Telstra Dome Melbourne
Sennheiser MKH 60
Boom pole array
A Melbourne Soccer Club vs Sydney Soccer Club match seems to be a game of old rivals and 25000 people made their way in to Telstra Dome to see the game played out. Considering I still need some more sports crowd sounds and that the match was a five minute walk from home I though I’d go along and see what all the fuss was about. I arrived just before half time and Sydney was leading 2 goals to 1. The Melbourne crowd was a little subdued accept for the Melbourne Cheer squad who alternated between abusive chants at the Sydney fans and abusive chants at the police. It seems they have been taking lessons from the English soccer fans J.
I got some good general ambience and found that soccer crowds BOO much more than rugby crowds do, so I got some good material there. When Melbourne finally scored an equalizer half way into the second half the crowd went wild and all my levels maxed out.
This sort of location is really difficult to predict. 25000 people provide a good general level of hum when they are talking and watching a game, but when someone scores the leap in levels is like sticking your head in backwash of a fighter plane engine. Its sooo bloody loud. The cheering and clapping continued for at least 30 seconds, but it was the initial roar that I really wanted to capture. I set the levels on the R09 to the lowest possible level, and cranked the F4 down heaps as well. This of course meant that all the intervening ambience was really soft, but it was the cheer events that were the most important to capture. (I’m starting to think I need to buy a second Zoom F4 J ).
Towards the end of the game Melbourne scored a third goal putting them into the lead. The crowd naturally went wild again and I was monitoring my levels through all of this. I think the F4 managed to capture some good material without peaking, but the poor old R09 even on its lowest input setting just couldn’t cope. The actual samples might be usable as a crowd cheer is basically white noise so a little peaking may not be too badly distorted, but its little inbuilt mics were just not designed for the level of sound it was trying to cope with.
I am planning to go to a one day cricket match in a couple of weeks for one last round of crowd recordings and I might see if I can rig something up that can cope with the high levels better. Overall it was a pretty good session and I now have a collection of crowd chants expressing their true feelings towards Victoria’s Police Force. (Although I have no idea what I’d use them for.)
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Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences