Cacophanies from Metal on Dry Ice

Professional sound recordist Andy Aaron shares some sounds from his collection — various pieces of metal reacting with dry ice, with surprisingly varied results – for this installment of SoundClips.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Another kind of ice provides you very different kind of sound experience.

In our Soundclips feature today, we hear from a professional in the business of sound.

Mr. ANDY AARON (Resident, Ardsley, New York): My name is Andy Aaron. I live in Ardsley, New York. I record sounds for films. One of my favorite things to record is the sound of putting metal onto a chunk of dry ice.

(Soundbite of noise)

Mr. AARON: The metal start to contract and the dry ice starts to turn into gas and it makes this very angry kind of explosive sound. It's as if the two objects, the metal and the dry ice are fighting with each other. And what's interesting is that every time I try it with a different piece of metal or different size piece of dry ice it makes it completely different sound.

(Soundbite of noise)

Mr. AARON: I've used the sound in quite a few movies in different ways. The metal sounds like it's upset of being put next to something so cold. Sometimes it's almost musical. You can get a symphony of sounds coming out of the ice.

(Soundbite of noise)

Mr. AARON: This is pressing a penny really hard into the ice.

(Soundbite of noise)

Mr. AARON: Here's a coin that's dancing on the ice. When it hits the ice, it just starts to vibrate from the cold.

(Soundbite of noise)

Mr. AARON: Here's a big forged steal wrench put down on dry ice.

(Soundbite of noise)

Mr. AARON: Here's a film reel made out of sheet metal touching dry ice.

(Soundbite of noise)

Mr. AARON: When I hear that, I want to say, R2, what are you doing here?

SIEGEL: He must love his work. Film sound recording artist Andy Aaron of Ardsley, a suburb of New York City. He is tossing metal objects onto dry ice.

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