The Danger Bear Trap Recordings

Down my road a few miles located right on the Pend Oreille river is a place called “The Fish Hatchery”. It is run by the State of Idaho Fish and Game Division. I’m fairly certain by what they call it they hatch fish eggs to place into the lakes and rivers around here. I go and record there often during the different seasons. I can get great wave sounds along with flowing water out of pipes, trenches and streams.

Last week as I was driving by I noticed this ugly green tube contraption built onto a trailer. Upon further inspection I found out it was a large bear trap, Or should I say “DANGER BEAR TRAP”. The other words painted on the side were “Keep Away”. Really, I can’t record it? So I checked to see if there was a bear inside and thankfully there was not. I did see the old containers for sardines and other things I have no idea what the were. It did not smell bad so I figured I could get close up and see if it made any interesting sounds.

This week I gathered all my stuff together and headed back to the Fish Hatchery. A man from the Fish and Game division happened to be there and I asked him if it would be OK to set up the mics and record. He said it was no problem and proceeded to show me how it worked. The trap doors are spring loaded so I just had to be careful not to get my hands caught in them.

I have always loved recording stuff made of metal. Especially doors on containers and unique moving metal objects that slam into another metal object. I used the MKH-416 at one end and the CSS-5 at the other in stereo close to the inside of the tube. I wanted to get the close up slam and latches while also getting the cool hollow sound from the CSS-5. I eventually moved the CSS-5 closer to the front and underneath the tube to get some other types of resonance. It worked well but I found out that this thing is Very LOUD. I had trouble keeping the mics from clipping but finally got a good setting on the two SD 702 recorders I brought. I plan on going back and re-recording this trap with my new matched set of Sennheiser 8040’s that I’m still waiting for (back ordered), they will be able to handle the high SPL much better.


Bear Trap 2011

Bear Trap 2011

Bear Trap 2011

Bear Trap 2011

Bear Trap 2011


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9 replies
  1. Tom Todia
    Tom Todia says:

    Thanks for the sounds! I have been searching for bear trap recordings for some time and saw this twitter feed. I actually thought you meant the awful teeth kind of bear trap that would take off a foot. I am working on a creature bite sound and thought that kind of a bear trap would be a great element. These are awesome recordings though, and I love the sound of the tube shaped chamber. It gives the steel sound a great character.

  2. Peter Steinbach
    Peter Steinbach says:

    Thanks Frank! I have a pair of 8040s coming also…I had no idea they weren’t stocked. The should be in this Wednesday. I love my Neumann RSM 191 but am getting bored with MS after 15 years!

  3. Scott Petersen
    Scott Petersen says:

    Downloaded. Thanks Frank! Can’t wait to hear what you do with the new mics. You’re gonna love em!

  4. Peter Steinbach
    Peter Steinbach says:

    Frank, which Rycote do you mean? I’m (going to be) using the baby ball gags.

  5. The Recordist
    The Recordist says:

    Peter: For my 8040 ST set up

    I got a separate mono setup also. I can pull 1 mic for use in mono with a boom pole. Here is All the things I got, I hope it’s complete:

    Rycote Mono Extended Ballgag Suspension Price: $269.00

    XY/MS Stereo Suspension Mount for Remote and Compact Microphone Capsules Price: $270.00

    Rycote Stereo Extended Suspension Price: $275.00 | Mfr # 040215

    Rycote Stereo Extended Ball Gag Windshield – Windshield for Stereo Microphone Configurations and Stereo Suspension System Price: $279.00

    Rycote Windjammer for Stereo Extended Ball Gag Price: $195.00

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