Sennheiser MKH 60
Boom pole array
and R09 handheld
I really hate it when I am so busy I go for ages without recording new raw material. It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I have nearly finished the major piece of music I have been writing lately as well as other things on my plate, but I plan to get into a new batch of recordings and there will be some changes coming up to the recording journal format as well. All for the better I hope.
Anyway I have been meaning to record an air horn for the last few weeks for a couple of projects I am working on as well as for the library. I finally got around to buying one and found out one of the of the guys at work also had a little one, so I got to record two different versions which was good. I will be recording this thing outdoors sometime soon, but initially I wanted to get a sample indoors where there were no extraneous noises. I positioned the air horn at one end of an office area an positioned myself about 10 meters away. I knew the horns would be loud and I didn’t want to be too close. I also positioned the R09 on the floor a fair distance from the horns as well. The horns were even louder than I remembered, so I was very glad to be that far back. I needed to lower the levels on the H4 twice before it could capture without peaking. I recorded a selection of long and short bursts on both horns. I actually found that the R09 did a really good job of capturing the sounds. I had it set to the absolute lowest input level possible and the horn sounds came right up to max but didn’t peak. The beauty of this was that because of the low input level there is absolutely no other sounds being picked up by the R09’s mics so it’s a really nice clean recording.
I haven’t checked the H4’s recordings yet, but it doesn’t matter either way as the R09 seemed to have won the day this time. Its really important with sounds, and especially loud sounds to not position the mics too close to the source as sometimes even sounds you wouldn’t expect to distort can end up as bad recordings.
Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences