Sennheiser MKH 60
Boom pole array
I guess the Police were chasing someone or attending a major accident nearby as the Police helicopter spent around 20 minutes circling around the docklands very close to our apartment. After about 5 minutes of this I realized they were here to stay for at least a few minutes and definitely close enough to warrant going out on the balcony with my gear.
The interesting thing about recording a flying vehicle around tall buildings is that it can often be hard to tell exactly where the vehicle is. The sounds of the helicopter reflected of the buildings a lot and often gave the impression it was coming from the opposite direction. I managed to capture a good two minutes worth of constant hovering at a distance and a couple of nice flyby samples. I would like to try and record a close up idle or hover sound sometime in the future, but I was surprised at how much material I captured tonight. I still don’t know what they were doing and I didn’t hear any other sirens in the area so if there were police ground vehicles then they were keeping quiet.
It did occur to me to run down outside and try to get closer, but one of the advantages of being on the balcony was that I was away from any traffic noise, so the advantage of getting closer to the helicopter could well have been mitigated by having traffic noise contaminate the samples. As it is I got some nice clean (if slightly distant) helicopter sounds from a model I have not yet recorded. (I’ll need to look up what model helicopter the Victorian Police use)
Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences