The purpose of these recording sessions is to obtain unique and interesting industrial sounds for the purpose of putting them into our VST's and sample packs. As well as using the sounds we record for our sound design library intended to be placed in firms, TV and other media. You can hear many of these styles of sounds in our Location Recording sample packs here. The range of sounds we are able to record whilst in abandoned buildings is great. Every object is old, unused and decaying. This makes for great recording due to many of the objects being flimsy and loose. Within this article we'll run through each recording spot and the purpose of recording audio here.
At RAF Upwood there was an amazing spiral staircase that's resonance was almost endless. Due to the fact that it was so old and loose the staircase rattled and shuddered for a good 10 seconds. This was ideal for impacts, as when struck with different mallet types created a range of different sounds. My favourite on this was the rubber mallet. This made a great explosion type sound that once processed will act as a very unique impact.
Above the spiral stair case was a metal landing. This sounded great but every time we struck it, it would shake and move. This meant we recorded quite lite hits on the landing because we didn't want it to collapse benefit us.
Overall this was my favourite room at RAF Upwood. I believe it was an old boiler house and had pipes decending from the ceiling. The pipes as well as the ladder made for great metal style hits. Which in this kind of large room and additional reverb came out great using our mic setup.
Garage doors or shutters are always a favourite of mine. They rattle and shudder brilliantly. Especially when they are as loose as the two shutters we found at RAF Upwood. Using the wooden mallet on the second door we achieved a sound that is similar to that of a gunshot. The sounds once layered with a lower more impactive sound will sound great as a powerful rattling impact.
Metal staircases are always great to record especially with the rubber mallet. This achieves a deep loud thud that is good for layering and using as the body of the impact. I liked the fact this staircase didn't rattle so much and was tighter than the others we found. Gave us a great range of sounds.
Kids playground slides are always great to record. This was located outside of North Weald Redoubt which I recorded whilst I waited for friends to arrive. When an object isn't derelict or abandoned I use my hands to create sounds. Reason being is I never want to be destructive with anything that is in use. Especially a kids slide.
Now inside North Weald Redoubt we began recording a metal barrier which is used to stop people from gaining access into the flooded tunnels below. As the tunnels here were flooded we couldn't get down them anyway so having a great sounding metal barrier instead was a great substitute.
The warehouse building was full of different sized RSJ beams. Each one makes a slightly different tuning and when struck with a metal hammer you can really hear some great resonance from them. We recorded lots of these sounds to build a tuned percussive VST with.
Here we have a fallen radio mast. A wide range of sounds could be recorded here using various parts of the mast. It resonated well due to the fact that it was suspended over a slope that ran down to the tunnels.
There were quite a few electrical boxes positioned on the walls of the warehouse building. The door being slammed shut made for a great impact and will be wildly used as a sharp impact layer.
This area is usually flooded but due to London and Essex not getting any rain for a good 2 months this summer it had all dried up. Which was great because we were able to gain access to buildings we otherwise wouldn't be able to. Inside this room was what I can only imagine is a support to strengthen the ceiling and ensure it doesn't come down. When recording these posts we were very careful not to displace anything.
One of my favourite recordings of the trip to North Weald Redoubt. A number of shelf rails protruded from the walls creating a tuned percussive metal sound. The lower down the wall the lower in pitch the sounds became. We'll use these samples once processed as a tuned VST percussion instrument like a hang drum.