Just Kicking Around
Sennheiser MKH 60
Boom pole array
More sport sounds today. I wanted to get some good kicking sounds recorded, and I needed to go out and pick-up the new cable I had ordered, so it was an afternoon outside for me. It was really bloody hot today 38 C and being out in the sun for over 3 hours was way tiring. When I did finally find somewhere to buy a drink I drank half a litre of water in about 60 seconds because I was so incredibly dehydrated. I am also really glad I put heaps of sun block on because I would have gotten very badly burnt otherwise. All good things to consider when you plan on being outside for a long time, especially in summer in Australia. I picked up my new cable and also ordered some thread adaptors that should allow me to mount the microphone on a standard camera tripod. (more on this later in the week)
I walked for about half an hour down to a really large park in Port Melbourne where they had 4 sports ovals. There was a bit of traffic noise from the surrounding roads specifically from the regular semi trailers driving by, but it was infrequent enough to allow me to get some good samples. This is one of the biggest issues about any recording session outdoors. Obviously for things like sports and especially actions like hitting or kicking balls you really need to be outdoors to record. But unless you are lucky enough to live or have access to somewhere very remote there is almost always the issue of background noise and usually its traffic. The advantage of a directional microphone is that it gives you some ability to focus it away from the worst source of background noise.
I always make sure I walk into any park area as far as possible and usually try to choose an area with lots of trees. Trees do a really excellent job of absorbing or blocking noise. Then I’ll set-up my microphone so its pointing away from the worst noise and preferably towards the largest area of park. (Hopefully I’ve chosen a day with no people around as well. In this case being nearly 40 degrees certainly helped on that front. No one else was crazy enough to be outside today).
I spent about an hour alternating between kicking a rugby ball and a soccer ball. Being there by myself meant I spent more time going and retrieving the balls than I did actually kicking them, but that was ok. I got some very good samples of both balls and made sure I recorded kicking in various styles. From hand, off the ground, drop kicking, bouncing etc. I then added some bounces and other incidental ball noises. On the walk back I managed to record a large industrial complex that has some noisy boiler fans running and a electrical power station that had a good hum sound going. A bloody hot day, but a fairly useful recording session.
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Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences