Hockey Hockey Hockey

I have one major sporting vice and that is hockey.  If you have been reading this blog, you know that there have been several hockey recordings over the last couple of years:  I recorded the pond hockey championships back in Minneapolis and a Harvard hockey game when I was in Boston. This past weekend, I decided to step in up a notch.  I went to a professional game in the area between two teams that shall remain nameless so as not to incite the ire of the NHL.  I decided to get some good crowd sounds  . . .  lots of “ooohs”, “aahhs”, and “yeahs”.  It was a hell of game; normally, I would have been yelling and screaming, but I had to really hold back so that I would not overlap the recordings.  The beginning of the recording features a couple of near misses from the home team, but, as you can hear, they finally manage to put one in the back of the net.

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Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of a pair of DPA 4060s mounted stealthily on either side of a backpack inside of an arena with 18,000 plus fans screaming in excitement.  It was all tracked to a Sony PCM-M10, with Sound Devices MP2 as a front end while trying to avoid the the away team’s fans.

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Harvard Hockey

This past weekend I travelled up Boston with the Missus to visit some family.  After a mellow morning and afternoon, we ended up at a Harvard hockey game with my recording equipment.  The fans at the game ranged from die hards to students who didn’t seem to have much to do on Saturday night.  Harvard was playing Union College and jumped out to an early lead, and held on to win 4-3 in regulation.  I have to admit that I am a big hockey fan, but I had never been to a college hockey game.  It was pretty competitive and, for such a modest crowd, the fans managed to get pretty boisterous.

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Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of a pair of DPA 4060 mounted stealthily on either side of a backpack in the second row of seats.  It was all tracked to a Sony PCM-M10, with Sound Devices MP2 as a front end while trying to avoid running into the glass.

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U.S. Pond Hockey Championships

The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships took place this past weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Over the course of the weekend, thousands of players hit the frozen ice and breathed in the frozen air.  It was -5F or colder for most of the tournament.  I don’t have much hockey sounds in my library, so I thought it would be a good time to freeze my ass off for some decent recordings. I dragged my buddy Mitch Hanley along so I wouldn’t be the only one with frostbite at the end of the day.  

Before games each team had to shovel their own rink to the get the ice game ready.  No Zambonis in this crowd!

The teams play without goaltenders on a much smaller ice surface and instead of a traditional goal they have to shoot the puck into two small holes on either side of a wood rectangle.  It is not easy. Listen for that puck banging into wood sound.

While recording I played around with various perspectives. First, I tried a stationary perspective along the center line of the ice, and then hand held the rycote to track the action.  I posted the tracked action below.

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It was a challenge to stay warm and not introduce noise through my giant extreme cold mittens.  I learned how quickly your hands can get cold if you don’t move them inside the gloves.  There were other noise hazards to watch out for.  I had to be very careful not to crunch snow with my boots once we began rolling. I was concerned about how my Sound Devices 744 recorder would hold up in the cold and it performed perfectly.  The only issue I experienced was diminished battery life from the lithium-ion batteries, but I expected that.  I had a bag full of spares to keep me going. The one bit of noise that I couldn’t control was airplanes flying over the lake throughout the day. Unfortunately, Lake Nokomis is right in the flight path of MSP.  If you are into that sound there are plenty of houses right around the lake.

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.  Everything was really cold.

More photos after the jump . . . 

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