Chuck Russom Special: Slingshot Recording
Slingshots can be a great source of sound recording fun. You can use them to record sound like flying debris, bullet bys, dart bys, spear bys, all sorts of cool flyby sounds. All you really need to do if find an open area where you can fire the slingshot, set up a mic, and shoot various objects at the mic. Try not to hit the mic, if you can!
I needed some bullet whizbys for a project I was working on. You can record real bullet bys and ricochets, but it takes a lot of time, some money, and often you don’t get the results you are looking for. I was looking for a controllable solution that would be relatively quick, easy, and cheap. I went out and fired various metal objects and found that pennies were my favorite (and the least expensive too!). I also got some good sounds firing bullet shells and washers of various sizes.
Unless you have access to a sound stage or an empty warehouse, it is difficult to find an indoor location that is large enough to fire off a slingshot. I did the recording outside in the mountains. It was the largest, open area that I could find that was away from the bulk of city traffic. I still had to deal with the occasional car and airplane, but that is what you always have to deal with when recording near a city. Recording outside you will also have to contend with the sounds of nature, so a lot of editing and EQing will be needed. These flyby sounds are very quiet, so it helps if you use a clean sounding, low noise microphone and preamp. I ended up recording on two occasions. The first time I used my Neumann 191 stereo shotgun and I felt the mic added too much noise into the recording. I went out a second time with my Sennheiser MKH800. The MKH800 is a really low noise mic, and I felt it gave me much better results.
These samples were recorded to a Sound Devices 744T recording at 24bit 96K.
Slingshot firing pennies:
Slingshot firing bullet shells:
Slingshot firing washers: