Massive metal impacts, clatters, booms and debris impacts, crunches & moves performed by THE CLAW, as it loads into 25 Tonne bins with enough force to make large trucks suspension bounce and move!
What started as a vague idea – metal prop hunting for a new metal library (see below) – delivered the goods thanks to some dogged perseverance!
This metal mountain is a 30+ minute drive from my house, and it took four visits before I managed to record anything useful at all!
From my first contact I learned that no, I could not browse the metal mountain and none of it was available for sale to me as it was destined for export to Bangladesh for recycling, and trucks would be carting loads to a ship from September 1st.
My next two visits revealed no progress at all – was the ship delayed? But on the occasion of my fourth visit: HOLY SH+T!! The sounds I was hearing were colossal!
Basically, every 10 minutes a truck would appear and THE CLAW would transfer great bundles of metal into the huge 25 Tonne metal bins. Those first few dumps were so loud I felt my body resonate with low frequencies! But as I was not allowed on to the property due to safety regulations, finding access for my microphones presented its own challenge.
Channelling my experience recording a ship building yard in Mitzushima Port, Japan for AMB009 INDUSTRIAL I managed to get my microphones close to the action by peering over the boundary fence! Note in the photo above, none of my mic stands are actually touching the ground! The small step ladder was a necessity as it was otherwise impossible to frame & focus my camera.
For the first proper recording session, I used my MKH8040 pair and MKH8020 spaced omnis, recording 32bit float because the dynamics and max SPL were unpredictable. But the following sessions I added the Sanken CUX100K mics, as I had verified my process was safe & the weather was good.
And the results?
Some of the loudest, most powerful and characterful metal clangs, bangs, booms and clatters! Seriously the first few dumps into each empty bin was phenomenal. But it was also fascinating watching the highly skilled Claw operator work: after dropping a load, he would raise the claw, tighten it into a giant metal fist and then slam it down into the load, compacting it with such force that it shook the entire truck & trailer!
Much thanks to the company (who requested anonymity) for allowing me to document this activity!
Check out the Making Of video and you will see and hear exactly why I became a bit obsessed with this location!
Recorded multitrack 32bit 192kHz with Sanken CUX100K pair, MKH8040 pair and MKH8020 pair.
Released multitrack 24bit 192kHz