Heavy Metal

Had a great session last night, recording heavy metal impacts for the next HISSandaROAR library!



It was so loud that wearing ear muffs was essential, but every so often I would start to wonder if it was actually loud & would take off the muffs to check… HELL YES!!!


I was recording to six tracks: MKH8040x2, MKH8050, AKG D112, BB Contact Mics x2 – using the D112 was a bit of an experiment (I usually use it on kick drum or bass guitar amp) but I am pursuing big heavy subby metal impacts so thought it was worth trying & after a quick listen today I like the results.


This ‘prop’ was really fun to mess with – those metal gates added great complex clatter & rattle, making the sustain more interesting as a variation & I was imagining them pitched down an octave or two…


The last two props of the session were large scale but rusty old rubbish skip bins, the second of which had these two 44 gallon drums in them. Once I had recorded enough door slams & exterior mallet hits I climbed in and burned all my remaining energy picking up those drums & SLAMMING them into the sides of the bin, and into each other! Seriously, the loudest sounds I recorded in a long time & OMG my arms and back are so tired today!


I started setting up about 3pm and it was one of those sessions that when I finished I had no idea what the time was, I had been so completely absorbed in the process… But one funny story: that yard usually has a guard dog in it, the kind that jumps up & barks like crazy if you walk near the fence. The guys who gave me access to the yard don’t own the dog, so them & I had been & had a chat to the dog owner & I gave him some beers to keep the dog inside while I was recording… Anyway about 2 hours later I had just finished moving my mics from one prop to another & I felt something brush against my leg, and I looked down to see that fckng dog looking back at me! I decided now wasn’t the time to freak out & stayed calm but slowly reached for the big wooden mallet that I was using just in case. Meanwhile desperately trying to remember the details of that article about the Dog Whisperer and whether I should be avoiding making eye contact and acting submissively or not… I did remember that dogs sense fear so I was trying to be fairly casual about the situation and the dog had been totally submissive with its owner, and happily let us pat it then, but its not my dog so I wasn’t keen to take any risks… So I made no sudden movements & slowly walked over to the metal gates, constantly monitoring where the dog was & what it was doing, with the mallet ready to administer some serious concussion if it did try to assert its authority… Got outside, walked round to the dog owners building, banged on the door, asking “WTF??”
“Sorry bro, I thought you’d finished & gone home”

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