It was an unintentionally busy weekend that just passed, where I got the rare chance for a few hours recording time alone. Normally Saturday and Sunday is spent as family time, however, this weekend there were a few kids things happening and so I grabbed a couple of hours and recorded some sounds I have been planning for a while.
The sound of water hitting a red hot metal surface, or the sound of a red hot metal object being submerged in water is one I have always loved and also loved recording. It’s also pretty easy to set up and record such sounds, with all you really needing is something metal and some fire (oh and water). So while the kids were out, I set up a small area outside to lay down some hot metal objects.
I used a metal mixing bowl and placed it on the oven hob over a small flame for a few minutes. Then I placed this on a couple of bricks outside so as not to burn anything. Simply by using a small cup of water I dripped some water into the bowl and recorded the sound of the water sizzles close up. For this I used my Sony PCM D100 (all my other gear was locked up in the studio).
Next I heated up a large kitchen knife and prepared a vase of water outside. Once the knife was red hot, I took it outside and plunged it into the water and recorded the sizzle.
Lastly, I heated up a metal saucepan and recorded the sound of a very small amount of water pouring in, then swirling it round. These sounds are great for various purposes, such as burning sounds, acid burns, maybe even some weapons through sound design. I’ll leave it up to you but you can download them here.
Some words of caution: If you attempt to record such sounds yourself, make sure you have an area where there are no people or animals that can accidentally walk into the hot objects. Also make sure that if you heat up a knife or other thin metal object, you don’t burn yourself on the handle. I was completely unaware how quickly the heat traveled up the length of the knife and was able to very suddenly burn my hand.
Hungarian Pointer Dog
My neighbor has this breed of dog and I have been meaning to record it for sometime. This weekend he popped round before taking the dog for a walk, so I grabbed my PCM D100 and recorded some barks. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t check the gain level and about 10 minutes of good barking sound effects were wasted because of distortion. It was only a very slight amount, but enough to ruin the work. I only came out with two usable single barks!
Lesson learned and one I should have known better. However I’ll be going round again this week to do it properly!
Large ship scraping on rocks
I was asked to created this sound by a user last week. So today I set about creating it for him. This wasn’t the simplest of jobs, but once I had planned out how to get the sounds I wanted to design this, it was fairly quick.
Firstly I wanted a deep rumbling noise that would act as the basis for the sound. I tried several things, from rolling a ball along the ground to scraping some metal along the concrete on my driveway. Pitching these down revealed they weren’t right, so I had to think again. The successful sound was a lawnmower being rolled with the engine off on the pavement outside my house. Once pitched down, it had just the right amount of low frequencies and also depth I was looking for.
Next needed the sound of metal scraping. For this I took a fork from the kitchen drawer and recorded it being scraped against a piece of corrugated metal. This was again pitched down and layered with the lawnmower. Next I simply exported the audio to a single two track file and experimented with EQ, boosting the lower mid frequencies and reducing the upper frequencies. The requested sound was from an underwater perspective, hence why I was doing this. Check out and download he sound out here.