Implosion sound effects library Asbjoern Andersen


When it comes to taking independent sound effects to new heights, Collected Transients' Stosh Tuszynski is definitely up there with the very best. To name a few, he's done libraries that innovatively capture the sounds of extreme heat and cold, spinning and rotating objects, and combustion - and now he's done a library dedicated to the sounds of massive implosions.

It captures the sounds of 10 huge buildings and structures imploding, from multiple perspectives, and here's his story behind the making of the impressive Implosions SFX library:


Written by Stosh Tuszynski
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The launch trailer for Collected Transients’ Implosion SFX library

I was scrolling through my Google news feed one night when something piqued my interest. The roof of a stadium was to be imploded in Milwaukee, WI. I’d never seen an implosion and thought it might be a neat thing to see (and of course record!), so I made plans to drive up.

Before the drive, I did a bit of research via news articles and Google Maps. I scouted out a location I thought would work great for recording just outside the “exclusion zone” workers had mapped out.

I arrived about 30 minutes before the implosion was to happen and found a place to park. Before I got out of the car, I sat for a bit on my phone checking for any new stories about the implosion… making sure the implosion was still happening at the time I expected, and that nothing changed with the exclusion zone.

I came across one article that was just posted with a worker being asked about the implosion. I’ll have to paraphrase as I can’t find the article, but the worker essentially said “I just hope folks aren’t expecting some big show. You probably won’t be able to see much and and the explosion will just sound like a small firework.”

I was a little bummed reading that. I didn’t really care if I couldn’t see, but thinking that it would just be a tiny little “bang” rather than a big “BOOM” was a bit disappointing. Nevertheless, I was already there. No reason to turn around. I got out of the car and started walking to my planned recording location.

When I arrived, I was surprised to see a crowd of ~50 people standing exactly where I was planning to record. Without thinking about it too much, I set up my mics and camera and began testing things. The mics we’re sounding fine. The memory card had plenty of room. The camera angle was nice. The batteries were full. It was about 10 minutes before detonation when I hit record.

Until that point, I somehow had been oblivious to one of the toughest aspects of recording implosions: Crowds

I stood there among a now growing crowd of people monitoring my mics. For whatever reason, it took a couple minutes of me listening to the ambience and crowd chatter to put two and two together: When big things happen, people like to cheer… and people cheering probably wouldn’t be the best element to have so close to my mics when the implosion happened. Until that point, I somehow had been oblivious to one of the toughest aspects of recording implosions: Crowds

Crowds begin to gather at the University Hall implosion in Charlottesville, VA

I’ll blame not coming to this realization sooner on having to get up early. I’m definitely not a morning person! But not thinking about this in the earlier planning stages was simply a result of never having recorded an implosion before. I’m (obviously) not the only person who thinks seeing an implosion is cool. Lots of folks read the news, so lots of folks are going to show up.

I was greeted by a wonderful sight when I arrived. Not a single soul to be seen. On top of that, I now had a couple huge buildings between my microphones and the crowd I was in before, so cheering wouldn’t be an issue

With now just ~8 minutes before the implosion, I quickly went back to my familiar resource: Google Maps. I frantically panned around in satellite view, looking for alternate locations to record. I found a couple right away, but quickly surmised the views were too good, so lots of people would be there. I began looking for less likely locations and found one in a nearby alley. The view was just alright, but it would get me ~50 feet closer to the stadium, which never hurts when sound is the main goal. Now, with about 5 minutes to go, I hastily grabbed all my gear, and hobbled over to the alley.


The demo track for the Implosion SFX library

I was greeted by a wonderful sight when I arrived. Not a single soul to be seen. On top of that, I now had a couple huge buildings between my microphones and the crowd I was in before, so cheering wouldn’t be an issue. I quickly sat my gear down, set up my mics, bent down to hit record, and just as I was about to stand up… “BOOM”!

Implosion sound effects

Seconds after the Bradley Center stadium roof in Milwaukee, WI was imploded

A massive concussive blast froze me in place. This was no firework. Not even close! I heard glass shattering and metal falling. A huge cloud of dust and debris formed and began blowing my direction. I kneeled there in a little bit of shock. First for how loud the explosion was, and second for how close I came to missing the implosion. I’m not exaggerating about the timing. The raw recording has about five seconds of ambience before the implosion, and two of those are from pre-record.

A massive concussive blast froze me in place. This was no firework. Not even close! I heard glass shattering and metal falling. A huge cloud of dust and debris formed and began blowing my direction. I kneeled there in a little bit of shock

A huge feeling of joy came over me as I packed up before the dust got too bad. I think I smiled the entire walk back to my car. I got in and realized I should probably check playback as I didn’t even get a chance to look at my meters. I hit play and was happy to see the levels were great. Luckily I had recorded some pretty loud things with the same gear, so I was well prepared in that regard.

After that, I was hooked. The rapid sequence of events gave me quite a rush! It was one of those moments where I instantly realized I wanted to make a sound library. And over the course of about a year, that’s what I did!

Recording implosion sounds

Cooling Towers ready to be imploded in Somerset, MA

For each of the nine other building implosions I attended, I did quite a bit more preparation than I had for the first. I didn’t stop at finding one location to record, I found four or five possibilities for each distance I planned to record at. I showed up at least a day before each implosion and surveyed the potential locations for their positives and negatives.

More about Stosh Tuszynski’s approach to extreme sound effects recording:

We interviewed Stosh Tuszynski for the A Sound Effect podcast about the making of his Thermal Flux sound effects library – hear the interesting story behind that one below – the interview starts around the 4:40 mark.

