The Making of North Country Water

Water. We have it in abundance here in North Idaho. When it’s moving, I go record it. The massive deep water lakes, the winding rivers, the spring snow melt run-off and the pipes that make sure it gets to where it’s going were recorded during the different seasons over the last few years. This sound effects collection is a close up and personal tribute to the amazing water sounds that can be heard here.

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Big Water Splashes

Here are some sounds of dumping large amounts of water from my JD tractor onto a concrete surface. When I prepared for the dump everything looked like a go and I would get some nice, big splashes but I soon found out the the tractor was not level so most of the water poured out from one side and not evenly. After some dirt ramp adjustments (With a shovel, Argh!) and some quick checking with my iPhone level App I was ready to go. Here is the thing: ready to go meant driving down a steep hill to my stream and hand filling the tractor bucket with over 200 gallons of water… with a five gallon plastic paint container. Then, slowly make my way back up the hill full of water and trying not to spill it all out. Once in position I let it rip.

At first I did smaller dumps and pours and then eventually just let the whole bucket spill at one time. I also recorded some quick large splats by tilting the tractor bucket loader quickly and at the same time lowered it a bit. This made the water sort of jump out and hit the ground without the extra dripping that was happening during the longer spills. I filled the bucket five times and I was done, really tired and somewhat soaked.

I recorded all the sounds at 24/96 with a MKH-8040ST set to XY at 90 degrees. I had the MKH rig set on a long boom pole and stand so it would not get wet. I used what is called a “Boom Mate” to hold the boom pole on the stand. I have had it a very long time and ir really works well. I do have to add some weights on the stand legs sometimes to keep it from falling over when the boom pole is extended out beyond 6 feet. Some splashes did hit the microphone (unavoidable sometimes because I like to record them close up) but after some careful editing they were gone without any damage to the sound itself.

This session was for a upcoming water library to be released later this summer. All new HD water sounds galor!

Enjoy! -Frank

Balloon Pop On Pond May 6, 2012

This last weekend I had a really stupid idea. I thought if I blow up a ballon, tie it to a pole and submerge it underwater at my secret pond I could the pop it and record the sound of the bubbles surfacing. I had the notion that it just might work. I have recorded many large stone splashes at this pond and when the rock sinks to the bottom of the pond the air bubbles that surface immediately after sound really cool. The thing is, they surface just after the splash and they are very short. I wanted to get some longer take of bubbles surfacing and thought the balloon idea was the ticket to bubble bliss.

Well, I found out that it takes a whole lot of weight to hold a ballon under water. Sometime, try to hold a medium sized balloon under water in a tub… you can barely hold it down and most of the time it pops from the pressure. All was not lost though. I figured while I was there recording I must get something so I pushed down on the balloon in the water with a pole as deep as I could and poked it with another pole that had a sharp nail attached. It popped and the resulting sound was OK but what I found out after listening at lower piches that it did not sound half bad. Maybe a little low end enhancement and some compression and it would make for a decent water explosion sweetener, or a sea serpent with really bad gas.

Heres is the audio demonstration:

Recorded with a Sennheiser MKH-8040ST (yes, it was over the water). Enjoy! -Frank

The video with slow motion playback speeds:

Frame grabs from Flip HD video camera:

Water Recording 2012

Water Recording 2012

Water Recording 2012

Water Recording 2012

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

Crazy Stupid Sound of the Week Dec 1 2011

Ice Covered Pond November 10, 2011

This month I plan on blogging about more of the crazy stupid sounds I’ve gathered during my recording sessions in North Idaho and other places around the universe. This week I want to share a few ice and water sounds that are a little bit different.

Here are some sound effects from a session back in mid November at a small pond in the North Idaho mountains. I used a Sennheiser MKH-8040 and a SD-702 at 24-Bit 96K to record tossing small and medium sized stones onto a very thin layer of ice. Some broke through and splashed and some skipped and bounced across the recently frozen ice layer. We had just had our first deep frost of the season and I was curious if the pond up behind the ranch had started to freeze over. During the winter this pond is not easily accessable by car because of the steep road that leads of the mountain so I figured I better get up there while I still could. Feel free to download the 24-Bit 48K sound file at SoundCloud. Enjoy! -Frank

Ice Covered Pond November 10, 2011


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