Hello! Today I spent a few hours experimenting with recording light debris, after the heavy rubble recording session I did a few days ago. I know that generally, rockfalls, explosions etc in movies and games do have a lot of that heavier, bulky sounds in them, but they also use a lot of lighter elements to provide more detail to the sound. I decided to experiment with some sand and tiny rock fragments and see if I could capture some interesting light debris sounds.
I began by ‘creating’ some pebbles by bashing up a rock from my garden – I wanted a size larger than sand, and smaller than pebbles. I set up the Sennheiser MKH416 going into the Sound Devices to capture my experiment. I started off with dropping my debris onto just a concrete surface – and found the results were quite boring. I then looked around for some different containers, that I might be able to drop the debris into, and settled on a rectangular cardboard box. I found the cardboard made a cool resonance, and re-created the Hollywood fine debris sound. I manipulated the fine debris in the box, titling it so the elements inside ran down the box’s floor and hit the side.
The result was really what I was after, and I think it’ll work well as a sweetener in some rockfall / destruction type sound design. I then decided to explore a few more variations of the size of the elements in the cardboard, to see if I could create some more interesting sonic textures. I picked up a small selection of smaller pebbles from my garden, and did the same as above with them. The results weren’t quite as convincing – as the sound of the cardboard came through a lot more – but I’m sure they’d still prove useful as a sound design element.
Below is an example of the recordings, with just a touch of RX to clean off some traffic noise. The first half of the clip is the finer, lighter debris, while the second half is the slightly heavier pebble debris.
That’s it for now, thanks for reading. I’ll be back again very soon!