A Day at the Cricket
Melbourne Cricket Ground
Sennheiser MKH 60
Boom pole array
Today is going to be the last of my crowd recording sessions. With this material I should have a good cross section of sporting crowd situations and samples. Today was the first one day match between Australia and South Africa for the 2009 season and a pretty big crowd was expected. I wanted to get there early so I could get a good range of crowd sounds as the number of people there would increase over the day with a surge expected around 6.30 pm when people finished work for the day. By the time I got in the game had started and the second over was being bowled. There would have been between 10,000-15,000 people there by that stage.
One of the things I always try to do when I am in a situation where I have pre planned and know I have time to set-up properly is have both the H4 and the R09 running. This increases my chances of catching anything that might be good material. I set the input levels for the R09 at a constant low rate so it can hopefully capture any very loud sounds, and I use the H4 for more specific targeted sounds, often varying the input levels on the H4 through the course of the day. Even when I am relocating from one part of a stadium to another I will usually have one of the devices running just in case something noteworthy comes up. This of course takes its own planning as I was at the MCG for over 6 hours and I needed to ensure I could cover that time with both battery life and recording capacity. Currently the H4 is using a 4 gig SD card which is giving me about 5 hours of recording time at 48 KHz sample rate. I would usually need to change over the batteries if I was going to fill the full five hours. I try to use rechargeable batteries as it can get really expensive otherwise, but I always carry a spare set on me. In the future I plan to get a second H4 but before I do I need to work out the best way to rig it up and what kind of mic set-up I need.
The game progressed as expected. Cricket is a slow sport to watch at the best of times. I got lots of material time wise, but most of it was just background crowd chatter. There were actually less sound events in 6 hours of cricket than 90 minutes of soccer., but I got a fairly good selection of cheers and other crowd related sounds. I relocated at least 5 times in at 6 hour session. I also took something to read with me as even though I was recording for all that time, there was very little for me to need to monitor. I am not a big fan of cricket and it can get a little slow at times so I just relaxed and read my book for a lot of the time. This was a long but pretty easy recording session.
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Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences