Two City Slickers and a Chainsaw

Last weekend I headed upstate with the Missus and my in-laws. Much to our dismay, there was a storm the night before we arrived that took down trees and subsequently took down power lines. That also meant that the Father-in-Law and I had some trees to clean up. Out came the chainsaw and the city boys went to work.

After we dealt with all of the downed trees, we moved on to the half-fallen trees that needed to be taken down for safety reasons. Our first pass at the tree wasn’t our best:

We initially thought that the chainsaw would be able to get through the tree because it wasn’t that large, but the tree proved to be mightier than the saw.  At least we had a good laugh. After we pried the chainsaw out of the tree and remembered our high-school physics, we cut a wedge on the top of the tree and it worked like a charm.

The power never did return that weekend, but the Father-in-Law and I got some serious bonding in and we all have a ton of firewood for the winter. There’s nothing like a family that is understanding when I am compelled to bring out the recording gear  during yard work.

Recording Geek Note: Recording Geek Note: The action was recorded with a MKH30/40 pair with a Cooper CS-104 and a Sound Devices 744T.

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EagleFest Electric Chainsaw

Back in January, I posted a recording of a guy taking a chainsaw to a log . . .  and an hour or so later there was a big wooden eagle for everyone to see.  On that same day, there was another guy with a chainsaw carving an eagle out of a block of ice.

Unfortunately for our ice sculpting friend, it was unseasonably warm that day; his eagle kept falling apart and ice was melting all around him.  Before long, he was working in a puddle of water.  I had been recording for a few minutes when I realized he was working with an electric saw and he seemed to have every electric tool possible!  I didn’t think that was such a smart move for a guy working with melting ice.

I didn’t stick around to see him finish, but the word on the street is that he managed to finish without getting electrocuted.  In terms of the sound, the electric chainsaw is a bit more subdued and consistent than its gas-guzzling cousin.  The only bummer was the crowd around him overlapping my recording.  Regardless, it is a fun recording and I’m glad he is still living.

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Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5 setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid.  It was all tracked to a Sony PCM-M10, with Sound Devices MP2 as a front end while trying to avoid getting electrocuted.

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EagleFest Chainsaw

EagleFest is a one-day event held each year in mid-January in the town of Narrowsburg, NY.  Narrowsburg is just a couple of hours north of New York City on the Delaware river.  The festival features live bird demonstrations, opportunities to view birds of prey along the river, and lots of fun events for the kids.  On Saturday morning, there was a live demonstration of chainsaw sculpting:

The resident sculptor was wearing a T-Shirt that stated he was a Master of the Chainshaw.  I believe that, because he wasn’t using Stihl chainsaws, but a more rarified brand called Husqvarna.  I don’t know if the European brand adds a touch of class, but it it is hard to to argue with the results of the Master’s work:

Quite an appropriate subject for EagleFest!

The following recording features some background voices, falling chunks of wood, and 2 different sized chainsaws that were used to carve the log:

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Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5 setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid.  It was all tracked to a Sony PCM-M10, with Sound Devices MP2 as a front end while trying to avoid sawdust flying around.

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Embracing My Inner Chainsaw

I had a rather frustrating couple of days of recording this past weekend.  I was in the country again and at first I didn’t think it would stop raining, and when the rain did finally stop it never got quiet enough for my taste.  Drops of water cascaded down a canopy of leaves, which created a wonderful crackling sound, but unfortunately, a clean recording was not in the cards.  Planes and cars constantly passed by and I didn’t get one clean second.  I was in a fairly remote place, but sometimes you just can’t catch a break.  So instead of posting something beautiful from the country I thought I would embrace my inner chainsaw.

The recording below is from a visit I made about a year ago to a small farm in Wisconsin.  I had to record a bunch of farm sounds and machinery for a client, and nestled up next to a tractor was an old beat up chainsaw.  After the chainsaw finally started it proceeded to up and die a quick death.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5 setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid.  It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96 in a small barn that housed the tractor and some hay.

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