Recording of the Week: Paper Shredder by Zachary Quarles

Small devices like printers, scanners, and cameras are some of the most popular things to record. This includes paper shredders, and we have a very good example of it to showcase this week.

Zachary Quarles, sound designer and recordist from Texas, who is currently working for ID Software, developing sounds for the Doom franchise. He published a recording of a paper shredder on his blog with several cool performances and different combinations of material being destroyed by the machine.

So I’ve been in the process of doing a pretty massive Spring (Fall) Cleaning sweep through the house and prepping for an epic yard sale to get rid of tons of stuff that I never use or care about any more.  In the process of doing this, I did an extensive clean to the office/studio.  I setup the paper shredder to tear through some of my documents and was digging how the servo motors were winding down.  I set up my mics and just went on with my cleaning and hit record any time I needed to get rid of something.

I did naked motor sounds, then used paper, then used paper with bunk credit cards, and finally to a ton of cds.  I overheated the motor a few times and got a few pretty slick malfunction and overload sounds…there was a point where I thought I actually broke the damn thing, but I just unplugged it, let it cool down, and went back after it.

For this recording, Zachary used a Rode NTG-3 with Sennheiser MKH30 in a M/S stereo configuration.

Recording of the Week is a series of posts dedicated to feature a sound recording published in the community during each week, in order to promote different kinds of recordists over the web.