Recording Car Crash Sound Effects

Jon Michaels holding a microphone on a boom pole during a car crash sound effects recording session for Live Free or Die Hard

On April 12, 2007, we headed out to the Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino, CA with the intent of crashing cars into each other a whole lot of times.

We were working on “Live Free or Die Hard.” In the movie, Bruce Willis’ John McClane takes on Timothy Olyphant’s Thomas Gabriel, and lots of car crashes ensue. The best way of capturing the sound of a car crash is to actually stage the real thing. We hired a demolition derby car driver, bought three junker cars off him, rented the race track, set up a bunch of microphones, and spent the day slamming cars into each other.