Smash Smash Bang Bang - The Day I Destroyed A Car

Photos By Heather Donaldson Car Provided By Charlotte Fotheringham

Recently a friend decided she was scrapping her car, i managed to persuade her that letting me record the sound of it being smashed into several pieces would be a good send off for the old girl. I got in contact with the local scrapyard who were happy for us to destroy the car on their premises if they got the remains.

For this excursion i brought a long my old friend and fellow sound designer Matthew Denman who assited on both the recording and the smashing. I took my usual set up of a Fostex FR2 and a Rode Ntg-3 with the addition of a borrowed Ntg-2 and a bag of various tools and bits of wood.

One thing i hadn't counted on was how hard it is to smash a car window if you don't know what you're doing. It took a while to work out that the weak spot is right where the glass meets the frame.

We recorded everything from various bodywork impacts/scrapes to the breaking of all the windows/lights.

One saftey tip to remember for the future is that when the windshield is cracked any other impacts or movement of it causes tiny glass fragments to fly everywhere so goggles are a must. I would also advise a face mask as well as the fragments are so small it would be easy to breathe them in.

Everything was recorded at 96k/24bit and we came out with some nice results, a particular favorite was the sound of a wheel being thrown through the allready broken/cracked window.

A layered hit made from some of the recordings we made;