Snowy Footsteps

It is the height of summer in NYC, and lately that seems to mean warm and humid days mixed with plenty of thunder showers.  Hopefully we’ll see less rain through August, but some of these hot days got me thinking about winter.  When I lived in the midwest and I saw plenty of super cold days and nights (you can hear quite a few on the blog).  I recently went digging around my archives for sounds from some of the colder days I was out recording and I came up with a real gem.

I had to go and record footsteps in snow, which meant a visit to a state park in the middle of the night and plenty hand warmers.  I managed to drag a gullible friend to go with me and do the walking.  That morning we recorded footsteps with different shoes; this take features a special traction device called Yak Trax.  As you can see in the photo they are little cleats that you can stretch over your boots for extra traction.  I’m not sure why they are called Yak Trax . . .   maybe yak hooves have really good gripping power?  Anyway, I love the coarse sound they made on the really cold snow, and every time I listen to these steps, I can still feel the cold ripping through me.

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Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5 setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid.  In this case I only tracked the mid.  It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96 in a very cold Minnesota state park.

6 comments

  1. Just curious why you didn’t set the microphones up and then walk past them. That would have made for a nice stereo effect!

    • Most editors want this kind of sound in mono so they can move the footsteps around the stereo field themselves.

  2. Evocative! Takes me back to the years of growing up in Maine. Better than filling a foley pit with cornstarch, eh? :-D

  3. Starch in the Yaktrax! What’ll they think up next?

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