit with just the right projectile at just the right velocity, it goes Boom!

We brought along 25 half pound canisters and planned how many we were going to tape together and set off. We started out with a few singles and doubles and then moved on to the big ones up to five together. They were set on wood tree stumps so they would not kick up too much dirt and debris. I recorded with all the microphones I had on the gun shoot placed at various locations in the gravel pit. I used a Sanken CSS-5, AT 835ST, MKH-416, PCM-D50 (96k), MKH-8040 and my MKH-8040ST microphone set at 24-bit 192kHz and 96kHz. I aimed the microphones in many directions and set them at different distances. I would guess the mics were anywhere from 30 meters to 50 meters away from the blasts.

Explosion 10-2011 Photo

I did not know what to expect. I knew they were going to be loud but since we had just shot off some REALLY loud rifles my perpective was totally messed up. Needless to say they were LOUD. Your body feels the concussion but if your wearing hearing protection (like I was) they sound muffled. After we set off the first few smaller blasts it started to rain. I quickly grabbed all the gear scattered around the gravel pit and set it under the hatch of my car. It seemed like the rain was not going to stop so we called it a day and I torn down the gear. Then as quick as it came in it stopped. Since we were running out of time I quickly got the MKH-8040ST and Sanken CSS-5 set up and we recorded the remaining explosions.

I thought I was going to regret not setting up all the gear after the rain delay but after I returned to the studio and listened to all the takes I found the best recordings were the MKH-8040ST. These microphones at 192k sound amazing. They record the full spectrum of the blast and when pitched down live up to the hype.

The sounds you hear in the video are edited and processed with a small amount of H-COMP compression and REN-Bass along with some fairly agressive L2 limiting. All in all I was happy with the sounds recorded that day. The location has a smooth decay and the gravel banks help the initial concussion. Over the next few months I will be recording lots more explosions in many different locations. Keep your eye out for ULTIMATE EXPLOSION SFX Library in the near future.


TV Screen Goes Bada Boom

A few days ago I hit my old Sony 27 inch tube television set with a sledgehammer. (yeah, it was fun!) It had been sitting around for years after being retired for a new widescreen LCD TV. I bought this TV back in 1995 after many nights watching a battered up 14 inch TV. OK, history over…. Now the fun stuff. I moved the really heavy TV down to my foley recording area outside and on the way it got banged up and fell apart. Good thing because the tube part of the TV was not damaged and made for an easy target with the sledgehammer.

I set up a Sanken CSS-5 and a Sony PCM-D1 directly in front of the tube within 3 feet or so. I grabbed the sledgehammer, wound up and Boom! I was wearing hearing protection and it was the right choice because the tube breaking was really loud! It sounded like an glass explosion and I felt it all through my body. When I listened back to the recording I noticed the CSS-5 and SD 702 had clipped quite a bit even though I had the internal pad on and the volume set where I thought I would be safe. I was worried because in the headphones it sounded like crap and I was thankful I had the PCM-D1 as a back up. There were no re-takes for this session. After a little mastering all was not lost.

The audio clip below has the (1) PCM-D1 (2) CSS-5 (3) Mix (4) Mix at half speed through Decapitator and Ren-Bass. Enjoy! -Frank

TV Screen Goes Bada Boom by therecordist


TV Screen



TV Screen