New York Rockets

Rocket recordings have been on my mind lately because I’m in the process of building a Rocket SFX library.  Some visitors to the blog may have heard some of the rockets that I recorded on the West Coast two years ago, and I have been in the process of augmented my rocket content.  I contacted my local chapter of METRA rocketry, which is an organization that shoots off mid and high powered rockets.

As you can see, these guys really don’t mess around.  The rocket on the left was one of the high powered rockets that required over 1000-foot clearance from all of the attendees.  Recording this rocket and many of the others required lots of guessing about where to set levels.  There was some serious SPL out there, kiddies.  Just look at the size of the people in that photo and look at the size of the rocket.  At least 3 rockets that day required FAA clearance because they flew over 5000 ft.

Lucky for me this was my second rocket trip, so I guessed wisely.  I ended up leaving that day with over 15 rockets recorded on 6 different channels.  I have my Schoeps MS pair, my brother’s MKH 60, my newly acquired Sanken CUB-01, and a pair of DPA 4060’s.  The CUB-01 is a boundary layer mic and it was my favorite of the day.

The CUB handles a high level of SPL, but I still had to deal with low frequency vibrations and wind since it would be sitting on the ground.  I found these foam discs that are used for waxing cars and the density was just perfect.  It gave a little, which is good for absorbing shock, but still was stable and firm on the ground.  I cut out a piece slightly larger than the capsule of the CUB and zip tied a high wind cover from rycote over the capsule.  I’m really pleased with the results and I can’t wait to finish this library.  After this past weekend, I think I decided that I need another CUB, but I might have to wait a little while.

Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of Sanken CUB-01 It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96.

5 comments

  1. Suuuuuper cool sound. So that was entirely the CUB-01 in the mix? That sound has a lot of utility because the low end doesn’t overpower the rest of the tones, and one can always add LFE in post. I’d love to see that second picture bigger, though, hard to see what’s going on with the setup. I can’t wait to hear more. Very nice, Michael!

  2. i wish Soundcloud let you varispeed – would love to hear that at half speed!

    beautiful sound!

    • Thanks to you both. And Nathan, to answer your question, that is just the CUB-01. It is quite the special little mic. It has a surprising amount of low end and it really is a trooper when it’s covered in clouds of rocket smoke. Let me see if I can crop that photo and get you a better shot of my funky zip tie job.

  3. Sweet! Sounds amazing! Would be good to see the pics bigger.

  4. Look forward to hearing more – I think these out-of-the-ordinary ideas for libraries (also like tim’s seals) are my favourite; things that not everyone would even have a chance to see let alone record. Cool stuff.

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