On a recent road trip I spent a couple of days exploring the alpine area of Ruapehu, and specifically the Tukino ski field. The landscapes are incredible – it felt a bit like visiting the red planet… I was mostly doing a recce for potential locations to record alpine winds, but came across a fantastic sound FX prop!
To access the road up to the ski field requires obtaining a key for a security gate and as soon as I unlocked this big old gate & started to move it, I just knew I wasn’t going anywhere for an hour:
I had found the gate creak from hell!
Being exposed to extreme weather had made the hinges and mechanism of the gate very expressive, with creaks so resonant they reminded me of guitar feedback. As an added bonus, the alpine location was almost silent.
Apart from creaks I also performed multiple takes of every action I could think of: slams, shakes, latch moves, lock & chain moves and multiple speed open, close and movements. While editing the recordings I also duplicated every slam, impact and hit – they are included for ease of use as tightly edited metal impacts
(& noted in the metadata for files 11,12,13 as such)
Check out the Making Of video to appreciate the environment and some of the sounds captured. Apart from use for practical sound effects editing and layering, the incredibly resonant and powerful creaks lend themselves to all sorts of tonal exploration.
Captured 24bit 96kHz multi-channel with a Sound Devices 788T recorder and Sennhesier MKH8040 ORTF close, MKH8020 spaced omni pair wider, and an MKH8050 close/spot.