Heavy Metal! was recorded using a large metal car door and several stereo pairs of microphones. The amount of variation is almost insane (hence the ! in Heavy Metal!). I started off with banging the hell out of the door with a 4lb Collins axe, rubber mallet, hatchet (blade and flat side), machete, and even heavy-gauge chains. Next I turned to scraping the old door until my ears were on fire. It’s like 40 minutes of nails on chalkboard, except that it is metal bits scraping across a heavy metal door. There are grinding sounds, scratching sounds, harsh squeaking sounds – with varying lengths and intensities. I did my best to group similar sounds and lengths together so the user can grab one track and quickly audition several variations. Most of the scraping sounds were made with a jagged piece of old dryer tube.
Then I moved on to sawing sounds. I used a hacksaw and a double-sided machete with one side being a slicing blade, and the other being saw teeth. And finally I took some heavy-gauge chains and went to town again. This time I scraped and slid the chains across the door, and ratcheted the chains across various edges of the door.
One great thing about this library was the door itself. It created some pretty amazing resonances, and reverberations. And sometimes I hit the door so hard some of the old rust would come crumbling off of it. This had to be one of the most rewarding recording sessions since Glass Smash HD!
Heavy Metal! was recorded using two different stereo microphone setups, simultaneously. It started as a side-by-side shoot-out, and led to the great idea of releasing both sets of recordings. The two sets of microphones were the RØDE NT4, and a matched pair of Schoeps CMC6U MK4gs. The NT4 is nice because it has two capsules in XY, attached to one body. The MK4g are fantastic microphones that I arranged into an XY using a small t-bar. Both sets were recorded to a Tascam HS-P82 8-track field recorder.
The files in this collection labeled with “NT4” were recorded with the RØDE NT4, and files labeled with “MK4” were recorded with the Schoeps CMC6U MK4gs. Example:
Chain Movement_On Metal_Random_MK4_Fienup_001.wav
Chain Movement_On Metal_Random_NT4_Fienup_001.wav
These two recordings were done at the same time with two different stereo pairs, though edited independently. Each pair of microphones captured noticeably different frequency response due to differing internal hardware, as well as differing arrangement to the source. This was an eye-opening experience, and the differing results are often quite dramatic.
Most of the files in the collection were recorded with both sets. Occasionally both sets were too bulky, and blocked too much of the door, so there are some sounds recorded with one or the other, in which case they are not labeled by microphone.