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Seeking extreme electricity!
Bar Harbor
The sound designer at my office is seeking opportunities to record "live" electricity sounds. Any one have a contact at the Boston Museum of Science? Or have any other ideas for where mad-science scale electrical noises might be recorded?

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I assume a normal Jacob's Ladder is unsufficient?

How big is "normal", in this context?

Not sure, I just sort of assume you can buy things like that at Spencer's now.

Electrical engineering department of a local university?

I bet you could just call up the MoS and ask; they may say no, but it's a sufficiently interesting request that you'll at least wind up talking to someone who can suggest somebody else to try.

Some observations from trying to record my own sound effects -- not to tell your sound designer his job, of course...

I would be wary of trying to record truly large electricity sounds without an appropriate microphone -- the bangs in a typical lightning show are REALLLY loud, and would likely overwhelm most mics. Richie could probably say more here than I, if you were curious. I suspect you can make a small zap sound bigger, depending on if you're going for dramatic effect or for realism. Slightly slowing and lowering the sound work great for creating space, as does adding a touch of echo (even if the sound isn't going to be in a space where it would actually reverb).

Many colleges have a tabletop van de Graff generator, *somewhere* -- unfortunately I don't know if Brandeis does, though I know my undergrad U did. (It's a bit far off, more's the pity.)

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