Other SFX highlights from Collected Transients:

  • Fire Combustion Play Track 685 sounds included $100

    Combustion is a sound effects library exploding with combustible sound design material. It encompasses explosions, chemical reactions, fires, and various other forms of combustion. It provides a vast scope of sound design elements for weapons, whooshes, vehicles, impacts, and so much more.

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  • Materials & Texture rOtation Play Track 182+ sounds included $45

    rOtation is a sound effects library built for sound design centered around things that spin. It contains nearly 200 exceptional sounds and is the first of its kind. If you’re looking for brand new sound design source material, rOtation is the ticket.

    Several months of research and recording has led to this very unique collection. It’s props range from ball bearings to trash cans; magnets to fireworks; water to nuts – all in the realm of rotation.

    It contains sounds of things that have never been included in a sound effects library before: The sound of a Euler’s Disk speeding up exponentially fast – the whir and chatter of Hurricane balls spinning to 5000+ RPM – Nuts and quarters zipping and buzzing by in a rumbling balloon – The power of neodymium magnets bending the tones of vibrating glass.

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  • Fire Thermal Flux Play Track 213 sounds included $60

    Thermal Flux is a sound effects library formed by extreme temperature reactions. With materials ranging from -119°F to 1900°F all captured at 192kHz/24bit, it’s a fiery (and icy) collection of unique sound design source material.

    In each recording, props with vast temperature differentials interact with each other… Red hot ball bearings vaporize liquids, melt ice, and destroy various household products. Extremely cold metal instantly freezes water. Molten metals and glass pour into water, groaning, chirping, and crackling, as they solidify. Dry ice causes coins to viciously chatter. Water beads bounce, whine, and buzz on blazing hot pans. White hot sand roars and erupts upon contact with water. All of this and more was recorded with mics capturing quality frequency information up to ~65kHz. This ultrasonic content allows for extreme pitch shifting without compromising fidelity.

    Add to cart

Even with all that, it never failed that on the day of each implosion I was thrown massive curve balls. Unannounced streets would be closed so I couldn’t park near by. Locations would be closed off, or I would get kicked out at the last minute and have to scramble. Random crowds would show up to my prime spots.

Implosion sound effects recording

What was left of the Pasadena State Bank building after it was imploded in Pasadena, TX

However, with each implosion… with each curve ball… I got more bold. I hid my mics in bushes, cars, alleys, and rooftops. I left thousands of dollars of gear sitting in public locations with no visibility for hours at a time. Multiple times, I talked security/police into letting me leave my gear inside the exclusion zone. One time close enough that the shock wave destroyed a microphone! I waded across a tiny river at 3am in 40°F temps to hide mics in a tall grass field. All of this, just to avoid crowds and get the best recordings possible.

It also never failed, that when each implosion was finished, I was overcome with that same feeling of joy I had after almost completely screwing up the first one 😉

A big thanks to Stosh Tuszynski for the story behind his new Implosion SFX library! Be sure to check out the full release below:

Implosion
 
  • Destruction & Impact Implosion Play Track 42 sounds included $100

    Implosion is a sound effects collection of buildings being destroyed with explosives. It features 10 unique building implosions recorded across the country.

    Each implosion was recorded with 4 to 14 channels of audio. To offer multiple perspectives, mics were placed as close as 150ft (~50m) and as far away as 2000ft (~600m) from the various explosive demolitions.

    Add to cart
Here's Collected Transients' own description of the library: Implosion is a sound effects collection of buildings being destroyed with explosives. It features 10 unique building implosions recorded across the country.

Each implosion was recorded with 4 to 14 channels of audio. To offer multiple perspectives, mics were placed as close as 150ft (~50m) and as far away as 2000ft (~600m) from the various explosive demolitions.

   

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    Crowds: Crowd rushes and static battle cries in a natural exterior location make these effects perfect for building the bed of a huge Medieval warzone.

    Female Voices: 4 individual female actors perform multiple vocalisations including screams, grunts and efforts.

    Sword & Shield Hits: A variety of sword and shield hits performed by weapons and combat experts.

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  • Cars Vehicles Pass-by Play Track 90 sounds included, 23 mins total $15

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    Recorded simultaneously with an ORTF and a AB microphone stereo pairs.

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    Sound Devices 788T
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  • Destruction & Impact Rocks & Debris Play Track 160 sounds included $40 $30

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    I recorded all these sounds with my brothers during a trip home to Ireland.
    Close to our home (out in the middle of nowhere), there is a little quarry with a lot of sand, dust, stones, rocks and some grass. There was also a broken plough there that gave some nice stone on metal impact sounds.

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    2 Line Audio CM3s
    Røde NTG3
    Tascam DR100

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  • Motorcycles BSA M20 1940 Motorcycle Play Track 322 sounds included $249

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  • Destruction & Impact Sci-Fi Guns Sounds Play Track 146 sounds included $20 $14.99

    Sci-fi Guns Sounds

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    – Electric Revolver
    – Cannon Gun
    – Blaster Rifle
    – Low Gun
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    Soundcloud Preview
    Tracklist PDF

    More about the pack:

    – Apart from shot sounds, there are reloading & handling sounds

    – There’s also the ”Stab” sound and the ”Hit Marker” sound.

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    – These SFX are suitable for Sci-Fi games but also for warfare, modern warfare ones.

    – Intuitive file naming

    – All you’ll ever need regarding Sci-Fi Gun Sounds

    [Format]
    All files are in:

    WAV – Stereo  44.1 Khz, 16bit
    OGG – Stereo  44.1 Khz, 16bit

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    For custom music, sound design, sound engineering or any other game audio services, please send a mail to: audioalchemiststore@gmail.com

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