I'm going to record a bunch of stuff in a wood workshop this weekend and am preparing a list of what I want to capture. Thought I would throw it out here to see if anyone has any ideas that I might have missed. I know there's table, band and chop saws as well as various hand power tools and a big old chainsaw. Given a day in a workshop what would you record?

  • HUGE +1 for these kinds of posts/offers. This is what makes SSD so valuable. Thanks, @Matthew M! Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 23:14

4 Answers 4


One thing that's sorely missing from my library is lumber being stacked, dropped, etc. Would be GREAT if you could record some of that from many different perspectives, close and distant, interior and exterior. And not so that it sounds like a big white-noisy wood crash, but rather to capture that distinctive "pang" (or whatever) that you hear when logs or lumber are impacted.

  • Big +1 . Can never seem to find tasty "2x4 drops" Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 23:49
  • I'll be sure to add wood drops to the list.
    – Matthew M
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 2:22

Very hard to answer just like that, but that gnarly chainsaw would be something I'd put a lot of time into! Actually I recorded about an hour of the same chainsaw myself last time I had the chance at any angle and distance possible...and then I found a brushcutter :-)

Jeez,I get a warm fuzzy feeling just thinking of that wonderful brushcutter!

Anyway, if I where you, I'd prepare on set with a notebook and take a note of absolutely everything I could find. Then I would go through the notes systematically, recording every single piece until I'm good with that, moving on to the next on the list, adding new entries as I found them, but not straying too much from the list if possible as to not risking forgetting something important.

Remember to get every item from as many different positions and distances as possible. It's virtually impossible to predict exactly what you'll need at any given time in the future, so rather much too much than a little too little.

Godu ruku!

  • And if that chainsaw also proves to be rusty and worn, and with sub-par muffling, as you said it was old, I'd say you've hit a jackpot there! Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 22:56
  • Yeah I'm really hoping the chainsaw is nice and rough.
    – Matthew M
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 2:25

jig saw, routers, circular saw, orbital sanders (different grades)

Don't forget manual tools too! Plane, sandpaper (different grades), files, hammer and chisel.

A wood burning kit if they have one

I'd probably go for more of the manual stuff personaly.

Also, With so many combinations, I would bring along a friend to take good notes. Write down what type of tool, what brand, etc. Also mark perspectives and mishaps (no finger misshaps though). Sometimes it's nice to capture a blade getting jammed.

You'll have quite the catalogue!

  • Thanks. I've got stuff for hammering and sandpapering any old time but I don't have planes or chisels so I'll be sure to add those in.
    – Matthew M
    Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 2:26
  • Let me tag on the importance of recording at the highest resolution possible, since items like hand tools take on an entirely new life when slowed down. I recommend shooting everything at 24b/192k. Commented Oct 7, 2011 at 6:50
  • @Matthew I just remembered something I happened to record, a Woodmizer LT15 portable saw mill: woodmizer.com/us/PortableEquipment/ManualSawmills/… If they have something like it, ask them to fire it up. The rig itself makes cool squeeks, springs, bangs, it also glides up and down guide rails. If they don't have one, and you want some sounds for your library, let me know and I'll send you some of what I got.
    – Auddity
    Commented Oct 8, 2011 at 20:32

I think a lot of the sounds you'll discover when you're there/after you've seen the place rather than planning beforehand (although I do think planning beforehand is vitally important).

Make sure you keep your eyes (and ears) open for anything that looks/sounds interesting, even if it's unrelated to the topic.

Also, when you record it - slate it before/after the recording so you can remember what it is during the editing stage!


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