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Sanken Mics Give ‘Godzilla’ a Supersonic Boost

Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn, the E2 sound design team on this year’s reboot of the Godzilla film franchise, employed the Sanken CO-100K microphone to create Godzilla’s new roar and an array of otherworldly sounds.

“The Sanken microphone is a window into a whole world of frequencies that are beyond our human capacity of hearing,” explains Aadahl. “The mic captures an incredible world of sound that we can then bring into our software, slow it down, pulling all of those high frequencies into the audible realm.”

Pictured in their studio at Warner Bros. are sound designers Ethan Van der Ryn, at left, holding the Sanken CO-100K microphone, and Erik Aadahl.

“Godzilla’s original roar from the 1954 Toho film was created using a double bass and a leather glove with pine tar rosin to create friction,” adds Aadahl. “Using the Sanken 100K mic, we recorded the friction of a glove going across the strings to reproduce that iconic Godzilla roar, probably the most famous sound effect in cinema history. The Sanken was one pretty incredible tool for being able to create sounds that one could never hear.”

Van der Ryn says, “Key to our philosophy is recording new sounds to design with. Using this palette of fresh ingredients, we strive to make a wholly unique and expressive sonic storytelling experience. The only way you can accomplish that is to truly keep your ears open.”