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In my quest for more source material for Ultimate Destruction SFX Library I took a quick trip to the local metal recycling facility to see if they would allow me to record. They were super nice and loaned me a hard hat and said “stay out of trouble” The only interesting activity they had going on was some scrap aluminum bundling. This giant machine is belt fed with scraps of metal and after they tumble down the chute into the compactor they come out in a fairly large size rectangular hunk of metal.

I was able to position the MKH-8040ST microphone just inside the top of the chute and get the pieces falling in and being mangled. The machine is powered by an large electric motor and hydraulics which produce a very loud whine and hum. Since the mic was just inside the chute, the motor noise was minimal. This machine was extremely loud when the metal was falling in. Since I had to wear a hard hat I could not wear headphones, only earplugs. Good thing I did not monitor the recording with headphones as I’m sure hearing damage would have occurred.

The sounds this machine made were awesome! Most of the time the belt would continuously feed hundreds of pieces of metal into the compactor so it sounded like one long, drawn out metal crash, perfect for sound design. The metal pieces were not that heavy so the resulting sound does not have much low frequency information but when a larger aluminum chunk hit the side of the chute, it was great.

PHOTOS

Metal Recording April 2012

Metal Recording April 2012

Metal Recording April 2012

Here is a preview with audio, photos and a little background on the making of my forthcoming SFX library called MANGLED METAL.

So here I am at the tail end of recording for my next SoundBox HD Pro library and I decided to go all out and dump some metal from the JD tractor. I set up 3 microphones, a MKH-416, Sanken CSS-5 and the stereo MKH-8040ST. I wanted to get some intense crashes with the junk metal I have around the ranch and so I loaded up the tractor bucket for each take and dumped. Loading the junk metal after each take was quite a work out. Because I wanted to hear each take right after I had to jump off the tractor and stop the recording and the video I was capturing at the same time. It was a very hot day for North Idaho and the sun baked me. All in all it was totally worth it and I got some killer stuff at 24Bit-192Khz.

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It happened again, I’m sitting on my porch enjoying a good morning cup of coffee and I hear something of in the distance. Cracking, crunching, hitting and a diesel engine. I must go record this I thought to myself so I ran inside, grabbed my gear and drove up the street a bit to where the house I recorded glass breaking in is being ripped apart by a logging claw. I was there in less than five minutes but the claw had been working since early in the morning so much of it was already torn down. The claw was ripping up the last part of floor and cleaning up.
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