Dry Ice

In this post I'd like to throwback to a session I ran little while ago...dry iccceeeee

 *Cue Godzilla Roar*

Messing around with an old ice machine and a shelf. A hidden contact mic is attached to the shelf's underside. 

I loved this recording session, t'was a lot of fun and I managed to grab a lot of useful sounds. I was in the middle of a sound replacement video for some Alien: Isolation gameplay and I wanted to add some eerie sounds within the ambiences. There were a lot of cool articles online that inspired this session (like this one & this one) as well as this interesting dissertation on film sound. 

So feeling prepped, I managed to nab some dry ice from a company in the UK called the 'British Oxygen Company' who kindly delivered to their Edinburgh depot. I had a fairly simple setup in a spare storage room at a local college, which was great because it coincidentally had loads of unused metal shelving, ice machines and metal bits and bobs. There were x2 KM184s in XY for some stereo imaging, a U87 thrown in there to capture some of the finer details of what was going on and finally a JRF contact mic to grab some low-frequency magic. Finding the resonant 'sweet-spot' for the various bits of metal was pretty tricky, and holding it against the ice for too long meant that the temperature of the metal dropped and made it harder to get those cool sounds I was after!

After lots of experimentation, some of the best results came from some old cymbals, steel cutlery and a metal staircase handrail. Each object had its own characteristics that you really couldn't predict without messing around with angles, pressure and accompanying resonant bodies. Throwing the contact mic around yielded some cool results too, moving it from the side of a shelf to the bell of a ride cymbal to a metal mixing bowl. However, it's been nearly a year since this session and there are definitely things I'd change and do differently.

You can hear some examples below and if you want to try and hear some dry ice in the final Alien sound replacement video you can watch that over here :) 

Thanks for checking out the post and if you have any questions or feedback please drop me a line over on Twitter.
Ciao,
-Rob