December 27th, 2011

This is a recording of an office paper shredder starting up.

This model of paper shredder has a button that you can press to run it briefly in reverse, in order to clear paper jams and clean the blades. If the shredder hasn't been used in a while, it takes several seconds to start, and makes a cool noise while doing so.

The click at the start of the recording is the switch being pressed. You then hear the motor struggling to start up for about five seconds, and finally it comes up to speed. The high-frequency crackling you hear, particularly once the motor is running smoothly, comes from bits of paper still rolling around in the blades (easy to convert into a campfire or rain). There's another click at the end when the reverse button is released.

I uploaded this because several parts of the recording sounded like they'd lend themselves to morphing in various ways to create other interesting noises.

Recorded with a hand-held Zoom H4n, stereo 96 kHz / 24 bits, with the built-in mics, positioned about six inches above the rotating blades of the shredder


  • avatar
    Logan69 3 years, 6 months ago

    A great sound. I'll use it for my robot monster film. Thanks!

  • avatar
    originalmaja 7 years, 2 months ago

    I used this one in an audio play: "20.000 Leagues Under The Sea" by Jules Verne; recently recorded in one of the lecture halls at Bielefeld University, Germany (by a student drama group). A just-for-fun project (non-commercial). We'll upload the whole thing in 2014 and will give accurate credit.

  • avatar
    Vibender 7 years, 12 months ago

    Great, especially first few seconds when device starts. Thanks.

  • avatar
    blackbar 8 years ago

    This is wonderful. Using it as a cat scan machine sound. Thank you a ton.


Please log in to comment

  • Currently /5 Stars.
Wave (.wav)
6.0 MB
96000.0 Hz
24 bit
Sound illegal or offensive? Flag it!