Post originally from The Recordist. Written by Frank Bry.

May 30, 2010
Over the holiday weekend I decided to give a shot at recording guns. My sister and her friend were hanging around so we grabbed his Glock 19 and I had my Remington 870 Shotgun. We shot over 150 rounds of ammunition.

We need something to prevent bullet ricos so I found a very wet bail of hay in the garden and proceeded to install it with the JD. I learned a great deal and plan to do much more with different guns, microphones and locations. Gear included: SD702/CSS5 and FR2/AT835ST at 24Bit-192k

Update: 6-17-2010
Recording and mastering of a Glock 26 9mm handgun and a Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun
I have worked quite a bit with guns from other recordists and sound effects libraries but have never edited and mastered my own recordings. Well, I was in for a surprise. While recording the guns I could feel the concussion “whomp” in my chest as the gun was fired. I kind of liked that and I was hoping that same feeling was in my recordings considering I was 3 feet away from the gun.

The recording set up was very simple. I used a Sanken CSS-5 set to narrow stereo placed about 8 feet away and recorded into a Sound Devices 702 at 192k. I also used a hand held AT-835ST shotgun microphone set to mono and then later set to stereo into a Fostex FR-2 at 192k. I like the “punch” the FR-2 has when recording loud sounds and the limiter kicks in. I held this mic about 12 inches from the gun. I proceeded to move the mic locations around a bit to get a different vibe in the recordings.

After auditioning some of the recordings I notice they did not have the same “wow” factor as being right next to the guns had. I then loaded all the files into my Pro Tools|HD 2 Accel rig at 96k and started sorting through the best takes. After lining up some great takes I then added the processing chain to my mix and came up with a set of plug-ins that I thought worked well. Here is the list:

1. Linear Phase EQ Lowband component – rolled off 35hz
2. PuigTec EQP-1A – added some low end at 100hz and top end at 5k (I like this plug!)
3. Q3 EQ – notched out some strange tones I started hearing
4. MV2 Dynamics Processor – brought the level up quite a bit (more that I thought I would)
5. Eventide Octavox Harmonizer – set up on a Aux bus for added 4 voice pitch shifting
6. L2 Ultramaximizer – Final leveling and punch

I wanted more punch and low end so I modified the sample rate of the 192k versions to 96k and layered in under each shot and also fed that to the Eventide harmonizer.


About The Author

Pasi Pitkänen

Pasi is more than just a man from Finland with video game and movie addictions. He is also a TIGA award-winning sound designer and composer with versatility and passion. Pasi currently works as a sound designer at Rovio Entertainment Ltd.