“The Recordist”, an Independent SFX Company by Frank Bry [Exclusive Q&A]
Today Miguel Isaza from Designing Sound posted an interview I did with him this week. Enjoy!
DS: And what about the concrete library? You recorded a lot of different concrete elements (some of them appear really dangerous to record)… How did you go about this?
FB: Making the Ultimate Concrete SFX library was quite an experience… lots of heavy lifting and a sore back. I did use my tractor for a lot of the heavy stuff but most of it was done by hand. It was really fun destroying concrete. It makes such a great noise when hit and smashed, solid but with unique tones. I spent about a year recording all of it in my yard. When I bought the property it came pre-installed with tons of concrete blocks, bricks, and slabs. One day I was digging around with the tractor in an embankment to clear a flat, dirt covered area to record sounds and I uncovered the floor of an old barn that had burned down. It was buried under four feet of dirt in the hillside. I said to myself, “Man this is cool! My own outdoor foley studio to break and smash things.” Most of the concrete was laid to rest on this floor. I also used this floor for my upcoming Ultimate Rockslide library.
Recording the concrete was a little dangerous at times. I wasn’t really worried though; it’s not like I’m on a rock cliff at 3000 feet pushing stones over (which I did for the Ultimate Rockslide library). I was mostly concerned for my hands. I did not want to smash them because I kind of need them for my work. I do most of my recording alone, and at times it’s tough because I’m concerned with the technical aspect of getting a good recording and with getting a great performance. It can be daunting and dangerous. I always remember: gear can be replaced, body parts cannot.
DS: Have you had any kind of accident during those recordings? Perhaps an accident that became a great and unique recording?
FB: Yes. One time as I was lifting heavy concrete slabs in the air with the tractor, the engine stalled. I had hearing protection on, and as I was taking off the hearing protection, my arm hit the lever that lowers the metal bucket. The bucket slammed into the ground with the engine off… CLANK! What a sound! I will do more of that in the future; it was awesome.
Also, one time when I was recording ice on the drainage pond I slipped and fell. The ice collapsed under me and with my weight on the ice it made a great ice KABOOM! It’s in the library. I won’t say which recording, but you can hear faint profanity.