The Man Behind the Lions, Rockets, Steam Engines, Tornadoes and More—Telarc's SFX Wizard
Michael Bishop says that he was first "turned loose" to make digital sound effects for Star Tracks II (CD-80146). Over the years, his sound effects, included on many of the Cincinnati Pops recordings, gave a special character to those CDs, enhancing the "themes" of the recordings and delighting listeners with their realism.
Many of the SFX were made in exotic locations and required elaborate preparations. For example, the cattle stampede for Happy Trails CD-80191 was a real stampede, recorded on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The sounds in Sailing CD-80292 were made on board the USS Brig Niagara, (a rebuilt 1812 sailing vessel from Commodore Perry's fleet used in the War of 1812 on Lake Erie), and the rocket launch from the movie Apollo 13 used in The Big Picture CD-80437 was from an actual NASA shuttle launch.
The lion and tiger roars used in various recordings, (including one of the many sound layers for T-Rex on the award-winning Great Fantasy Adventure Album CD-80342, and for the monster roars on Chiller CD-80189) were made on location in the lions' den and tigers' cages of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
"Recording the lion roars was a memorable experience," says Bishop. He recalls having had the intuition to start his recorders running prior to arriving at the zoo's "cathouse," in the morning before they opened to the public. The lions, says Bishop, were docile until he set foot inside their "house" at which point they went crazy, roaring and jumping all over the place. "I was able to record some ferocious roars that day," he says. Those roars were eventually mixed, along with recordings of whinnies from Bishop's twenty-four year-old Arabian horse, Ricky, to form the bone-chilling beasts heard on the above-mentioned recordings.
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