Sennheiser MKH 60
Boom pole array
One of the best things about the rainy season is the frequent thunder storms. Staying in a quiet area of a small country town means often good recordings can be made without traffic and people contaminating the sounds, so when a thunderstorm comes through it is well worth setting up a microphone just to see what you get. I usually setup my usual rig upstairs, pointing out an open window. This way I can continue to work on my PC downstairs without worrying that I will contaminate my own recordings. Today I did so and was rewarded with some very good thunder sounds as the storm passed directly overhead. The sound that thunder makes changes considerably with your proximity to its source. As a general rule distant thunder will be just the low frequency rumblings. As the storm and the lightning gets closer to your position you should hear more high frequency elements of the sound. The sound of lightning breaking directly overhead sounds like the sky has just been torn open. The volume and range of frequencies are extreme and it is an incredible sound to try and capture. The trick is trying to set your input levels to get a good recording of the distant thunder but also to make sure it doesn’t peak out when the storm moves closer.
Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences