Fire in the hole…

Today I went on a field recording trip to Rødovre in Denmark, to record 2 buildings being taken down by dynamite.

The 2 Buildings Ruskær and Agerkær, has been too dangerous to live in, since 2007, where a storm made them sway, and nearly fall. Since then the buildings has been emptied from all the hazardous materials, and options on how to get rid of them has been discussed. Luckily, the company in charge choose to dynamite them.
This is the first time in Denmark, that buildings of this kind has been blown up. I didnt want to miss the opportunity to record that.

The sun was shining and there was only little wind, so the crowd turnout was quite large. I wanted to avoid the “Yeeaarhhh….” which always seems to be present when doing recordings like this in a uncontrollable area (listen to the demo and youll unfortunately hear that in this recording too:D ), so
I put up my gear as far as I could from the big crowd, and still not to far away from the biggest building. Then I waited.
I had absolutely no idea how loud this would be so I set my gain to 12 o´clock and hoped for the best. My options were 2x DPA 4061, which can handle alot of spl, and a Sennheiser 416 with an Ambient Emesser on top. I choose the last 2, since there was just too much of a crowd. Other wise I would have picked the DPA´s.

First building to be blown, was the one the farthest away. It was about 800 meters (I think). Demolition started with the usual warning siren, then a mid-building explosion, and then a few minutes until a warning siren more followed by the real thing. Even at 800 meters the signal was very close to clipping. The tail of the implosion seemed like it put in some extra dbs into the recording.

Then it was time for the second building. This one didnt have the first mid-building explosion, but went straight into a giant explosion and implosion, after the warning sounded.

This one was loud as nothing I have ever experienced before. The actual dynamite exploding, and the implosion afterwards had an enormous pressure wave, which could be felt as a hard punch to the body.

4 seconds later it was all over. Nothing left but the thick dust in the air.

Looking at the rubble later on, this was an extremely pro job. Only 10 meters away from the bend iron and concrete, there was a kindergarten, which only had dust on its windows. The grass was still green around it. Dusty, but still green. How is this possible with close to 40 kg of dynamite blowing up a 14 storey building, 10 meters away? Well done!

Here is a demo from today:

 

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