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Here is the second video from recording the sound of black powder. 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 are some black powder flame bursts… in slow motion (50% playback speed). Recorded with the MKH-8040ST, they have the beef… and the sizzle! BBQ Anyone?

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

Recently I have been experimenting with recording different type of gun powder to see which is the most effective at certain things. Some of those things are flare up speed, loudness, sizzle and volatility. So far I have tried three different types and those include synthetic, natural, and smokeless. These three types make a different sound and visual effect. The synthetic burns really fast and bright, the natural has a nice sizzle and of course makes a lot of smoke and finally the smokeless burns slow with sparks and makes a nice deep whoosh sound.

Fire Recording 2012

I set up a Sennheiser MKH-416 and a Sennheiser MKH-8040 on my outdoor concrete foley studio (which is very safe for recording fire this time of year). All the types of gun powder were not very loud so I experimented with various distances. At the beginning of the session there was a moderate wind so I had the Windjammers on and kept a close eye on any possible melting (they will melt very quickly, not recommend for use with fire recording). I started out with small flare ups so I thought the Windjammers would be OK and they were fine. After a few takes the wind died down so I took them off and it’s a good thing because I started to use more and more gun power so the bursts was getting hotter.

The video below does not have any footage of the synthetic kind. I used most of it while recording for Ultimate Destruction and I plan on recording more of it in the near future.

I combined the smokeless and the natural kind and got some wonderful fast bursts. I tried a curved pattern which was interesting because the whole thing went up at once NOT in a curve. I also tried long smokeless burns which turned out great for whoosh and flamethrower type sweeteners. I set the gun powder off with a short fuse with one end inside the powder. I found out that if I put too much of the fuse into the powder that it will still be sizzling after the powder has burned off and getting a good deep whoosh without a sizzle at the end was difficult.

As always, I must claim that I practiced as much fire safety as possible. I had goggles, gloves with a extinguisher at the ready. It is very wet here this time of year and the vegetation is saturated or just starting to grow. Yard waste burning is allowed without a permit in the my county at this time. Enjoy! -Frank

Fire Recording 2012

Fire Recording 2012

Fire Recording 2012

Fire Recording 2012

Fire Recording 2012

Fire Recording 2012

Fire Recording 2012

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

This is the second installment for a series of blog posts following my recording of a new library I am releasing soon called Ultimate Fire. Last week I posted pictures and video of recording a traditional torch. This week shows me dumping various flammable liquids on a bed of coals that had burned quietly overnight.
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For what I hope is the final session for Ultimate Fire SFX I recorded some old fashioned torches. I had a minor goofball moment when the top of the first torch flew off and hit the side of the garage. All is well and I got some fantastic flame whooshes.
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Since I could not attend the AES show this year I had nothing to do over the weekend. Really? Nah. I decided the weather was just right to get some fire recording done. I will have a more in depth blog post in December but here is what is in the audio clip:
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Recording another wood slash pile fire in my yard in October, 2009

I recorded this slash fire at 24Bit / 96kHz with a Sound Devices 702 High-Resolution Audio Recorder and a Audio-Technica AT-835ST stereo shotgun microphone. As the fire settled down I threw campfire oil and gasoline on the hot coals and recorded the fire burst. Check out the sounds below.
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Living Dangerously!

Back in February 2010 I gathered all my camp stove oil, gasoline and diesel and decided it was time to burn a brush pile that had built up over the last 3 years. It was quite large and somewhat wet underneath so LOTS of fuel was needed. I grabbed my SD-702 / AT-835ST /Sony PCM-D1 and started to burn!
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