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.